DA in bid to unseat Bay mayor Bobani
Hawks’ explosive affidavit reveals details of money paid into his account
The DA is planning to table a motion to oust Nelson Mandela Bay metro mayor Mongameli Bobani through a no-confidence vote, barely two months since he took over the reins from Athol Trollip.
The party said it would lobby other parties to support its bid, saying Bobani could not continue as mayor of the city with the serious allegations of corruption hanging over his head.
The Herald revealed on Monday that an explosive affidavit by a Hawks investigator details how about R646,000 had been paid into Bobani’s account between April 2014 and May 2015.
The money was paid by a company that is accused of siphoning funds meant for the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS), Heerkos Projects, owned by Port Elizabeth businessman Fareed Fakir.
In his affidavit, which forms part of a search-and-seizure warrant served on Bobani, Hawks investigator Captain Henk Fourie alleges there is an “evident corrupt relationship” between Bobani and Fakir.
DA Eastern Cape leader and Bay councillor Nqaba Bhanga said they would lobby some of the political parties, even at a national level, in a bid to remove Bobani from office.
“The report in The Herald about the investigation by the Hawks is nothing new to us. This is the basis on which we had differences with Bobani. We knew that he has to account on these actions.
“There are still many other issues that will follow about Bobani and we have raised them but no one wanted to listen to us including [UDM president Bantu] Holomisa.
“I hope this will make Holomisa open his ears and act against Bobani.
“The UDM needs to save the residents of the city from the hands of Bobani breaking down the financial stability of the city,” Bhanga said.
He claimed the ANC would continue to support Bobani because it did not want the investigations into the squandering of IPTS funds to be exposed.
“We are well aware that there are reports they are trying to sweep under the carpet because they don’t want to act on them.
“I will be submitting a motion of no confidence.
“We are preparing it as we speak,” Bhanga said.
He said he would try to start a “conversation” with Holomisa in a bid to speak to his conscience, saying Bobani could not serve the city with the allegations hanging over his head.
Attempts to reach Holomisa for comment were unsuccessful as all calls went straight to voicemail.
Holomisa posted a letter on his Facebook page on Monday that he wrote to the Hawks, saying he believed Bobani was being tried in the media.
“I believe that the documents in possession of the Hawks was deliberately shared with The Herald for publication and to advance the objectives of certain political parties to the prejudice of mayor Bobani, who has the constitutional right, as a suspect, to be regarded innocent until being found guilty by a court of law.
“I will deal with the irregular publication by The Herald,” Holomisa wrote.
Bhanga urged the Hawks to act swiftly so that Bobani could have his day in court.
Asked if a motion was feasible with the DA in the Bay battling its own internal problems as councillors turned against their party, Bhanga was adamant that it was possible.
Three of its councillors recently turned against the party, leaving the DA with the support of only 54 of its councillors in a council of 120.
Even with the support of ACDP and COPE, who have one seat each, the party would still not be able to pass a no-confidence motion against Bobani unless at least five councillors from the other parties – ANC, EFF, UDM, AIC, United Front and Patriotic Alliance – supported the motion.
Bhanga said they would engage smaller parties such as the AIC and the EFF.
“This isn’t about personalities. This is about the interests of the people of the city.
“The state of our finances hangs in the balance.
“We have not stopped to engage the opposition parties.
“This misunderstanding with Holomisa can be resolved.”