Johannesburg - The United Democratic Movement (UDM) on Wednesday demanded an apology from the Democratic Alliance (DA) for misleading the public over the firing of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani.
Bobani was ousted in August as deputy mayor in a vote that was passed while opposition parties were leaving the council chambers.
The UDM then lodged an urgent application in the Port Elizabeth High Court to have the motion of no confidence vote in Bobani set aside.
In a letter to DA leader Mmusi Maimane, UDM president Bantu Holomisa accused the DA of masterminding a “dubious” campaign to have Bobani removed from office under false pretences.
This was allegedly done using a “draft report” that had been compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
“You had relied on the embargoed PwC “draft report”, which we certainly would not have seen had we not demanded a copy at a meeting of coalition partners on 22 August 2017 - only two days ahead of the DA bulldozing a questionable motion of no-confidence in Bobani through council.”
"The DA based its whole concerted campaign to get rid of Cllr Bobani, and besmirching the good name of the UDM, on a document in which PwC had not expressed an opinion and it had been clear that the document was preliminary."
Holomisa questioned why the coalition partners and the NMB council were kept in the dark about the report and why it was solely in the hands of the DA.
He then questioned whether the decision to keep the report secret was done to mount an attack on the UDM.
The UDM leader also refuted claims that Bobani had voted with the African National Congress (ANC) in council, saying that to differ with the DA was not tantamount to voting with the ANC.
"[ I draw] your attention to our Co-Governance Agreement, where it is clearly stated that, should the coalition partners not agree on an agenda item, that item should be withdrawn for further discussion.
"Yet, your executive mayor Athol Trollip did not honour this arrangement and forced items onto the council agenda, thus painting the other coalition partners into a corner, where the only option was to not vote in favour of an item we could not support."
The UDM leader accused the party of misleading the public on Bobani's removal and called on Maimane to withdraw the "unsubstantiated" accusations against the UDM leadership and apologise.
"Prove to the nation that you are better than the manipulative, destructive liars within the ANC who you purport to oppose," he challenged the DA.