The DA welcomes the apparent commitment from the Leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Bantu Holomisa, that the UDM will remain in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) coalition. We are however concerned with his intention to approach a court to reverse the removal of Mr Bobani as Deputy Mayor.
One of the main purposes of forming coalition governments, in NMB and elsewhere, was to make a distinct break from the previous ANC administrations, which were riddled with corruption and maladministration.
Our primary responsibility in government must, therefore, be to expose corruption where it exists and to root it out completely from the governments we, in coalition with others, run.
This is what we were elected for and it is a duty we take seriously.
The DA cannot and will not be indecisive in dealing with those who put their own interest above those of the residents of NMB. When we say we have a “zero tolerance” approach to corruption, we mean it, and we cannot have someone in our government who is ambivalent about corruption.
It is also impossible to have a coalition partner who regularly votes with the ANC to slow down service delivery, which Mr Bobani has done on numerous occasions. This is in contravention of the co-government agreement, and the agreement places a duty on the party leadership to deal with these situations. Despite numerous requests over a period of nine months, Mr Holomisa has refused to do so.
The DA does not wish to end the coalition agreement with the UDM. There are many fine men and women in that organisation who, like us, are committed to eradicating corruption and delivering services efficiently to all the people of NMB.
But we simply will not work with one individual whose personal conduct is at odds with our agreement and commitment to zero tolerance of corruption. It is for that reason – and that reason only – that the DA voted to remove Mr Bobani as the Deputy Mayor.
We, therefore, urge Mr Holomisa to not waste any further time, to put the interests of the residents of the Metro first and to nominate a new UDM councillor to take Mr Bobani’s place in the government.