Municipality being run like someone’s farm, deputy mayor complains
Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani attacked mayor Athol Trollip’s leadership style yesterday, saying the municipality was being run like someone’s farm.
This comes after the laptops of three public health officials were confiscated at their homes late on Friday by the city’s metro police and internal audit division. Trollip said on Saturday the municipality had identified a number of allegedly irregular payments and invoices.
“This is particularly in the public health directorate,” he said.
This also resulted in the suspension of a municipal employee late last week, which prompted city manager Johann Mettler to retrieve the municipal laptops, Trollip said.
“The new government in Nelson Mandela Bay has already committed to stopping corruption and fraud,” he said.
“All municipal officials, elected representatives and contracted service providers found guilty of fraudulent or corrupt activities will be internally charged and prosecuted.”
He said any corruption identified would also be reported to the police.
“We are now moving into a new phase of investigations into serious allegations of corruption in various directorates,” Trollip said.
It is believed the laptops contain information about payments irregularly made to companies.
The laptops were taken from public health officials Joram Mkosana, Nkosinathi Dolo and Thabo Williams.
All three declined to comment.
Dolo was served with a suspension letter on Friday.
But the suspension and confiscation of the laptops prompted Bobani to send out a statement yesterday, saying he was disgusted by “apartheid-style” operations in the municipality.
Bobani has political oversight of the public health directorate and said no one had been suspended.
“I have also noticed a calculated [plan] to tarnish my name and paint a picture that I am not up to the task [of] deputy mayor,” he said. The leaking of internal recordings of confidential municipal processes proved his point, Bobani said.
The Herald reported earlier this month on a meeting where Bobani threatened to sort out mayoral committee member Dean Biddulph.
“I have also noticed the continued harassment of black officials within the municipality. It is one of the serious issues that I will fight against.”
Bobani said he was not in the coalition government to be a “disrespected wife” who is never consulted.
“The disrespect ends now, the bullying ends now and running this municipality like someone’s farm ends now. I have been quiet for far too long,” Bobani said.
He criticised mayoral chief of staff Kristoff Adelbert for releasing the statement on Saturday.
Adelbert said: “I fully support the mayor’s ongoing efforts to stop corruption.”