UDM awaits outcome of Bobani probe
The UDM would only act against Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani if the NPA showed there was prima facie evidence against him.
This is according to UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who tweeted a letter from Bobani’s lawyer, Danie Gouws, on Sunday.
An affidavit from Hawks investigator Captain Henk Fourie, which formed part of a search-and-seizure warrant served on Bobani, makes allegations that he received money from a company linked to the beleaguered IPTS bus system.
But Holomisa and Gouws emphasised on Sunday that Bobani did not receive the money in his personal bank account.
On Sunday, the UDM – through Gouws's letter – acknowledged for the first time the existence of the Hawks affidavit since The Herald broke the story a week ago.
But in his letter to Holomisa, Gouws said these were mere allegations that were “baseless, unfounded and untested”.
“It is of utmost importance to bring to your attention that the search-and-seizure warrant contains allegations of the honourable mayor receiving monies from a certain company,” Gouws stated.
“It is our specific instructions from our client that no funds were paid into his personal bank account at any stage from this company.
“Our offices had insight into Mr Bobani’s personal bank accounts and nothing untoward was noticed in this regard.
“Our offices also contacted the senior prosecutor in the matter, who confirmed that Mr Bobani is not a suspect at this stage of the investigation.”
Gouws said Bobani’s personal bank statements would on Monday be handed over for forensic analysis by a chartered accountant.
In October, about six members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation‚ the Hawks‚ pitched up unannounced at City Hall, seizing computers and documents.
In the affidavit, Fourie also alleged a “corrupt relationship” existed between Bobani and businessman Fareed Fakir, whose companies benefited from multimillion-rand municipal contracts, most of which did not go through the proper tender processes.
Gouws also represents Fakir.
According to the affidavit, one of Fakir’s companies, Heerkos Projects, allegedly paid Bobani R664,000 between April 2014 and May 2015.
Holomisa tweeted that “the party shall henceforth be guided by the outcome of the Hawks’ investigation into the IPTS. The UDM will only act if the NPA finds prima facie evidence of corruption involving Mr Bobani”.