'ANC united against us, but we beat them' - Holomisa after new Nelson Mandela Bay mayor elected

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United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu)
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu)
  • UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says the Nelson Mandela Bay coalition government is more stable than ever.
  • On Thursday, the DA's Nqaba Bhanga beat the EFF's Amandlangawethu Madaka to win the mayoral chain.
  • Earlier this month, the Nelson Mandela Bay council was ordered by the court to convene a special council meeting to elect a new mayor. 

UDM leader General Bantu Holomisa said Nqaba Bhanga's re-election as mayor was a demonstration of the stability of the coalition government. 

Holomisa was speaking to News24 a day after Bhanga beat the EFF's Amandlangawethu Madaka by 62 votes to 57 during a two horse-race for the hot seat.

The DA is in a coalition with the UDM, COPE, the UF and AIC. 

"As I said before, this was an academic exercise, other fellows have no numbers, government is about numbers, the coalition is more stable with no loose ends. We have been tested twice already and we have proven to be up to the task.

"The ANC was stronger before because of the UDM. Their downfall was infighting because their Calata House head office would say this, but the MEC would say another thing while that boy who recently got out of prison, [Andile] Lungisa, would contradict them. But looking at yesterday's results, it seems that they're united against us. Maybe they got some scolding from national leadership," said Holomisa.

There was one spoilt ballot, no abstinence and one vacancy. 

READ HERE | Nqaba Bhanga elected mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro - again 

The vacancy followed the death of ANC chief whip Bicks Ndoni on 20 January last year.

ANC veteran Ncediso Captain acted as chief whip, but he died on 22 December leaving the position vacant again.

Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance MEC Xolile Nqatha - who took Bhanga to court after his first election to the post - congratulated the DA provincial leader on Friday.

"I wish to congratulate Mr Nqaba Bhanga for his election and wishing him all the best in his lawful election as political head of the institution. I am of the firm view that good governance cannot be secured based on [a] power grab, but only through a democratic and due process which can help build foundations for stability in the interest of the people of the metro. I look forward in working with the metro leadership in strengthening cooperative governance," said the MEC.

Nqatha also congratulated the council for having complied with the court order to convene a council meeting to elect an executive mayor.  

Madaka was nominated by the Patriotic Alliance's Marlon Daniels and ANC councillor Wandisile Jikeka.

Confirming the nomination, Daniels told the council on Thursday that he chose Madaka because his party "has looked at the different options, and have realised that councillor Madaka from the EFF represents a party that has the interests of the historically disadvantaged communities at heart".

"There are very few parties with those values and on that basis, we have taken a decision at our national executive committee that we will sponsor the name of councillor Madaka of the EFF to be in the race for executive mayor of the NMB," said Daniels.

SEE | 13 more cash-strapped Eastern Cape municipalities - and the biggest culprits owing Eskom money

Bhanga was nominated by COPE's lone councillor Siyasanga Sijadu and seconded by ACDP representative Lance Grootboom.

The elections came after speaker of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Buyelwa Mafaya was ordered to convene a council meeting within seven days to elect the new executive mayor.

This was after the court declared Bhanga's 4 December election as mayor as being inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid.

The court also declared the election of acting speaker that day as inconsistent with the Constitution and also invalid.

It was Daniels who acted as speaker that day after Mafaya was forcibly removed by unknown men from the presiding chair and thrown out of the council chambers.

Bhanga was elected as mayor during that council meeting.

A few days later, Nqatha approached the court, challenging the lawfulness of the elections, but reached a settlement out of court for new elections which were held on Thursday.

Bhanga's party welcomed his re-election.

DA Eastern Cape chairman Andrew Whitfield said: "The confirmation of councillor Bhanga was never in doubt, as the DA and its coalition partners have a strong coalition based on a shared goal of taking Nelson Mandela Bay forward again. We are committed to delivering services to residents who have suffered for two years under an uncaring ANC government."

Lungisa could not be reached for comment.


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