Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani is unlikely to survive the motion of no confidence against him on Tuesday, with the ANC and DA – who hold the majority in council – confirming that they will vote against him.
DA leader Athol Trollip and ANC regional task team coordinator Luyolo Nqakula have confirmed to News24 that their parties will vote to axe Bobani.
Without a clear mandate, the DA won the majority of seats in council during the 2016 watershed elections, with 57, and the ANC walked away with 50 seats. The numbers therefore allow the two parties enough seats to vote Bobani out with or without the help of their coalition partners.
Bobani’s UDM holds two seats in council and he has been in coalition with both the ANC and the DA during his tenure. He was first aligned with the DA, but relations took a nosedive and Trollip fired him as his deputy mayor, citing maladministration and corruption.
Intent on retribution, Bobani went into a coalition with the ANC and other smaller parties to oust Trollip in 2018. He was then elected mayor.
Nqakula told News24 that the ANC was in talks with the smaller parties in the “black caucus” to reach a consensus on who would take over. He blamed Bobani for the breakdown in administration in the metro, adding that the mayor was compromising service delivery.
“There is no political and administrative responsibility. He is compromising service delivery and there is no competent decision making by council. You can see this in the firing of senior directors, and government structures have collapsed. All of these decisions were taken outside the consultation of the coalition. He makes unilateral decisions without any consultation with the mayoral committee or the troika. That is why we have taken this decision.”
The Herald reported that Bobani had dismantled an entire executive structure of the municipality within a week. This action infuriated his coalition partners, leading to a petition to have him removed.
Speculation has been rife that the ANC and the DA have held secret talks in a bid to oust Bobani. Sources within council had earlier told News24 the two parties were at odds over who would take over the reins.
Trollip, who the DA will most likely push as their preferred mayoral candidate, said they would not rubber-stamp any “unsuitable candidates”.
“The first objective on Tuesday next week would be to rid the City of its most destructive mayor yet. Then we will consider appointing competent and qualified executive directors that can assist in turning this chaos around. We will cross the bridge about our internal DA election outcomes and the replacement mayor when we’ve first achieved our immediate and urgent objectives.”
During an interview with News24 on Wednesday, Bobani was seemingly confident of his chances on Tuesday. He said he believed he was doing a very good job.
“There is going to be a joint caucus and these guys must explain why there is this petition without consultation. All the councillors are calling to say that we don’t know where this is coming from.
“The municipality is running very well, services are going to the people, and our thing now is to ensure that this is not affecting the people. Everything is running smoothly,” Bobani said.