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UDM wants investigation into how Bobani affidavit 'disappeared' in Judge's office

Sep 20, 2017
UDM wants investigation into how Bobani affidavit 'disappeared' in Judge's office

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says that it's still in the fight even after the party's urgent court application to have the Democratic Alliance (DA) -led coalition administration reinstate its councillor, Mongameli Bobani, as the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor, suffered a setback in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday.

The UDM sought the High Court to interdict and restrain the municipality from implementing the August 24 decision to remove Deputy Executive Mayor Bobani; and to reinstate him. It also wanted the party to ensure that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality does not elect a new Deputy Mayor in the meantime.

Presiding over the case, High Court Judge, Dalayin Chetty, stated that he had only received the founding affidavit from the UDM on his desk on Tuesday morning and questioned why it only arrived on the day of the application.

The party has also argued that ever since Bobani’s ouster, the DA and its partners have failed to bring forth any proof of Bobani’s alleged misconduct.

However, a legal team representing the 131 parties cited in the application, including the DA argued that it was not urgent.

After hearing both arguments, Judge Chetty agreed with the Defence and ruled that the application be struck off the court record and that the UDM covers all costs, including those of the Defence.

"The UDM's application in the Port Elizabeth High Court – regarding the reinstatement of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor Mongameli Bobani – had not been heard and shall be represented, in due course, on a non-urgent basis," said UDM President, Bantu Holomisa.

"In the meantime, the UDM will approach the Chief Justice with a request to investigate why the UDM’s founding affidavit had gone missing from Judge Chetty’s file, which was the main reason cited for the dismissal of the case.

"What must we read into this? The fact that the document seemingly disappeared into thin air must be investigated."

Watch how things unfolded at the Port Elizabeth High Court:

The legal battle is the culmination of months of uneasiness within the coalition government, which have seen claims and counter-claims made against the Bobani and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

Things took a turn when Trollip sacked Bobani as MMC for Public Health.

Negotiations between the parties to the coalition yieled no results resulting in Bobani's ouster as Deputy Executive Mayor. 

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