The UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, has given a tongue lashing to his estranged coalition partners for setting a deadline for him to motivate why his party should remain in the coalition.
This comes amidst an ongoing feud in Nelson Mandela Bay between the ousted executive mayor Athol Trollip and the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani, who was elected mayor at a council meeting late last month.
The legitimacy of the controversial council meeting is now subject to a court case after the DA and its remaining coalition partners, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Cope, filed papers at the Port Elizabeth High Court.
In a letter on Thursday, Holomisa questioned why the ACDP, Freedom Front Plus, and Cope still tolerated the DA, which he said was to blame for the downfall of the alliance.
Holomisa said that the co-governance agreement clearly stipulated what should happen in the case of discord between the allied partners.
“I, therefore, remind you that the three-person commission – the coalition partners had tasked to make inquiry [into] when the first differences within the coalition arose – had fingered both Mr Athol Trollip and Mr Mongameli Bobani. This inquiry also found that Mr Trollip had undermined the coalition and disobeyed the coalition partners’ collective instructions and by implication his own national leader.”
Holomisa said that despite this, the DA refused to act against Trollip. He added that the DA used the “so-called draft report” that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had compiled to discredit and defame Bobani who at the time served as the metro’s deputy mayor.
“The DA refused to deal with Mr Trollip after he came up with wild accusations about Mr Bobani. At that time, the UDM stated that we would not take Mr Trollip’s word on these allegations and that the matter should be investigated and tabled at the council. We were satisfied that the council would apply its mind, once it received a report, and determine whether Mr Bobani was guilty of any wrongdoing. PwC’s interim report never reached council nor were the coalition partners privy to it.”
Holomisa said when the final PwC report surfaced there were no findings that implicated Bobani in any wrongdoing. Holomisa said the obligation was on the opposition parties to convince the UDM to remain in what has turned out to be nothing else but a “coalition of thugs and liars”.
“The UDM calls on the coalition partners to be honest with themselves and acknowledge that the DA has treated all of us like we are second-class citizens and junior partners in the coalition,” Holomisa said.