Holomisa accuses DA of ‘dubious’ campaign to oust Bobani

13 September 2017 - 16:04 By Staff Reporter
UDM president Bantu Holomisa
UDM president Bantu Holomisa
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Mary-Ann Palmer

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has accused the Democratic Alliance in Nelson Mandela Bay of masterminding a "dubious campaign" to unseat former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani.

He was reacting on Wednesday to a draft report by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the metropolitan’s public health department while Bobani was still at the helm.

The draft report paints a picture of a department where rules were allegedly broken‚ workers hired through UDM channels and officials who dared ask questions were targeted or threatened.

Holomisa took to Facebook on Wednesday‚ posting a letter addressed to DA leader Mmusi Maimane‚ saying that the DA “very publicly‚ consciously and concertedly undermined one of its coalition partners”.

“I refer to the ‘draft report’ which had been prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in terms of which the Democratic Alliance (DA) had masterminded a dubious campaign to remove from office the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Deputy Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM)‚ Cllr Mongameli Bobani‚ under false pretences. The DA has very publicly‚ consciously and concertedly undermined one of its coalition partners‚” Holomisa wrote.

“You had relied on an embargoed PwC ‘draft report’‚ which we certainly would not have seen had we not demanded a copy at a meeting of coalition partners on 22 August 2017 – only two days ahead of the DA bulldozing a questionable motion of no-confidence in Cllr Bobani through Council.

“The fecklessness of the ‘draft report’ forced you to keep it secret‚ but it did not preclude you from (ab)using it. You and your colleagues have publicly criticised me (personally) and the UDM‚ saying that we condone corruption.”

According to Holomisa‚ the DA’s aim was to get rid of Bobani and damage the UDM’s reputation.

The report‚ which was given to the municipality in August this year‚ contained allegations which appear to have formed the basis for Bobani’s removal as the department’s political head earlier this year.

On Wednesday‚ Holomisa hit back: “The DA based its whole concerted campaign to get rid of Cllr Bobani‚ and besmirching the good name of the UDM‚ on a document in which PwC had not expressed an opinion and it had been clear that the document was preliminary‚” he wrote.

“Little wonder that you kept it hidden in your briefcase as there is nothing in the ‘report’‚ contrary to your public misrepresentations‚ implicating Cllr Bobani.

“It is highly suspicious and abnormal that the accused‚ his party‚ the coalition partners and the NMBMM Council itself had been kept in the dark about the ‘draft report’. Yet‚ the ‘draft report’ was given to you personally? Why were you‚ as a national leader of a political party‚ privy to this information at all? Is this a ‘municipality document’ or a ‘DA document’?

“What were/are your and the DA’s motives in keeping this ‘draft report’ to yourselves and using the information to attack the UDM?”

Earlier this month Bobani told Weekend Post the report did not in any way implicate him but said he had been advised by his lawyers not to comment on it.

“Reliance on this report by you [Weekend Post] and the executive mayor Athol Trollip and by DA leader Mmusi Maimane constitutes a clear and present breach of confidence between a professional firm of advisers and the metro council.

“I cannot respond and comment to such a violation. The answers to your questions would be opportunistic‚” Bobani said.

In his letter‚ Holomisa said the DA would have to explain themselves to the public and requested them to withdraw the accusations and appoligise to the UDM‚ Bobani and him (Holomisa).

“The case‚ currently underway in the Port Elizabeth High Court‚ is an opportunity for you to explain yourselves to the South African public and the voters of the NMBMM in particular‚” Holimisa wrote.

“Lastly Sir‚ I submit that you and your colleagues have actively misled the public on this matter. The UDM would like to see you publicly and unreservedly withdraw your unsubstantiated accusations and apologise to me‚ to Cllr Bobani and to the UDM. Prove to the Nation that you are better than the manipulative‚ destructive liars within the ANC who you purport to oppose.”

- HeraldLIVE