Bobani, Mpongwana turn to court to be reinstated

PACKING UP: Former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani leaves the council chamber after he was removed through a motion of no confidence on Thursday last week
PACKING UP: Former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani leaves the council chamber after he was removed through a motion of no confidence on Thursday last week
Image: WERNER HILLS

Former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani, unseated at a council meeting last week, together with axed acting city boss Nobuntu Mpongwana, will approach the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday morning.

Both argue in court papers that they want to have the decision to remove them from their respective positions set aside.

It is unclear why Mpongwana argues she was removed by the council, as she had stepped down from the position while the council meeting was under way.

Last Thursday, Mpongwana wrote a letter addressed to the “executive mayor” in which she said she was stepping down in the interest of the council.

IN WRITING: Nobuntu Mpongwana resigns as acting city manager of Nelson Mandela Bay with immediate effect on December 5
IN WRITING: Nobuntu Mpongwana resigns as acting city manager of Nelson Mandela Bay with immediate effect on December 5
Image: SUPPLIED

“When I was approached to act as city manager, I willingly accepted the challenge, knowing it was going to be a daunting task.

“I accepted the acting position in good faith, knowing I was to do so and knowing that few persons were willing to act in the position, given the current political climate.

“However, since it is clear that the council clearly has issues with me acting as city manager, I feel it prudent to do the honourable thing.

“I hereby step down as acting city manager in order for council to appoint someone they feel comfortable with,” Mpongwana wrote.

However, in papers served via the sheriff on 17 respondents on Monday, Bobani claims Section 58 of the Municipal Structures Act requires that he be given 10 days’ notice of an intention to vote him out.

This was never done, according to him.

Bobani and Mpongwana are now seeking an order for their immediate reinstatement pending the outcome of a review or recision application, or an application to set aside the decision taken at council on Thursday last week.

If the court wishes, Bobani says, acting mayor Thsonono Buyeye can be reinstated in his former position of deputy mayor.

The matter is due to be argued in front of acting judge Lisa Ntsepe at 11.30am.


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