Mayor with nine lives: Bobani survives another motion of no confidence

Mongameli Bobani. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)
Mongameli Bobani. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

Nelson Mandela Bay's executive mayor, Mongameli Bobani, has survived yet another attempt to remove him from office.

The nine-hour meeting to decide Bobani's fate was characterised by drama and frustration.

After lengthy exchanges and several walkouts, the speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, finally reached the end of her tether and simply walked out of the council, which ultimately led to the meeting collapsing.

After all had been said and done, Bobani remained in his position after several attempts to remove him.

Earlier, the EFF marched out of the council chambers following a dispute with Mafaya on the order of the meeting's agenda items, where a scheduled motion of no confidence in Bobani was due to be held.

The ANC also indicated during the day it was pulling out of the petition calling for his removal. This meant that three parties had back-tracked on the petition to remove him - the AIC, ANC and EFF.

Monday's council sitting was dominated by arguments over whether the motion against Bobani should be heard first on the agenda item, or later on.

The ANC announced it was officially pulling out of the petition based on a letter submitted by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to Mafaya's office.

ANC chief whip Bicks Ndoni said the letter, penned by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha, stated that city manager Nobuntu Mgogoshe does not possess the competencies and expertise to act in the position she was appointed to.

It wanted the matter of Mgogoshe's appointment to be debated first, as all council sittings should be held under the guidance of a city manager. In the absence of a city manager, an acting person should be present.

Mafaya adjourned the meeting in order to hold a discussion with party whips.

"I have decided to seek legal advice, to reach a conclusion on the matter," Mafaya said after the adjournment, and proposed that the council move on to other agenda items in the interim, such as the appointment of executive directors.

The six EFF councillors then left the council chambers, wanting the motion against Bobani to be held first.

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