Embattled Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani. Picture: Raahil Sain/African News Agency (ANA) File

Port Elizabeth - Controversial Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani has warned the Eastern Cape government against its plans to place the metro under administration over its heightened political and governance instability.

On Monday, during a special council meeting, attempts to remove Bobani by councillors from various opposition parties, including the DA, failed once again, as the ANC and EFF refused to back the ousting of the UDM mayor.

Bobani, accused of running the Eastern Cape metro into the ground since taking over from the DA’s Athol Trollip after he was removed last year, is facing another uphill battle as the provincial government is also planning to dissolve the council over the governance crisis in the region.

Other allegations levelled against Bobani include the alleged irregular removal of key officials from council, and his meddling in tender processes.

MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Xolile Nqatha last week sent Bobani a letter regarding his intention to place the municipality under administration after Bobani’s refusal to co-operate on proposed governance reforms.

On Monday, Cogta spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam said Bobani was yet to respond to the correspondence.

“The MEC is still awaiting his response. The final decision will depend on his response, because our priority is the political and governance stability of that metro,” Ngam said.

Bobani said attempts to have the municipality placed under administration were baseless, and added that they would not be successful.

“We have complied with everything that is required. We have a functional council that has audit and oversight committees. We have a council that has passed the budget and (one) where all the departments work,” he said.

Nelson Mandela Bay is the Eastern Cape’s biggest metro, and its protracted instability has placed the provincial government under pressure to intervene, despite Bobani enjoying ample support from the ANC members in the municipality’s council.

Bobani said he was serving the mandate of communities. “We have a council that has approved the IDP (integrated development plan), meaning that we are doing exactly what our communities want. We are united as the black caucus,” Bobani said.

A petition by councillors to have Bobani removed was thrown out after the ANC councillors withdrew their signatures at the meeting.

Legal opinion sought by council speaker Buyelwa Mafaya - who controversially postponed last month’s no confidence motion against Bobani - advised that the petition was “incompetent”.

Bobani said the countless motions of no confidence against him were doomed to fail until the 2021 local elections. “Nothing will change.”

Political Bureau