Time up for Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Bobani?
With the next round of local government elections inching closer and political parties preparing themselves to try to capture the heart and soul of the country’s top municipalities, Bobani, who has faced motions of no confidence before, will see another attempt to remove him from office.
The UDM member stands accused of running the Eastern Cape metro into the ground and taking unilateral decisions without consulting the coalition partners who helped him clinch the executive mayor’s office.
When the metro council convenes for a special sitting, the motion of no confidence filed by the DA is expected to be at the top of the agenda.
“This motion is not about the DA regaining power. It is about saving the city from Bobani, so the first order of business is to replace him,” said the DA’s Athol Trollip.
EFF regional secretary Hector Peter said that the party’s caucus had the blessing of the EFF national leadership to help boot Bobani out.
“We are resolute that he must go. Our national leadership has told us to go ahead and we will remove him tomorrow (on Tuesday). What we are still discussing, and which we will finalise then, is who must be elected as the next mayor,” Peter said.
ANC regional co-ordinator Luyolo Nqakula has, meanwhile, given Bobani until Wednesday to retract allegations he levelled against him.
According to news reports, Bobani indicated how he had shunned requests by ANC and EFF leaders who had asked him to sign ‘dodgy deals’, and that he had also refused to aid Nqakula, who allegedly approached him asking for help to obtain a pauper burial contract.
But, in a letter sent to Bobani last week, Nqakula’s lawyers ordered him to pay R1-million for tarnishing his reputation with the allegations, or face a court action.
Bobani was elected to the top post last year following a motion of no confidence in Trollip, which was then backed by the ANC, EFF, UDM, Patriotic Alliance and the Eastern Cape United Front.
But the tables have since turned.
There are allegations that since he took over, Bobani has removed key officials from offices irregularly and has meddled in tender processes.
His home and mayoral offices were also raided by the Hawks earlier this year.
Of the 120 seats in council, the DA has 57, while the ANC and EFF have 50 and six respectively.
The UDM only has two seats, with the smaller parties having one seat each.
The mayor could not be reached for comment on Sunay.