United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa wants to know why ousted Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani’s founding affidavit had gone “missing” at the Port Elizabeth High Court.
Holomisa was reacting after the court ordered that the UDM application to have Bobani reinstated as deputy mayor be struck from the roll on the basis that it is not urgent. The UDM was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.
The application will now have to be refiled and is expected to be brought before court at a later date, but not on an urgent basis.
The application, which lists 132 respondents, including 119 councillors of the municipality, the speaker, the city manager, and each political party, was heard by Judge Dayalin Chetty, in a packed motion court room on Tuesday morning.
UDM supporters and a large number of African National Congress (ANC) members also attended proceedings on Tuesday, rallying behind Bobani.
“In the meantime, the UDM will approach the Chief Justice with a request to investigate why the UDM’s founding affidavit had gone missing from Judge Chetty’s file,” said party leader Holomisa.
“What must we read into this? The fact that the document seemingly disappeared into thin air must be investigated,” Holomisa said in a statement.
Earlier, during court proceedings, Judge Chetty raised concerns as to why Bobani’s founding affidavit had only been placed in front of him shortly before 9am on Tuesday morning.
“Even though it was signed on the 31st of August, it was only filed in this court on the 14th of September …any explanation for that?” he asked.
Chetty said that “something happened between the 31st of August and the 14th of September..let me put it to you properly, nothing happened,” he said.
The UDM had launched a civil application in the high court to interdict and restrain the municipality from implementing the August 24 decision to remove Bobani.
The motion of no confidence was brought by the Patriotic Alliance’s Marlon Daniels and was supported by the Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People (Cope) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).
Opposition parties including the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) walked out of council chambers while the motion of no confidence was in progress.
The UDM wants Bobani reinstated as deputy mayor, saying that the vote, which removed him from office, was unconstitutional and unlawful.