Bobani swore at me in parting shot - Trollip
Port Elizabeth – Ousted Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani allegedly swore at mayor Athol Trollip just before leaving the council chamber ahead of the vote of no confidence against him last week in what Trollip believes was a parting shot.
Bobani has since denied the allegation.
"Some of you might have seen councillor Bobani embracing me," Trollip said during a press conference on Monday to discuss the state of the Nelson Mandela Bay's coalition.
"It wasn’t an embrace of love. He put his arm around my neck and said, “I beat you, f**k you.
“He then got up and gave the victorious two hand salute then walked out with his counterparts in the ANC.
“That speaks volumes about the relationship I have had with my deputy mayor over the past eight months."
But, approached for comment, Bobani in turn accused Trollip of being a "liar".
"I never said those things. I went to him to extend an olive branch but he didn't want to shake my hand. It reminded me of the past when a white man would not shake a black man's hand."
Bobani’s actions counter coalition
At the press conference, Trollip said the vote of no confidence was the culmination of months of frustration in dealing with a deputy mayor who appeared to be adamant to bring the coalition in the metro to a standstill.
Trollip presented numerous documented cases of Bobani actively working against the coalition, which had then been escalated to the coalition partners and to UDM leader Bantu Holomisa.
“Between March and August this month, no steps have been taken against councillor Bobani [by the UDM].”
“I can make reference to all of these letters that were written to the co-governance agreement partners and to Holomisa, they are all on record,” he said.
“We have 61 councillors with the UDM, in coalition, which gives us an outright majority. The facts will show that in council, since January, we have not been able to use this majority and very important decisions have not been able to be made."
Trollip said that despite this, in the previous council meeting, Bobani voted against the coalition on five different issues.
“A coalition partner voting against the coalition is equivalent to treason," said Trollip.
Patriot Alliance secure Mayoral Committee Seat
Trollip confirmed that the Patriotic Alliance had officially been included as part of the coalition. He said he had informed his party principals on June 14 of the PA’s intention to join the collation.
He said James Selfe had then sent a formal notice to all coalition party members on June 17, with only the Freedom Front Plus responding.
“I would like to announce that the Patriotic Alliance is part of our co-governance agreement, they have signed the agreement and there has been no objections,” he said.
“Councillor [Marlon] Daniels will head up the mayoral portfolio for Public Health. There is a vacancy there which I have been overseeing."
Daniels was the councillor who tabled the motion of no confidence in Bobani. Bobani had also held the position of Public Health on the Mayoral Committee before being dismissed from the post by Trollip in March.
Trollip said while there had been threats from both Bobani and Holomisa that they would be seeking legal action against him and the municipality regarding the vote of no confidence and the subsequent dismissal of Bobani as deputy mayor, he was not aware of any proceedings being implemented.
“I haven’t heard a word from council’s legal representatives, or from any court or from any sheriffs,” he said.
Trollip said he had engaged with Holomisa over the weekend and had told him that, if he felt there had been impropriety in the proceedings, then he should go to court.
Holomisa issued an ultimatum last week, giving the DA until Monday to reinstate Bobani as deputy mayor, with threats it would pull out of the coalition agreement if Bobani was not reinstated.
On Friday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane rejected the UDM’s ultimatum.
Asked about the pending court case, Bobani said he was not prepared to comment.
"I can confirm the court case is going to take place but we cannot reveal anything yet. Trollip must prepare. We will see him in court."
In terms of the appointment of Daniels to the public health portfolio he had previously occupied, Bobani would say only, "Good luck to him."