The ousted mayor has taken the recent motion of no confidence to court for review, hoping to be reinstated by close of business on Friday.

Was Mongameli Bobani unlawfully removed?

The motion, initially tabled by the DA, was meant to be heard in October. However, out of fear for the safety of councillors, council speaker Buyelwa Mafaya struck the vote off the table.

Bobani has been described by his opposition as a “loose cannon” and a “madman” hell-bent on dismantling “the entire executive structure of the municipality”.

Last Thursday 5 December 2019, the embattled mayor tried to call for a postponement in proceedings due to the absence of city manager Nobuntu Mpongwana .

Mpongwana had left the chambers moments earlier after her appointment was called into question. This gave Bobani an opportunity to argue against the voting process.

However, Mafaya, facing pressure from councillors, denied Bobani his request for a cancellation and proceeded with the vote.

Bobani was unanimously voted out of power and now, a week later, the axed mayor has approached the courts, seeking for a review of the motion.

‘Justice must prevail’

Court proceedings at the Port Elizabeth High Court was off to a fiery start on Friday morning. Bobani’s argument is centered around the fact that the motion of his dismissal – the fourth attempt in one year – was not listed on the agenda of the council meeting.

The DA has countered these claims, stating that everything was done by the book. The matter has been postponed to allow all parties enough time to go through the affidavits.

Bobani, though, used this recess to engage his supporters, who had gathered outside the court all morning.

“Today, we really would like justice to prevail . We are confident in our justice system in South Africa and we can’t wait for this particular matter to be wrapped up today, for you, as the public, and specifically, our residents. It is our interest as the UDM – our residents. Their heart is our heart,” he said.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen joined the party’s supporters outside the court. He indicated the DA’s willingness to join forces with opposition parties to ensure the metro can rid itself of cronies.

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Presh JM Reporter

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