Q&A with UDM leader Bantu Holomisa
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who dumped the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay, reportedly said this week it ran a coalition of 'thugs and liars'. Chris Barron asked him...
Thugs and liars?
Yes, it's true. They referred to us as a coalition of corruption, so what's wrong with that?
Didn't you yourself call the ANC the party of corruption before making an alliance with them?
Yes, but today it is becoming difficult to differentiate between the two. Because there are people involved in corrupt practices.
In the DA?
In Nelson Mandela Bay?
No, in Cape Town. The DA said itself that they are investigating their mayor for corruption. Then all of a sudden they say they've settled. What the hell is that? So the word "corruption" is common to both of them. The UDM's interest in Nelson Mandela Bay is to work with partners who want us to contribute to service delivery.
By returning to power the party that stole the city?
The reason service delivery is faltering is because there is too much involvement of politicians instead of allowing accounting officers, heads of department to be on the field every day. I hope once we are stable in Port Elizabeth . we can say, please politicians, take a back seat. Let the administrators do their job. Political directives are risky where money is involved.
Doesn't Mongameli Bobani, who you have now helped install as executive mayor, have a record of interfering in this way?
Yes, precisely because of the norm and the system which has been taking place. But from now on we need to draw a line. We need to say to the ANC or UDM or DA: stay away from administration. Deal with the complaints of the people and refer them to administrators.
So are you going to prevent mayor Bobani getting rid of city manager Johann Mettler?
Bobani will not act alone if he does.
Hasn't he made it clear that he intends to do that?
You're obsessed with Bobani.
Didn't he say he is going to give Mettler his marching orders?
They have taken that decision as exco.
In view of what you've just said about politicians and administrators, does that worry you?
If the city manager is suspended, the reasons will be cited by exco and should be endorsed by the council. OK?
The people who stole the city?
What do you mean by stealing the city?
Haven't you read "How to Steal a City"?
I've read it, but the author is not truthful. We don't trust him. He himself and Mettler were involved in irregular payments .
Who's your source? Bobani?
Because Bobani has been up to his eyeballs in corruption, hasn't he?
We haven't seen anyone go to the Hawks to say that Bobani must be arrested. So such allegations mean nothing.
You believe he's clean?
We asked him about that and he said he's talking nonsense, [author Crispian] Olver.
Do you think voters will forgive you for bringing back the ANC?
Yes, if we deliver between now and the next election.