News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
5 minute read
26 Sep 2017
5:20 pm

Coalition with ‘hypocrite’ DA remains intact, says Bantu Holomisa

Gosebo Mathope

The General is not about to cede power to the ANC in Port Elizabeth, but says the EFF may prove to be a big headache for Mashaba.

Bantu Holomisa.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) president General Bantu Holomisa remains extremely unhappy with the Democratic Alliance’s ousting of Mongameli Bobani as the deputy mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro council, but he has assured The Citizen the two parties’ coalition agreement remains intact.

Without the support of the UDM’s two councillors the DA is at risk of losing control of the metro, as it will only have 59 votes in council instead of the 61 required to retain control in partnership with the UDM, Cope and ACDP.

“The UDM is still part of the coalition at national level and the the metros. Don’t be mistaken, we are a principled organisation [which is the reason] we are challenging the decision of the DA to table the motion of no confidence against Bobani,” Holomisa told The Citizen in an interview ahead of the party’s 20th celebration at Gallagher Estate this weekend.

“The merits of the case have not been challenged. If the DA is opposed to our position, we will meet them in court and, this time around, the application will not be on an urgent basis,” said Holomisa.

He also disclosed that, tomorrow, the party’s lawyers would be filing fresh papers to put into action “phase two of the matter”.

He said that what the public ought to bear in mind was that in the first round in court the judge had ruled the matter was not urgent, and therefore did not go into the argument of the UDM that Mayor Athol Trollip should have tabled the findings of an unfavourable investigation against Bobani to council.

After the UDM’s application was ruled not urgent, Holomisa said their lawyers investigated and discovered that the court had not done its work properly.

“The fact is that we gave them the information. We will be approaching the judge president of the Eastern Cape and the chief justice to find out why the [court] file did not contain our filing affidavit.”

READ MORE: Holomisa wants investigation into Bobani’s ‘missing’ affidavit

Over the weekend Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that, while he welcomed criticism of the judiciary by politicians, the most constructive approach would be to be specific about what judges and magistrates had done wrong. Earlier this morning, he told 702 talk radio it was undesirable for the courts to deal with so many political cases.

Holomisa told The Citizen: “The filing affidavit [of the UDM] was found not to be in the file. Solemnly, if the fault is not ours, how do you arrive at such a ruling? We have given them [his lawyers] a go-ahead to file another application. So far the DA cited the Patriotic Alliance (PA), which moved the [initial motion against Bobani], but strange enough, the DA did not respond.

“They did not oppose the case. The ‘handlers’ [the DA] were the ones who responded on behalf of the PA. We have also challenged the DA to come substantiate their allegations that they say they have prima facie evidence [of corruption] against Bobani,” said Holomisa, who questioned how the DA could continue to argue that the evidence against Bobani was “confidential”.

“They said a PwC report found evidence of maladministration. It’s a pity that case was not heard. It would have given the public the chance to hear how the DA operates. We have given them enough time. We have to expose that the DA are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.

“They said the UDM was talking to other parties, but how did they stoop so low that they got into an agreement with the PA in a dirty way and started propaganda? When Trollip briefed coalition partners, we asked him: if he investigated and found evidence [of Bobani’s corruption], why not table it for consideration by the council? You can’t just tell us you don’t like him and get rid of him,” he added.

Holomisa claims the DA’s handling of the Bobani matter has driven the EFF to the point of no return

Holomisa said that, in the event an investigation into allegations of corruption against Bobani proved conclusive, his party would not hesitate to endorse a council resolution that he be fired. He said Trollip’s hypocrisy ran deep though, as Trollip was found to have acted wrongly by a committee established by coalition partners to resolve the matter.

“The EFF has assisted the DA in all three metros and have said openly ‘we are unhappy that they are practising white supremacy’. They took a decision that they will not vote [with the DA] until the Nelson Mandela Bay issue is solved. If it is not solved quickly it will plunge these metro councils into turmoil.

“They [the EFF] have numbers in Joburg. Even if the UDM were to vote [in favour of the DA if the vote of no confidence application against Herman Mashaba is sustained], they [the EFF] will still not vote.”

Holomisa alleged that anyone who challenges the DA could find themselves accused of corruption, perhaps unfairly so.

Holomisa nevertheless expressed confidence in the coalition governments in the metros, but said it was too early to use the current experience as an indication of how the country would be governed in 2019 should one party fail to obtain an outright majority.

“They [coalitions] are forced by voters. The voters of South Africa have suddenly woken up to realise that putting all your eggs in one basket doesn’t work, it breeds corruption. It is too early to talk about national coalitions; perhaps you want to talk alliances, which you can forge ahead with to the the extent of having one list for provincial and national governments,” Holomisa concluded.

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