UDM leader Bantu Holomisa
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip says that United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa, has no legal case against the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the case of ousted former deputy mayor, Mongameli Bobani.
“All we had to do was a vote of no confidence, which we did. All the parties participated – ANC [African National Congress], EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters], AIC [African Independent Congress]…there was a quorum, so I don’t know what Holomisa is going to challenge in court if there was a quorum,” said Trollip.
This in response to a question from a journalist on UDM leader Bantu Holomisa’s intention to initiate legal action against the DA for removing Bobani as deputy mayor after a vote of no confidence at a council meeting. The question was posed at a briefing on Tuesday on the DA’s plan for jobs in the DA-run metros, in Johannesburg.
Trollip said Bobani was removed on August 24 because he did not act like a coalition partner and constantly voted against decisions made by the coalition along with EFF and ANC members over the past eight months. He said that Bobani had caused instability as a councillor and that his behaviour was "untenable".
He said that Holomisa was aware of complaints against this behaviour as he had been informed on more than one occasion that if he didn’t act against Bobani for voting with the opposition, the DA would.
Holomisa says that Bobani did not breach any co-governance agreement. On allegations of impropriety, fraud and corruption labelled against Bobani, Trollip said Bobani was immediately removed.
Cronyism and corruption
“We didn’t have to wait for a council’s vote of no confidence [for that]. I appointed him as mayoral committee member for public health. I removed him from that portfolio because of the allegations of impropriety and corruption,” he said.
The DA said that they would not stand for cronyism and corruption allegedly under Bobani.
Holomisa said on Saturday that by going to court, the DA would be forced to produce evidence of Bobani’s alleged corruption.
Holomisa said last week he would pull the UDM out of their coalition with the DA unless Bobani was reinstated by Monday, August 28. DA leader Mmusi Maimane has since rejected the ultimatum.
Trollip said that the threat was ignored largely due to the fact that the UDM had in effect extracted themselves from the coalition as early as January. He said that the DA had offered the UDM the opportunity to present a different leader who was more cooperative.