Judge gives UDM’s urgent application short shrift
Party wanted deputy mayor Bobani’s removal declared unlawful, unconstitutional and set aside, but now the court processes will follow in due course
A vote for a new deputy mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro is not tabled for the council meeting on Thursday.
The position, which has to be voted on by council, has not been filled since the United Democratic Movement’s Mongameli Bobani was ousted in a vote of no confidence in August.
This council meeting would be the first one to sit since Bobani was removed.
The UDM’s urgent application, which cited the looming meeting as one of the grounds for urgency, was removed from the urgent court roll on Tuesday, with judge Dayalin Chetty, ordering costs against the UDM.
It was said that the final relief sought would be moot if the interim relief was not granted.
The party had brought the urgent application to interdict Bobani’s removal ahead of the meeting, pending the outcome of an application to have Bobani’s removal declared unlawful and unconstitutional, and have it reviewed and set aside. Those court processes will now follow in due course and the merits of the case have thus not yet been argued.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa initially threatened to withdraw from the Nelson Mandela Bay coalition if Bobani is not reinstated in his position, but later decided to take the matter to court.
Tension between Bobani and Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip had been mounting for months, which culminated in Bobani’s removal in August.
Meanwhile, following the court process on Tuesday, Holomisa said he would ask the chief justice to investigate why the answering affidavit that the UDM filed, was not in the judge’s file on Tuesday. It was subsequently provided to the judge by the UDM’s counsel Willie Vermeulen SC, Holomisa said.
Trollip’s chief of staff Kristoff Adelbert said the matter remains sub judice.
"More importantly, our focus remains on ensuring improved service delivery for all Bay residents," Adelbert said.