Rein in ANC cadres, Holomisa urges after Bobani exit
Johannesburg - UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has called on the ANC to rein in its members in Nelson Mandela Bay following a decision to boot out controversial mayor Mongameli Bobani last month.
Bobani, one of the only two UDM councillors in the 120-seat NMB council, was pushed out of power in December through a motion of no confidence backed by the DA and the ANC - the biggest political parties in terms of seats, at 57 and 50 respectively.
Holomisa, who recently met ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy, Jessie Duarte, said his party was satisfied that the ANC’s national leadership - which is in charge of deciding on the formation of coalition governments - did not give its blessing for Bobani’s removal.
“This was a fight among them at a local level, and it was about tenders,” Holomisa said. “They wanted Bobani to give their people tenders, and he refused. We told the national leadership it should discuss with the province and the ANC there in NMB to decide if they still wanted to work with us.”
Bobani was accused of undermining coalition agreements by making unilateral decisions, irregular appointments and interfering with the supply chain management of the municipality.
Holomisa’s lament at the ANC’s lower structure comes as the UDM and other parties are in consultation over the future of the embattled metro, now under interim leadership of the AIC’s only councillor, Tshonono Buyeye.
Holomisa said the ANC would have to make a written undertaking with the UDM to avoid bullying. He said he was puzzled why the ANC and the DA did not join forces and form a municipality as the biggest parties, instead of begging smaller parties.
“They (ANC and DA) worked together to remove Bobani, so I don’t understand why they do not use their numbers to run the municipality. It appears they want to use the smaller parties because they can bully them.”
In the 2016 local government elections, the DA’s coalition government under Athol Trollip included the UDM, with Bobani being fielded as deputy mayor, before he was fired and accused of corruption.
Holomisa said the DA had so far failed to produce any evidence of Bobani’s alleged corrupt activities.
“When they told us he was corrupt, we told them to investigate him and bring us the report. They have not given it to us. They must apologise if they accused him of corruption without any evidence,” he said.
Holomisa said he discussed who had to lead the metro specifically with ANC officials, but the UDM would continue to engage other parties to attempt to find a lasting solution to the NMB problem.