Convicted fraudster Bongo Nombiba’s budget vote challenged

Bongo Nombiba
Bongo Nombiba
Image: Eugene Coetzee

When convicted fraudster Bongo Nombiba voted to pass the Nelson Mandela Bay budget, he was no longer a councillor and therefore not eligible to raise his hand – whether he knew about the Constitutional Court’s decision or not.

This is according to a letter sent to acting city manager Noxolo Nqwazi on Thursday, in which ACDP councillor Lance Grootboom claims the budget was illegally adopted with Nombiba’s help.

Grootboom said without the budget in place for the 2019/2020 financial year, all expenditure was accordingly irregular.

The Constitutional Court had, on June 6, dismissed Nombiba’s application to set aside his conviction for fraud and five-year jail term.

He claimed he only became aware of the decision when the media contacted him for comment on June 26.

He has since handed himself over to St Albans prison to start serving his sentence.

But, Grootboom claims, whether he knew about the decision or not, he was no longer a councillor.

Grootboom said the ruling had triggered the provisions of Section 47(1)(e) of the constitution, which in effect states that anyone who is sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine is no longer eligible to be a member of, or to vote for, the National Assembly.

The budget was adopted by 61 votes out of a council of 120 seats on June 21.

Without Nombiba’s vote the coalition, with the support of the EFF, would not have been able to pass the budget.

Grootboom urged Nqwazi to remedy the situation.

The DA also announced on Wednesday that it would conduct its own investigation into whether or not Nombiba was in council legally after June 6.