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Opposition greeted by locked doors at motion against Bobani, SAPS deny issuing warning

Oct 17, 2019
Opposition greeted by locked doors at motion against Bobani, SAPS deny issuing warning

Port Elizabeth -  Despite the 11th hour cancellation of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's ordinary and special Council Meetings on Thursday, which, among other things, were to debate a motion of no confidence against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, crowds and opposition party Councillors still pitched up at the venue.

The Woolboard Exchange, where the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality mainly holds its Council Meetings became a scene of song with the crowd refusing to move.

Thursday's Council Meeting was cancelled by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, in the morning citing a warning received from the SAPS of security concerns if the meeting was to go ahead.

The cancellation caught many, especially in the opposition, off-guard.

'ANC are cowards for running away'

Speaking outside a locked Woolboard Exchange, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader in the Eastern Cape, Nqaba Bhanga, who is also a Councillor in the Bay, accused the African National Congress (ANC), which dominates Bobani's administration, but had apparently endorsed his removal, of running away.

"The ANC have run away today -  reneged from the postition that we took that we would remove Mr Bobani today. They are telling us that they have been threatened, but the DA is here - it is not threatened," Bhanga said.

"We believe Mr Bobani hired a cartel of criminals here to intimidate politicians.

"As the DA, we will not allow a State and a government to be threatened by individuals, who say that meetings of government cannot continue. We are not scared!"

"It shows that the DA is the only party that cares about the people because we will not tolerate our City to be terrorised and captured by two criminals, who tell politicians what to do. 

"The ANC have shown us that they are cowards - they have run away. The DA is not going to run away - it does not matter what is going to happen because we represent the people of this City."

Meanwhile, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Councillor, Lance Grootboom, expressed his dismay that it seems whenever there is a motion of no confidence against Bobani, reports of threats surface. He said when parties wanted to oust Trollip as Mayor, no one was threatened.

"It's clearly intimidation - he is holding onto power by any means necessary while the City is suffering," Grootboom said.

"This is unacceptable. It's a small group of people that is trying to holding onto power at any cost."

Congress of the People (COPE) Councillor, Siyasanga Sijadu, went as far as calling Mayor Bobani a tyrant.

"Today, we were going to remove a tyrant, today we were going to remove a personality cult, but unfortunately, because people were afraid, because of intimidation, we are here now stuck outside the council," she told reporters.

"I believe that if we should have the numbers on our side, we should continue with or without the Speaker of Council, with or without Mongameli Bobani, but what we do know is that he is going. He might survive today, but tomorrow is coming.

"He must go and if I were him, I would actually ddo the honourable thing and just step down. But because he knows he has a network of corruption in the city, he refuses to let go of power. 

"His time is coming. When the COPE and the ACDP first brought a motion of no confidence against this man, we said he is a criminal, we stand by that posture."

Meanwhile, apparently Eastern Cape SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Liziwe Ntshinga, has since denied Mafaya's notice that the SAPS advised the Nelson Mandela Bay Council to call off Thursday's Council meeting over secutity.

'Opposition parties miscalculated ahead of motion against Bobani'

Still in a Tweet, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa, said that opposition parties had miscalculated ahead of this seemingly ill-fated motion against Bobani.


On Wednesday, the bid by opposition parties to oust the UDM's Bobani suffered its first setback, when the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) apparently pulled out at the 11th hour. The EFF's Floyd Shivambu took to Twitter to remind Athol Trollip, he will never be Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay - or of anything, again.


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