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Rumour Cllrs receive death threats at Council Meeting, Bobani confident he will defeat motion

Nov 4, 2019
Rumour Cllrs receive death threats at Council Meeting, Bobani confident he will defeat motion

Port Elizabeth - At the time of writing, a crucial Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council Meeting was resuming after a break. The Special Council Meeting, among other things, is expected to debate the motion of no confidence brought against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani.

There is a heavy police presense blocking off access to the Council Chambers, which is being held at the old Feathermarket Centre in Port Elizabeth.

Only vetted Councillors and members of the media have been allowed into the Council Chambers. This follows rumours of a security threat that saw that cancelling of the previous meeting.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Councillors were also brought in by a bus of the Port Elizabeth Traffic College fom a secret location - for their own safety.

'I will still be Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor after this Council Meeting'

"I am very confident; the Council Meeting is taking place as planned and as requested by the Speaker," a seemingly jovial, Bobani, said as he arrived for this crucial Council Meeting.

"We will just do the Council business - no worries, the City must relax, we are here to ensure that we are delivering services to our people.

"We will carry on delivering like this until 2025."

However, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has since been placed under Section 139(1) of the Constitution administration, which provides that when a municipality cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation, the relevant provincial executive may intervene by taking any appropriate steps to ensure fulfilment of that obligation.

"How can you take a Council for administration when the Council haven't done nothing," Bobani asked.

"We have complied with everything that is required. We are having a Council that is functional; we are having a Council that has an Audit Committee; we are having a Council that is having an Oversight Committee; We are having a Council that has passed the Budget; we have a Council whereby all the departments are working; we are having a Council whereby all the workers are being paid; we are having a Council whereby refuse collection and everything is being done.

"Now, how do you then place the Council under Section 139. This Council is functioning well. We have a Council that has adopted and approved the IDP meaning exactly that we are doing what our communities want.

"So everything is fine. We are moving right and we are excited. We are united as the black caucus - our residents love us because we are delivering exactly what they want."

Bobani promised that at this Council Meeting, the motion against him will be defeated.

"We are fine. This Council Meeting will come and go - nothng is going to change. I'm feeling confident; why must I not feel confident," he told reporters. 

"I have been experiencing these motions for quite some time now - after this one, I am also expecting another one. So at every Council Meeting, there is a motion of no confidence - I am not even worried about them because they will keep on coming until 2021.

"What matters most is that our residents are in support of this coalition government and this coalition government is united. So, we are not worried about the motions, they will keep on coming until 2021."

Lengthy adjournment at Bay Council Meeting

When Council business began, there was a moment of rememberence of the late African National Congress (ANC) Ward Councillor of Ward 55 at Motherwell, Mzuvukile Boti. His name has been removed from Council.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council Speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, also took the opportunity to congratulate the Springboks on winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup over the weekend.

"I am wearing my Springbok shirt because my homeboy' brought the cup home," she said referring to Springbok Captain, Siya Kolisi.

Mafaya said that like Kolisi, she is also from Zwide.

"When we are united there is nothing we can't achieve!"

She then told Councillors that she had requested that the letter sent by Eastern Cape MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Xolile Nqatha, be tabled in council.

Nqatha's letter should be that the Eastern Cape Provincial Government on Wednesday last week decided to start implementing a Section 139 intervention in the Bay - a smudge on Bobani's leadership. 

Meanwhile, ANC chief whip, Bicks Ndoni, requested for time out so that parties can meet. However, Siya Sijadu of the Congress of the People (COPE) objected to this and so did the DA.

The DA wanted to go ahead with the items in the Agenda first, and then break to discuss the Cogta MEC's letter.

Ndoni reminded Councillors about a previous meeting that collapsed, adding that he was surprised that Councillors are complaining about the multi-party whippery. He also accused DA of collapsing that meeting.

The motion to adjourn was also supported by Marlon Daniels of the Partriotic Alliance (PA).

Speaker Mafaya agreed and granted a break.

At the time of publishing, nearly an hour later, the Council Meeting was resuming.

However, there were unconfirmed murmurs in the Council Chamber that some Councillors had received death threats during the adjournment.

Bobani, Mafaya, Daniels and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Mayor, Thsonono Buyeye, were yet to join other Councillors in the Chamber, at the time of publishing.

More to follow...

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