The mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, the United Democratic Movement’s Mongameli Bobani, received a threatening call on Tuesday night, according to a tweet from PE Herald journalist Nomazima Nkosi.
Bobani confirmed in a video posted by Nkosi that he received an anonymous call at roughly 9:20pm telling him to vote in favour of the 2019/20 annual budget, which is expected to be debated at a council meeting on Wednesday.
This follows Nelson Mandela Bay councillors taking to social media after they received direct threats against their lives and families if they did not vote in favour of the budget.
Cope councillor Siyasanga Sijadu took to Facebook on Tuesday night and said: “Just received a threat from four guys who claim they have been sent by SMMEs.
“They want me to vote for the budget tomorrow [Wednesday] if I love my family.”
Speaking ahead of the council meeting on Wednesday morning, Sijadu said strange men visited her family home and threatened her and her family.
Despite the incident, Sijadu said she was excited about Wednesday’s council meeting.
“You don’t threaten my family, I am in council … my family has nothing to do with it,” she said.
She said the men told her that if she failed to vote in favour of the budget, her family would be under scrutiny and in danger. Sijadu said her mother and brother started calling people when the men made a dash for it and started running.
United Front (UF) councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila also said on Wednesday that he received a threat that if he failed to vote for the budget, his family would die. Mtsila called for an investigation and urged council to take the issue seriously.
Patriotic Alliance (PA) councillor Marlon Daniels tweeted that he was told that he would see what would happen to him and his family should he not vote in favour of the more than R12 billion budget tabled earlier this month by Mayor Mongameli Bobani.
The budget has been on the agenda for at least three council meetings but has failed to pass through. Daniels said he received a call from someone telling him he had to support the budget.
However, Daniels said that he chose to attend the meeting despite receiving the threat on Tuesday night.
He said the “engineer” of these threats was present in council chambers.
At a previous council meeting, the UDM, UF, AIC and the EFF had supported the budget however the ANC, DA, Cope, ACDP and the PA did not.
– African News Agency
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect that Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani says he also received threats. 12:23, June 19.