Port Elizabeth – A showdown is looming as UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani intends reporting for work on Monday, despite being axed as deputy mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro. The UDM has said it would challenge his removal in court after the DA refused to accede to its demand to rescind the decision.
Bobani, who was removed during a chaotic council meeting in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, was accused of undermining the DA-led coalition by voting with the ANC.
Bobani was ousted with 60 votes from the DA, ACDP, Cope and Patriotic Alliance. The ANC and the EFF walked out of the council chambers as voting on the no-confidence motion was in progress.
UDM president Bantu Holomisa threatened that they would go to court today to challenge the procedure used to remove Bobani if the DA did not reverse it.
On Sunday Bobani was adamant he was still in his job. “I’m going to work on Monday (today). I’m still the deputy executive mayor; there is nothing stopping me. Nothing has changed,” he told Independent Media, before referring further questions to Holomisa, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
DA executive mayor Athol Trollip contradicted Bobani, saying he was no longer his number two.
“His (municipal) car has been taken back and his salary has been stopped. He has been told to vacate his office by Monday.”
Trollip said he would not “pre-empt what steps would be taken” today should Bobani show up at work.
He said DA leader Mmusi Mai- mane had written to Holomisa on Friday, telling him the decision to remove Bobani would not be reversed.
Holomisa had threatened to pull out of the coalition if the decision was not rescinded.
But Trollip dared the UDM leader: “If he wants to pull out of the coalition, he must pull out of the coalition.”
The DA spent eight months trying to get Holomisa to “do something about their partner who has voted against the coalition since January”.
It emerged on Sunday that it was unlikely the EFF would withdraw support for the DA in big metros like Tshwane and Joburg, although the red berets were unhappy with the situation in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The EFF have lashed out at what they termed “pure bullying by the DA” for removing Bobani.
“As a result of this behaviour in Nelson Mandela, the EFF will not be voting with the DA on any issue in Nelson Mandela Metro until they radically change their attitude towards coalition partners belonging to smaller parties,” said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
“Although the EFF is not in any coalition or co-operation with the DA, we view their behaviour in Nelson Mandela Metro as a threat to coalition politics, which can remove the corrupt ANC from power. We warn them their behaviour in Nelson Mandela will affect other municipalities where they rely on opposition parties to govern, in particular Tshwane and Johannesburg.”
Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota said they would not take action against their councillor and MMC for sport, recreation, arts and culture, Siyasanga Sijadu, for voting for Bobani to be ousted.