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DA motion of no confidence targeting Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, Speaker and Chief Whip

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 26, 2018
DA motion of no confidence targeting Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, Speaker and Chief Whip

Addressing the media on Monday on why it had again decided to pursue a vote of no confidence against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said that Bobani is unfit to occupy the position of Executive Mayor “and should be removed as soon as possible”.

Bobani took reins after the removal of the Democratic Alliance (DA) -led coalition government following the dramatic events that took place on the 27th of August.

DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, told journalists on Monday that the party will table a motion of no confidence against Bobani; Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Chief whip, Mpumelelo "Bicks" Ndoni, of the African National Congress (ANC) and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council Speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, also from the ANC.

He said that the reason for the motion of no confidence in the trio is based on recent corruption allegations that have been making rounds in the media as well as the allegations that Bobani is implicated in two "unlawful administrative interference".

Bhanga said that there are at least two instances of unlawful interference in the administration of the municipality. These include:

  1. A request that a moratorium be placed on all vacancies in the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture (EDTA) Directorate. This is currently being investigated by National Treasury.
  2. Allegedly contacting an official at Absa Bank in order to prevent the bank from issuing a bond of security requested by the City Manager.

"All of these allegations prove that Cllr Bobani is unfit for his position and should be removed as soon as possible," he said.

"During the last couple of weeks we have seen the administration:

  • Failing to render municipal accounts;
  • Failing to timeously pay contractors and SMME’s;
  • Failing to attend to increased service delivery backlogs. This includes attending to sewage spillages, water leaks and the removal of refuse, especially in townships and the Northern Areas;
  • Continuously cancelling and postponing standing committee and mayoral committee meetings. This has resulted in Council not being able to pass much needed resolutions;
  • Failing to provide political guidance and action regarding illegal land invasions in NMB;
  • Failing to implement a tender that will see small co-ops in the Metro appointed to clean-up townships;
  • Halting all pending disciplinary actions against officials;
  • Failing to fill vacancies, even though no moratorium has been placed on the filling of positions.

"All these allegations prove that Cllr Bobani is unfit to run the administrations of the City and should be removed as soon as possible."

Bhanga added that Bobani's role is affecting service delivery in the city, adding; "[Council] Committees are not working, some committees are collapsing."

DA alleges a 'cartel' running city from outside the administration

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality currently does not have a permanent City Manager after placing then City Manager, Johann Mettler, on suspension pending an investigation over allegations of gross misconduct.

Human Settlements Director, Nolwandle Gqiba, a former City Manager at Enoch Mgijima Municipality, was promoted to the acting City Manager role.

She did not last a month in that position and stepped down paving way for her one-time rival to the position, Noxolo Nqwazi, who was the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Executive Director for Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture.

Bhanga alleged that the reason why she left is because of pressure from an alleged ‘cartel’ - a group of individuals that are running the City from outside of Bobani’s administration.

He further claimed that members of this cartel are officials suspended from the Metro because of fraud and corruption allegations and claimed that Bobani is bringing them back into his administration.

"He changes municipality managers because he wants his friends to run the city from the outside."

DA motion of no confidence against Bobani

Meanwhile, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) also said that they would table their own motion of no confidence in Bobani and will not rest until he is out as mayor. The fear though is that tabling different motions could divide the opposition vote, which desperately needs numbers if any of the motions are to succeed.

Bhanga said that they will iron out that when they have discussions with the ACDP and come up with a solution on, who will table the motion.

"The DA, ACDP and Cope are united in collapsing the ANC-led coalition of corruption."

He added that the DA is busy mobilizing other parties to support the motion.

"I will also call on the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, and Eastern Cape MEC for COGTA, Fikile Xasa, to intervene in terms of Section 154 of the Constitution," Bhanga said.

"Mr John Mettler must immediately be reappointed as City Manager to try and ensure some form of stability, as a third acting City Manager has now been appointed since Mettler’s removal."

Last week, the DA said it will be laying criminal charges against Bobani, and "his failing ANC-led coalition of corruption", after allegations of political interference in the awarding of contracts to companies surfaced in the media.

"It is illegal in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) to pay contractors before any work has been done," said Andrew Whitfield MPL - DA Eastern Cape Premier Campaign Spokesperson.

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