ANC motion to oust mayor of Bitou fails

A bid by the ANC to oust Bitou mayor Peter Lobese failed yesterday when a motion of no confidence was defeated by vote in a council meeting.

The ANC brought the motion against Lobese, an AUF councillor whose party is in a coalition with the DA, saying there was a lack of service delivery and no leadership from the mayor.

A part of the motion’s motivation also included Lobese spending about R60 000 a month on a luxury SUV while waiting for an insurance payout, following an accident in Port Elizabeth.

He was also criticised for spending more than R100 000 on security at his house.

ANC sub-regional coordinator Putco Mapitiza said the action was as a result of a culmination of issues with Lobese’s leadership over the past year.

“We have asked questions in council meetings about these issues, but have only received wishy-washy replies,” Mapitiza said. Some of the issues would likely result in Bitou’s first qualified audit in several years.

Municipal manager Thabo Ndlovu refuted the claims, labelling the motion a political publicity stunt by the ANC.

“The allegations of exorbitant spending, of lack of service delivery and leadership are too vague and lack substantiation,” Ndlovu said.

“We deny all of them and reject them with contempt.

“These are nothing but a cheap publicity stance by the ANC, which remains bitter at losing power and control of Bitou.”

Bitou became a hung council following the local government elections in August last year.

The ANC and the DA secured six seats each in the council and the AUF received one.

The AUF and the ANC formed a coalition to govern Bitou, but seven months later Lobese said the party was ending the agreement after a series of issues.

The AUF and the DA then formed a coalition to govern.

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