The marriage between the DA and the UDM in Nelson Mandela Bay metro is on the rocks again as tension intensifies between mayor Athol Trollip and his deputy, Mongameli Bobani.
Bobani of the UDM and the DA's Trollip are at odds over another appointment.
And for the second month running, the two were summoned to Cape Town this week by their party leaders, Mmusi Maimane of the DA and UDM president Bantu Holomisa .
The Sunday Times reported last month that Bobani and Trollip were scolded after they differed on the appointment of municipal manager Johann Mettler and director of corporate affairs Vuyo Zitumane.
This time Bobani wants his strategic adviser, Nombeko Nkomane, to be appointed director in the public health department. Bobani is MMC for public health. Trollip and senior officials are opposed to this as they see it as a clear case of conflict of interest. Bobani says there is no policy prohibiting him at the metro.
The Sunday Times is in possession of a recording of a heated meeting called to shortlist candidates for the position, at which Bobani clashes with Mettler and Zitumane. He does not want any men shortlisted.
Bobani can be heard arguing that Nkomane is the most suitable candidate to fill the post.
"The advert is clear. It says 'in compliance with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's employment equity plan, preference will be given to suitably qualified African, coloured, white, Indian female applicants'. Now I question you, City Manager, and Vuyo Zitumane ... of ignoring the ad," Bobani says on the recording.
Bobani proceeds to say Nkomane i s more competent than Mettler and Zitumane combined. Mettler says Bobani is out of order.
"I do not care ... she is good, she is better than you. I will recommend her. She is the best candidate, in fact she deserves to be the municipal manager, more than you," says Bobani.
Zitumane interjects, threatening to deal with Bobani. "Deal with me!" Bobani says. After some more arguing, Bobani shouts: "I'm your boss! I'm the deputy executive mayor! I was voted here! You must not say 'hey' when you're referring to me. You must not be biased, Johann, here," Bobani says, referring to panel chairman Mettler.
Mettler and Zitumane both declined to comment.
Approached for comment, Bobani said the details of the meeting were confidential.
"This issue is an internal municipal process, whereby its contents, written or recorded, are treated confidentially.
"However, it is important to highlight that it raises serious questions that a carefully edited recording be intentionally leaked to the media. This breach of confidentiality indicates the challenges we face and the deep-rooted rot within our municipality," said Bobani.
He defended his support for Nkomane, saying there was no rule that prohibited political appointees from being appointed to senior positions in the municipality.
The Sunday Times understands that the meeting on Monday drafted a working document on how the coalition would resolve conflict.