Ricochet News

Major setback: UDM application for Bobani’s reinstatement thrown out of court

By Jesica Slabbert - Sep 19, 2017
Major setback: UDM application for Bobani’s reinstatement thrown out of court

The United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) bid to reverse the dramatic ouster of its councillor, Mongameli Bobani, as the Deputy Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, through the courts suffered a major setback in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday as the court found the application was not ‘urgent’.

The UDM chose the legal route after backing down from an earlier threat to leave the DA-led coalition if Bobani was not reinstated.

Holomisa said that the civil application in the High Court is to interdict and restrain the municipality from implementing the August 24 decision to remove Deputy Executive Mayor Bobani; and to reinstate him.

Presiding over the case, High Court Judge, Dalayin Chetty, stated that he had only received the founding affidavit from the UDM on his desk on Tuesday morning and questioned why it only arrived on the day of the application.

Patriotic Alliance (PA) Councillor, Marlon Daniels, who was one of the opposing parties, arrived at the court to witness the proceedings and was met by Bobani, who opened his arms for a hug and even tried to give him a kiss.

Daniels has since replaced Bobani as the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health after the Patriotic Alliance joined the DA-led coalition in August. It was Daniels, who set in motion the removal of Bobani as Deputy Executive Mayor at that fateful Council meeting.

The UDM had brought its application as a matter of urgency, stating that it needed to be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality from electing a new Deputy Executive Mayor.

The party has argued ever since Bobani’s ouster that the DA and its partners have failed to bring forth any proof of Bobani’s alleged misconduct.

However, a legal team representing the 131 parties cited in the application, including the Democratic Alliance (DA) argued that it was not urgent.

After hearing both arguments, Judge Chetty agreed with the Defence and ruled that the application be struck off the court record and that the UDM covers all costs, including those of the Defence.

He did not explicitly give reasoning for his decision.

The UDM and Bobani now need to bring forth an entirely new application before the courts should they wish to continue fighting for Bobani reinstatement.

“We were confident that we were following the book to the letter and for that reason I’m not surprised by the ruling made by Judge Chetty. I’m pleased that at least sanity prevailed and I trust that the outcome will settle well with the rest of the public and the community of Nelson Mandela Metro,” said Daniels, after the hearing.

When asked about his feelings about being kissed by Bobani, Marlon had this to say:  “I was taken by surprise when he hugged and kissed me, but don’t forget, Judas also kissed Jesus.”

Despite the setback, Bobani was still in high spirits and stated that he would still be in council on Thursday.

“My legal team have actually advised me that there is no train smash here. The matter is still going ahead. We still have to prove to the court that the decision that has been taken here was actually un-procedural,” said Bobani.

“I am still a councillor; I will be in the council on Thursday. There’s nothing that is going to change.”