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Knives still out: DA-led coalition in jeopardy as Trollip seeks Bobani's sacking

Aug 3, 2017
Knives still out: DA-led coalition in jeopardy as Trollip seeks Bobani's sacking

Speaking to reporters in Soweto on Thursday, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Tollip, revealed that no progress was made in trying to resolve tensions between him and his Deputy, the United Democratic Movement's (UDM) Mongameli Bobani, and a motion of no confidence in Bobani will now be debated at a Council meeting scheduled for next week Thursday. 

Trollip, who was in Johannesburg with other Democratic Alliance (DA) Mayors for a report back of what the DA-led administrations had achieved after a year in office, said that UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa had committed to help the two iron out their differences in July, but is yet to meet with the two.

"There is no guarantee with a vote of no confidence. However, it's a statement: It's a statement that what you are doing is not acceptable; it's holding us back," the Mayor said, adding that he believes the city is better off without Bobani as Deputy Mayor.

Tensions reach a boiling point in May following days of heightened tensions at City Hall after Trollip, finally indicated he wanted to get rid of Bobani resulting in the principal political parties that are in a coalition with the DA having to meet to diffuse the situation.

Bobani is Deputy Mayor through a coalition agreement signed between the UDM, the DA and other smaller parties to effectively oust the African National Congress (ANC) after the DA, represented by Trollip, failed to get an outright win in the Metro in last year's Local Government Elections.

While they publicly denied it for months, there had been rumours of growing disharmony between Trollip and Bobani.

Apparently, the are disagreements between Trollip and Bobani over governance and staff appointments -  chief among them being the fate of Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler.

The rumours were confirmed when the two began to make public allegations and counter-allegations leading to a point when Trollip announced that he had fired Bobani from the Health Directorate and said he would seek his removal at council.

According to a joint statement released by the DA and the UDM, after the mediation, all parties to the coalition affirmed a commitment to the continuance of the coalition, "and the coalition remains intact".

The ultimatum put to the UDM to remove Bobani was withdrawn.

"The coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay is set to go from strength to strength," the parties said then.

While Trollip sacked Bobani as the political head of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Health Directorate, he remains in his post as Deputy Mayor. 

Trollip said that the Directorate has been of concern for a number a months given serious allegations of maladministration and impropriety, all of which are being investigated.

"Furthermore, Cllr Bobani's public behaviour and conduct has been unacceptable as a member of my Mayoral Committee and not consistent with what is expected of a Deputy Mayor," Trollip said then.

"I have attempted on numerous occasions to address Cllr Bobani's conduct through the UDM's National Leadership. Cllr Bobani has gone too far with his continued unsubstantiated defamatory remarks, spurious public statements and recently laid criminal charges against senior executive administrators."

UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, responded by telling Trollip to swallow his pride as Bobani was going nowhere yet.

Bobani also denied all allegations levelled at him.