UDM leader Bantu Holomisa
Port Elizabeth - The drama over Nelson Mandela Bay’s axed deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani has intensified, with the DA launching a broadside that the maverick UDM councillor couldn’t hold the coalition to ransom.

UDM leader General Bantu Holomisa has approached the courts to seek legal remedy following the DA’s failure to reverse Bobani’s axing on Monday.

He was fired from his influential position during a chaotic council meeting in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, following corruption allegations and that he had undermined the DA-led coalition by voting with the ANC on numerous occasions.

Holomisa made a U-turn on his threats to pull out “of that nonsense” coalition if Bobani was not reinstated. Instead, he approached the courts to review the decision, saying all councillors would be cited in their legal papers to hold them responsible for costs.

On Tuesday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they had not been served with any court papers. “We will wait to see what happens in that regard,” he said, addressing journalists accompanied by mayors of the DA-led metros in Joburg.

Maimane said they were working well with their coalition partners. “This one individual (Bobani) can’t hold (the coalition) to ransom. We’ve got services to deliver to the people,” he said.

Nelson Mandela Bay executive mayor Athol Trollip, who has been bumping heads with Bobani, said: “We tried for eight months to deal with the chaotic instability created by Bobani and his actions by voting with the ANC and in some instances with the EFF.” He said they had informed Holomisa “in countless letters” about Bobani’s “untenable behaviour”.

Holomisa told The Star the UDM was committed to the coalition, but criticised the “illegal” decision to remove Bobani, saying municipal procedures and regulations had been flouted.

But Trollip stuck to his guns, saying: “There was a quorum I don’t know what Mr Holomisa is going to challenge in court. When opposition parties saw they were going to lose, they walked out (of the council chambers).”

Bobani’s municipal car has been taken back and his salary stopped. He threatened to pitch up at work on Monday, but his legal counsel advised him not to do so.

The DA mayors were briefing the media on the economic crisis and their strategies for growth and to create jobs.

Political Bureau