New Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani. PHOTO: Raahil Sain/ANA

Port Elizabeth - The Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) on Tuesday raided the house and office of Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Mongameli Bobani. 

Bobani's lawyer, Danie Gouws said that Bobani's wife's laptop was seized at their home in Kwamagxaki. Gouws said he believed there was a political ploy against the mayor. 

"I mean how many times can a person be searched? 

"You must remember it's elections. You have Athol Trollip opening cases and making speeches at the Humewood Police Station. I think in the run up to May 8 more cases will be opened," said Gouws. 

Gouws, who was at the raid, said Bobani cooperated fully with officials. He said that there was an issue with the warrant regarding the "admissibility of the search."

Bobani said he would not be commenting on the raid, adding that he was not a suspect. 

He said his main focus was the residents of the metro, elections and campaigning for his party the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

Earlier in March, the DA's Athol Trollip laid charges of corruption against Bobani at the Humewood Police Station. Trollip claimed that Bobani had been implicated in alleged fraud and corruption within the IPTS bus system and had benefitted from public funds. 

In October last year, the Hawks raided PE City Hall with a search warrant and seized documents and computers from the municipality. It is alleged that the Hawks were investigating the municipality's Integrated Public Transport System. 

At the time Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the investigation related to fraud, corruption and money laundering. 

In 2013, Bobani applied to the Port Elizabeth High Court for the suspension of then city manager Dr. Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela, accusing her of being unqualified for the job. The court dismissed the application and Bobani was ordered to pay costs. 

Msengana-Ndlela, who was headhunted for the post, came with academic and extensive managerial experience both in provincial and national government. At the time she wanted to cancel a dubious contract, which had to do with the introduction of public transportation. 

According to The Herald, Port Elizabeth attorney David Le Roux detailed in a statement how Nadia Gerwel, a former assistant director in Nelson Mandela Bay metro’s finance department, had asked the lawyer to facilitate a payment from IPTS coffers to finance Bobani’s legal fees. 

African News Agency/ANA