The Parliamentary chambers of Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) are like the Wild West at the best of times. But things supposedly got a little too real for UDM Mayor Mongameli Bobani when he claimed that a disgruntled member of the public held him at gunpoint, demanding a new house.
Bobani alleged that the incident happened at Port Elizabeth City Hall, where he was literally staring down the barrel of the rogue firearm user. There’s just one problem with his version of events, according to the DA: They are completely and utterly false.
Has Mongameli Bobani lied about a hold-up?
The political party have declared this particular yarn as being “devoid of any truth”, and are now promising to expose the mayor’s story to the public.
At 10:00 on Monday – which is April Fool’s Day, no less – the DA Eastern Cape Premier Candidate Nqaba Bhanga will be joined by Athol Trollip and other local NMB Councillors, who will provide feedback on these findings:
“Last month Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Councillor Mongameli Bobani, alleged that a man entered City Hall and apparently pointed a gun at him whilst demanding a house. An investigation by the DA into the reported incident has found it to be devoid of any truth.”
“Tomorrow, on Monday 1 April 2019, the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay will host a press conference to expose the truth behind an alleged security breach at Port Elizabeth City Hall.”
DA Media Statement
The balance of power in NMB
These latest developments mark an extraordinary twist in one of the most bizarre political situations currently unfolding in South Africa. The balance of power in NMB is chaotic at best, and the fine margins between each party’s votes mean that leadership of the city hangs on a knife edge.
Trollip himself fell victim to this last year after one DA member defected from the party and voted against him in a no-confidence motion. Controversially, the motion was passed after several major parties had left the chambers, as the DA declared Bobani’s appointment as “unlawful”.
The UDM and DA had previously formed a coalition government in Port Elizabeth, but that fell apart shortly after the local elections. For the past couple of years, the turmoil hasn’t stopped. Just four weeks ago, Mongameli Bobani survived a second motion of no confidence in his leadership.
However, these latest shenanigans may tip the balance of power in another new direction.