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VIDEO: Bobani still claims corruption allegations were fabricated; Trollip says lawyers already briefed

By Afikile Lugunya - Jan 22, 2018
VIDEO: Bobani still claims corruption allegations were fabricated; Trollip says lawyers already briefed

Former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, still insists that there is no evidence of his alleged corrupt activities, which were the basis for his dramatic sacking last year - claiming that he has seen the confidential document after receiving it from some members of the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition.

Speaking to RNEWS, Bobani, who is the United Democratic Movement (UDM) regional leader, said that in the 17 years that he has served as a councillor, he has never been involved in corruption.

He called on the Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, to make the report public because there is nothing implicating him in corruption.

“I have done nothing wrong; Trollip was trying the utmost best to even put the forensics against me and the report is there with him and I also got the report so I am waiting on him to release the report and I have my copy, so he must make it available.

“Everything he has accused me of is untrue, I have been a councillor for 17 years and I was never involved, not even in one negative thing around corruption,” he said.

Bobani added that if it was up to him the court case, where he challenged his dismissal as Deputy Mayor would have been before the courts already.

“The court case has been dragging since 2017, after Judge Chetty declared that the matter as not urgent.

“Trollip lied in the council on the 9th of November last year in a Council Meeting and said that the matter would go to court, which was not true and we have proof of that meeting, which will be used as proof that I was removed illegally,” he described.

Bobani said that even the Patriotic Alliance (PA) Councillor, Marlon Daniels, who set in motion the no confidence vote in him, later admitted thathe had also not analysed the document when he was approached by the DA-led coalition.

“In one meeting at City Hall, he had a folder in front of him, paged through it while I was sitting at the end of table and there were other councillors too.

"He pointed at certain pages and said, 'can you see here, councillor Bobani must go because here he took R400 000' he turned to a new page and said, 'and there he took R600 000, he took a million rand from this institution and we cannot have a guy of that calibre being the deputy mayor',” Daniels described then.

'Lawyers have been briefed'

Responding to Bobani's claims, Mayor Trollip told RNEWS that the report of Bobani's misconduct and corruption will be presented at the Metro's Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) meeting in February.

“The final reports from PriceWaterHouseCoopers were received on 8/12/2017 and 20/12/2017 respectively, and they have been seen by the City Manager and the Executive Mayor," Trollip said.

“They will be referred to the MPAC at their meeting in February. The Council has briefed attorneys to prepare charges against officials and individuals implicated in wrongdoing."

Regarding the Bobani's removal, Trollip said that the Council resolution was implemented - "a vote of no confidence was passed by a majority".

'Frozen Deputy Mayor salary'

Despite the DA Coalition managing to abolish the Deputy Mayor position, Bobani claims he is still doing his Deputy Mayor duties because the matter of his dismissal is still going on through the courts.

He said that the Metro has since stopped paying his Deputy Mayor package, but he hopes the courts will prove that his dismissal was illegal and he can be reinstated.

“They ensured that they take away all my privileges after they decided that I will not be the Deputy Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay,” he said.

“But, I continue to assist the residents of the Metro, I am at work and I will continue to come to work and continue to assist the people of this Metro - this is not about the position or the salary.

“Once you become a councillor you must not think about money only, but for the residents that put you in that position. This is not our career; we are representing our constituencies, who voted for us to be here so that we can bring the best service delivery."

Trollip said that Cllr Bobani gets paid like any other Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality councillor - the only privileges that were taken away from him were of the Deputy Mayor’s position, which he no longer holds and which no longer exists in the Metro.

“What pending court case? Cllr Bobani and the UDM's interdict was rejected with cost by the court," he added.

"Cllr Bobani has denied any other court action? We are also not aware of any court action. He is an ordinary councillor and is not working as the Deputy Executive Mayor or from the Deputy Executive Mayor's office; therefore he receives ordinary councillor remuneration with no additional privileges.”

'Our people still want Trollip out'

At the last Council meeting of 2017, the UDM and the PA failed in their bids to have Trollip and Council Speaker, Jonathan Lawack removed.

Bobani said that they will continue trying to get the Mayor removed.

“We have heard the call of our residents, who want Trollip out as the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and as the UDM, we will ensure that we deliver," he said.

"We also want Trollip out because in the townships, residents are suffering, the situation is really bad."