The African National Congress (ANC) in Nelson Mandela Bay has rejected the appointment of former mayor Mongameli Bobani as the member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for infrastructure and engineering.
News24 understands the ANC caucus only found out about the appointment through media reports.
In a statement, ANC regional task team coordinator Luyolo Nqakula said the party would never support any decisions taken by the black caucus not borne out of engagement and consultation.
"Especially in a position which was occupied by the ANC as an organisation, and as such the ANC views the action of the black caucus as undermining to the ANC as an organisation. The ANC will interact with this development comprehensively and pronounce itself to that effect."
This came after News24 reported that Bobani had signed his letter of appointment on Monday.
"There is no time to be excited because it's a huge department that is having a lot of challenges. I'm looking at problems of certain areas in the metro, where residents were getting problems of water in areas like KwaNobuhle, some parts of the township didn't have water," he said.
Bobani now handles one of the most strategic portfolios in the metro, replacing the ANC's Andile Lungisa, who resigned on Sunday. Bobani said the water crisis will be his main focus.
Lungisa resigned after the ANC's provincial executive charged him with placing the party into disrepute. Lungisa was convicted as aggravated assault after he broke a glass jar on the head of a Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor a few years ago.
He told News24 he resigned after speaking to party secretary-general Ace Magashule.
"We wish to state clearly that we outrightly reject this appointment," Nqakula said of Bobani.
Bobani was removed from his position as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay in December 2019 after relations with the ANC and smaller parties in the coalition soured.
The DA, in particular, had accused the former mayor of corruption in a fractious exchange with then-mayor Athol Trollip.
Bobani was first elected deputy mayor during the DA-led coalition under Trollip.
His name started floating in ANC circles in the metro when Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma called for an investigation into why the metro had been without a mayor since his removal.
Some within the ANC wanted to revive him as the mayor because the DA was gaining ground, calling for fresh elections.