Bongo Nombiba was sentenced to five years behind bars on Thursday Photo: ANA File

Port Elizabeth - Opposition councillors in Nelson Mandela Bay demanded that African National Congress (ANC) councillor Bongo Nombiba vacate chambers at a council meeting on Thursday, claiming that he was at a council meeting “illegally”. 

Last year, Nombiba, 43, was found guilty of fraud and money laundering and sentenced to an effective five years behind bars by the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court. 

Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed an application for leave to appeal Nombiba’s conviction and sentence. 

The Democratic Alliance’s Nqaba Bhanga said that Nombiba lost his appeal and therefore should not be part of council proceedings. 

The African Christian Democratic Party’s Lance Grootboom said Nombiba was in chambers “illegally”. 

These sentiments were echoed by Congress of the People's Siya Sijadu and the Patriotic Alliance’s Marlon Daniels. 

Council was adjourned so that acting City Manager Peter Nielsen could obtain legal advice. 

According to Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya, Nombiba has up until March 12 to decide if he wants to appeal the SCA decision. 

Mafaya said based on legal opinion Nombiba was allowed to sit in as a councillor during the meeting. 

However, opposition parties demanded “written proof” from the metro’s lawyers. 

The African News Agency (ANA) understands that Nombiba has the option to approach the Judge President of the SCA to reconsider the appeal. 

When approached for comment, Nombiba outright refused. He complained that the media were taking photographs without his permission. 

Meanwhile, the PA is expected to bring a motion of exigency against Executive Mayor Mongameli Bobani. 

An urgent motion was submitted by PA councillor Marlon Daniels with the help of the ACDP's Grootboom. 

Daniels said that Bobani could not be “trusted” in office and should be removed as the mayor as a matter of urgency. 

It will be the second attempt to remove Bobani after the DA's motion of no confidence in the incumbent mayor failed last year. 

African News Agency (ANA)