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Commotion at NMB Council Meeting as DA supporters demand Bobani 'pays back the money'

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 2, 2018
Commotion at NMB Council Meeting as DA supporters demand Bobani 'pays back the money'

Despite the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's special Council Meeting on Friday not debating motions brought against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, over alleged corruption, a group of Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters gathered at the venue demanding that Bobani 'pays back the money'.

Allegations were made that Mayor Bobani apparently pocketed hundreds of thousands of Rands through an alleged corrupt relationship with a service provider on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS).

Bobani has since been visited by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) also called the Hawks over the alleged suspect payments.

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.

According to Council rules, the motions that were submitted by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Congress of the people (COPE) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) need five working days minimum for them to be put on the Council agenda.

The ACDP and COPE submitted their motion on Tuesday which doesn't meet the requirements of the motion rules.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday afternoon announced that it had also launched a motion of no confidence against Bobani.

'Bobani needs to pay back the money'

Former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality MMC for Budget and Treasury, Retief Odendaal, was also present wearing a t-shirt written 'Pay Back The Money You Thief' - in apparent reference to Bobani.

Bobani, however, appeared his usual cheerful despite the motions against him.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council Speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, asked the media and the public gallery to vacate the venue so that Councillors can discuss the two matters privately.

Friday’s Special Council is apparently dealing with two items, the appointment of a new Acting City Manager and the issue of the suspension of the City Manager.

However, DA supporters refused to burge.

Speaking for the DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, hinted that the Speaker "is a bully".

"The problem with this speaker is that she doesn't follow the rules of council she thinks that she will just bulldoze everything.

"I'm telling them they can't remove journalists and the public while I've raised a point of order because I want the public to know what we are going to do," he said.

"There are many things that we want to discuss in this meeting, such as documents that have arrived very late which shows that they are not prepared or organized.

"I'm not going to allow for her to not follow rules because council is about following rules and not being a bully and being a dictator."

There was also a tense stand-off between African National Congress (ANC) Councillor, Andile Mfunda, and Odendaal. Mfunda accused Odendaal of disrupting the meeting.

Meanwhile, another stand-off ensued between the National Chairperson of the Freedom Party, Vaughn Naidoo, and DA councillor, Johnny Arends.

The Naidoo said he will lay.a charge with the police after allegedly being manhandled at the meeting by Arends.

The meeting adjourned for 30 minutes...

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