Opposition to launch bid to oust Bobani on Friday
Mayor Mongameli Bobani will face a fresh attempt to remove him from office at Friday’s Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting.
The ACDP and COPE submitted a motion of exigency to the office of the speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, on Tuesday.
The motion, to be tabled by ACDP councillor Lance Grootboom and seconded by COPE councillor Siyasanga Sijadu, states that allegations against the mayor are a “serious, pressing matter and in the public interest”.
It follows a report in The Herald that the Hawks were investigating allegations of corruption against Bobani, details of which are contained in an affidavit that accompanied the search warrant served on the mayor when his office was raided a few weeks ago.
The motion states: “On the 29 October, The Herald published a story on executive mayor councillor Bobani with the headline ‘Why the Hawks swooped on Bobani’.
“The story dealt with an affidavit that was deposed by the Hawks priority crimes unit Captain Henk Fourie that alleged that councillor Bobani was paid seven payments over a period of a year totalling R664,000 from IPTS funds.
“It appears that councillor Bobani is a suspect and is under investigation for fraud, corruption and money laundering that is linked to the IPTS criminal case as there is [an] allegation levelled against him in the affidavit of Captain Fourie.
“Therefore, the ACDP moves that councillor Bobani be removed from [the] office of executive mayor.”
Bobani did not respond to a request for comment.
UDM president Bantu Holomisa has, meanwhile, written a letter to The Herald editor Nwabisa Makunga, saying she must explain how and when the newspaper received the affidavit.
“Our request is simple: kindly furnish us with a copy of the affidavit referred to, as well as an explanation as to how and when you obtained the confidential investigation affidavit in breach of the Hawks’ (a reputable organisation) protocol, which we regard as an obstruction of justice and a flagrant disregard for judicial processes.
“Publish the entire affidavit with the bank account details and all for public consumption,” Holomisa wrote.
He said that Bobani denied the allegations and that he should be regarded as innocent until proven otherwise.
“It is strange that you are in possession of the aforesaid document despite the Hawks claiming same to be of a privileged and confidential nature and I request you to make same available to us and to the general public as you published court affidavits on your website in the past,” Holomisa wrote.
Makunga said: “While we respect Mr Holomisa’s right to commentary on the matter, we have no obligation to respond to the matters raised in his e-mail.
“We certainly will not accede to the bizarre request for our journalists to reveal their sources.
“We fully stand by our story. “Should councillor Mongameli Bobani share Mr Holomisa’s concerns regarding the content of our story, he is, as he knows, more than welcome to raise those with this newspaper.
“Alternatively, he may use any available avenues for a fair dispute resolution, such as the South African Press Council.”