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Motion to remove Bobani as Nelson Mandela Bay mayor fails

Photo: DA mayor Athol Trollip and Deputy Mayor Mongameli Bobani. Picture: Eugene Coetzee / PE Herald

After more than 12 hours of hurled insults, threats, scuffles and near assaults, a motion of no confidence against Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani has failed in the city council.

The council – minus the DA caucus – rejected the tabling of the motion as soon as it had been announced, just moments before midnight on Thursday night. It was, therefore, not voted on.

The DA had walked out earlier in the sitting.

The motion, a second attempt to remove Bobani since he took office in 2016 following the ousting of Athol Trollip, was brought by the Patriotic Alliance’s Marlon Daniels.

It was the second time that Bobani had been challenged by Daniels; the first instance was during his tenure as deputy mayor and a partner in the Democratic Alliance-led coalition.

Speaking to News24 before the motion was proposed in council, Daniels said Bobani had to go because he was stifling minority parties.

“When we were preparing for the takeover of the metro from the DA, the plan was to have minority parties taking centre stage in leading this municipality.”

He said he wasn’t the only one unhappy about the way things have transpired, since the new coalition took the responsibility of leading the metro.

“I warned him on the 4th of December last year, that if he allows the SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises) to be at the back end of the R21m contract, there would be serious problems,” he said of a City contract.

“A few nights ago, I sat with 46 SMMEs who had been marginalised. They were not paid,” he said.

“I am here now, as I promised that I will take him to task on the matter.”

‘Not even worth my time and consideration’

Daniels said two other minority councillors, and fellow kingmakers in the council – Thsonono Buyeye of the African Independent Congress and the United Front’s Mkhuseli Mtsila – had approached him to ask him to reconsider joining the coalition.

“They said they are not happy with being sidelined; they want recognition as per the agreement during the process leading to the formation of the coalition.”

He said he had engaged them and understood their frustration.

When News24 spoke to Buyeye earlier, he said he would never support the motion.

“It will not stand, it has no prospects of success,” he insisted.

“That motion is not even worth my time and consideration.”

Mtsila said he could never have supported the motion.

In his response to Daniels’ version of events, Mtsila labelled him a shameless liar.

Mtsila claimed Daniels had wanted to negotiate a job in the new coalition in the human settlements department.

“The nature of coalition governance is enhancing the number of partners in it, this is why we would have pleaded in his favour with the rest of the coalition,” said Mtsila.

“When we engaged him, we explained to him that the current coalition has a unique way of working together, unlike the coalition we ousted, which he was briefly part of,” Mtsila said.

‘Egocentric, shameless liar’

He said they did this because they wanted to show him that things wouldn’t be as easy as Daniels thought it would be.

“He is an egocentric, shameless liar who thinks the world started with him when he was born in the late 60s.”

He accused Daniels of being “immoral” and said he couldn’t be trusted with the facts of private conversations.

Daniels said he wouldn’t give up. “I already submitted on the 26th of February, my second motion of exigency, as I submitted my motion for today.

“So next month, I will still come back and table another one,” he said.

“I’m building up for after the elections in May.”

Daniels said he had known that the EFF would not support him in this motion.

“But I know they will support me in chucking Bobani out, after the upcoming elections.

“This is just a temporary arrangement, I will make sure that Bobani goes,” he said.

Ahead of the vote, Bobani said that he was neither shaken nor worried about the looming attempt to remove him, reported News24.

In 2017, the PA officially withdrew from the NMB coalition after they failed to put forward Daniels as the preferred candidate to take over the position of deputy mayor. DM

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