Bay mayor 'old but here to stay'

NELSON Mandela Bay mayor Ben Fihla came out guns blazing yesterday saying he had not resigned, was not planning on quitting or retiring and although he is old, he is as energetic as he was when he “fought against the forces” of apartheid more than two decades ago.

Breaking his silence since speculation that he would quit began last week, Fihla, 82, told a full council meeting yesterday (May, 23)   he was young at heart and no one would stand in his way.

“Speaker of council, Oom Ben is here to stay. Nobody will stand in my way. I derive my mandate from the ruling party and nobody else. Just for the sake of clarity for all of us and the media, I have not resigned, I’m not resigning, I will not resign nor retire my mandate.

“My mandate remains clear and I still have to accomplish that. I might be old and referred to as Oom Ben, but I am young at heart, intelligent and energetic as I was when I fought against the forces of apartheid,” Fihla said to loud applause and a standing ovation from all councillors and officials.

Last week DA caucus leader Retief Odendaal sent out two media statements claiming to have heard from ANC members   Fihla had resigned. - Mkhululi Ndamase

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