DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga believes he was target of a hit

DA councillor Rano Kayser, DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga and DA Federal chairperson Athol Trollip during a press conference
DA councillor Rano Kayser, DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga and DA Federal chairperson Athol Trollip during a press conference
Image: Nomazima Nkosi

DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga says he was chased by two cars toward oncoming traffic on Tuesday night, in what he believes was an assassination attempt.

The DA MPL said he had just wrapped up a meeting with political parties in Nelson Mandela Bay, where they discussed a council meeting to remove mayor Mongameli Bobani, when he was allegedly followed by the two vehicles in Summerstrand at about 10pm.

"I was on my way to Gomery [Avenue] to pick someone up when I noticed a car following me. It got to a point where I had to phone the person I was picking up to tell them not to come out of the house.

"Soon after, I noticed another car following me, accelerating over speed humps and not slowing down that I even jumped red robots at Telkom Park and drove onto oncoming traffic," Bhanga said.

Bhanga and DA Nelson Mandela Bay caucus leader Athol Trollip pleaded with people who may have witnessed the car chase to approach the police to give them an account of what happened.

"There were people on the road who saw what happened and I'm doing what I'm doing today hoping that those who saw what happened can come forward and give a description of what happened.

"They are out there to do what they are supposed to do and I don't think they have finished.

"They failed yesterday and I think they could continue to pursue it," Bhanga said.

Bhanga said both cars had LED lights and he could not make out who was driving, nor could he make out how many people were in the vehicles.

"This is the state of our city... We've got to a level where more than 20 people were assassinated for political-related assassinations.

"Now, here is the leader of the official opposition doing his democratic work and individuals hire assassins to kill him because he has a different view.

"This has nothing to do with a hijacking whatsoever but something to do with what we're about to do on Friday of removing an executive mayor.

"This is a form of intimidation that we must succumb or be scared. I've chosen to fight because if I was going to hide, the enemy was going to be ahead.

"When there's terror, anarchy and if all of us are quiet, it's going to be the status quo and it can't be a normality to be terrorised by criminals and politicians who continue to collapse what we've been doing in this city.

"Our children will be safe in this city if Bobani is removed because since he took over there's been this terror, this anarchy, these attacks and there's never been peace here," Bhanga said.

Trollip said there was an initiative by some ANC councillors to submit a motion of no confidence against the mayor and to join their submission of signatures.

"Obviously there are interests in the city that are not going to be well served by a motion of no confidence by opposition parties as well as some members of the ANC, and possibly other parties in the coalition.

"People are very concerned about their own self interests and there have been long discussions over weeks across the province, and last night in the city there were discussions between the DA and other parties in Summerstrand," Trollip said.

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said a case of attempted hijacking was opened for investigation at the Humewood Police station.

Kinana said that Bhanga had left a meeting when he noticed the car following him.

Kinana could not say if attempts were made to steer Bhanga off the road during the incident.

Due to the nature of the alleged crime, the Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit (VCIU) Port Elizabeth has taken over the case.

Bobani accused Bhanga of drinking too much and said he was probably under the influence during the press conference.

"There is no way he can link what happened to him and the deaths he is talking about to the black coalition. He was probably intoxicated when he made the statement," Bobani said.

Bobani said the DA knew the law and supported Bhanga in opening a case with the police.

"He must go and open a case with the police so that the people involved can be arrested," Bobani said.

He said that he took the statements very seriously and would consult his lawyers because the DA could not link the alleged assassination attempt to his appointment as Bay mayor.

"I want to distance myself and the black coalition from what Nqaba has said because I don't know what his supporters might do. The DA and Trollip must retract their statements," Bobani said.

DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga says he was chased by two cars toward oncoming traffic on Tuesday night, in what he believes was an assassination attempt. Read more: https://bit.ly/2Mum4Dz

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