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'Charges laid against DA's Nqaba Bhanga for calling NMB Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya 'crazy''

Apr 4, 2019
'Charges laid against DA's Nqaba Bhanga for calling NMB Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya 'crazy''

DA's Athol Trollip says NMB Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya alleges DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, called her 'crazy'

Port Elizabeth - Former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, on Thursday accused the African National Congress (ANC) of trying to deflect attention by laying charges against the party's candidate for the Eastern Cape premiership in the upcoming 2019 National and Provincial Elections, Nqaba Bhanga.

"I have been informed that the speaker of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Council, Councillor Buyelwa Mafaya, has laid charges of crimen injuria against Eastern Cape Premier Candidate and DA NMB Caucus Leader, Nqaba Bhanga, alleging that he had called her 'crazy' during a previous sitting of council," said Trollip, who is also the DA's Federal Chairperson.

"This is just cheap politicking and a blatant attempt by the ANC/EFF/UDM Coalition of Corruption to shift the focus away from Mayor Mongameli Bobani and the recent raids of his home and office by the Hawks.

"This latest move by an administration that is under severe public scrutiny and pressure is frankly a desperate attempt to deflect attention and is nothing less than a “red herring”.

"Anyone ( including the media) who attended the said council meeting would be able to attest that what transpired there was in fact, 'crazy'."

Trollip said that "the truth is that the chickens are coming home to roost for Bobani, and the Coalition of Corruption can see the writing on the wall".

"But, instead of taking decisive action against Bobani, the failing ANC have once again decided to protect corruption.

"During a debate in Council that took place on the 31st of January 2019, the Speaker made certain comments relating to the status of Messrs Higgins and Louw, which were in direct contradiction of a ruling made by the Port Elizabeth High Court,"
 Trollip said.

"In response to her statement councillor Bhanga advised the Speaker that what she had proposed was in direct contradiction to the said order of the Court and stated, 'that would be crazy' and that she was 'crazy'."

DA says it will not be intimitaed

He said that the DA has taken advice on the matter from their Senior Counsel, who has advised that the context in which the utterances were made, does not amount to defamation, nor does it constitute crimen injuria.

"Councillor Bhanga is also protected by legislature (council privilege) and any concerns in this regard should be dealt with by the ethics committee. However if the speaker wishes to have this matter dealt with by the SAPS as a matter of criminal defamation, she and the ANC must know that we will defend these frivolous charges in court and will not be dragged into a trial by media," Trollip said.

"The DA will not be silenced in council through these intimidation tactics. We will continue to fight for the citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay and will stand up for what is right. We will continue to hold those who have been raiding the public purse, taking the money meant for the people of this city, accountable.

"The party will not be bullied into silence by politicians who refuse to be questioned."

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