Trollip attempts to calm Bobani storm

Mayor Athol Trollip, left, and deputy Mongameli Bobani File picture: Eugene Coetzee
Mayor Athol Trollip, left, and deputy Mongameli Bobani
File picture: Eugene Coetzee

Deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani has apologised for his behaviour during a heated human resources meeting, according to Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip.

However, Bobani has refused to confirm this.

Trollip released a statement yesterday following a report in the Sunday Times on how a meeting over the appointment of a director of public health had become heated.

But asked to comment yesterday, Bobani said: “The alleged apology is a statement I have not seen or had an opportunity to discuss with the mayor before it was issued.”

He said he needed to establish the facts, context and authenticity of Trollip’s statement before commenting further.

In a leaked recording of the meeting, Bobani can be heard advocating for the appointment of his strategic adviser, Nombeko Nkomane, as the new director of public health. His clash is with city manager Johann Mettler and director of corporate affairs Vuyo Zitumane.

Bobani insists in the meeting that Nkomane is the most qualified candidate for the post.

“The advert is clear, preference will be given to females, African,” he is heard saying.

“So now why do we need the males when the female Africans are there?”

After Mettler says that Bobani has no sway in the matter, Bobani shouts: “I’ve got the power.”

He says Nkomane is more competent than both Mettler and Zitumane.

When Zitumane threatens to deal with Bobani, the exchange gets more heated.

“You must not act as if you’re the boss here! You are not my boss, I’m your boss! I’m the deputy executive mayor, I’ve been voted here,” Bobani yells. “Who the hell are you to tell me I’m not your boss . . . I’m your boss!”

Trollip said in the statement it was concerning that a recording of a confidential human resources meeting had been leaked to the media.

“The deputy executive mayor apologised for his actions at the . . . meeting, certain agreements were reached and commitments made, bringing the matter to a close,” Trollip said.

Trollip and Bobani were summoned to Cape Town last week by DA leader Mmusi Maimane and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa.

Trollip said it was likely there would be other occasions when the national leadership would be required to participate in meetings.

“This is an important part of coalition governance and often provides an important perspective on the prioritisation of key issues.”

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