Former Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) mayor, Mongameli Bobani, has been laid to rest in Port Elizabeth. Bobani passed away last week in a Port Elizabeth hospital due to COVID-19 related complications.

He served as executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality from August 2018 until December 2019. At the time of his death, Bobani served in the Metro’s Mayoral Committee, as the portfolio head for electricity, infrastructure and engineering.

Various speakers described him as a dedicated member in serving the people of Nelson Mandela Bay.

He was also commended for his continuous passion for his work.

“But the noble object he stood for the care and desire to deliver to the most vulnerable was always the glue that kept us working together. General Holomisa, Cllr Bobani would walk into a room filled with tension and he would just say one word and the tension would dissipate,” says Tshonono Buyeye, NMB Acting Mayor.

Buyeye says Bobani was known for his smile and tweets as well as going the extra mile for service delivery, and always wearing a tie.

“COVID-19 is a reality. Councillor Bobani lead by example. Some leaders will come and go, but everybody knew who Mongameli Bobani was. He was a jovial spirit and I believe he is that we celebrate his life and take on the baton in pursuit of delivering services, providing leadership and doing all we can to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic,” says Buyeye.

UDM’s Mongameli Bobani is being laid to rest today

Tribute by UDM’s Bantu Holomisa

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader General Bantu Holomisa says Bobani’s political contributions were widely acknowledged.

“Bobani will be remembered by us in the UDM, he drove this party in this area during the good times and the bad times. He had won and lost party leadership races but he never let it defeat him. In fact, he was an optimist of note,” says Holomisa.

Holomisa said he was a true member of the party, with a non-partisan approach.

“We are talking about a leader who had pleasure in serving others. He honestly did not care where a citizen lived in the metro. He also did not shy away from exposing wrongdoing, even going to the Public Protector and the Hawks to report corruption in the municipality, and sometimes taking on battles that made him unpopular. We together drafted a submission to the Zondo Commission exposing how public funds were delivered into political pockets,” says Holomisa.

Bobani Funeral | UDM leader Bantu Holomisa pays tribute to Mongameli Bobani

Family tribute

His family described him as a loving father. His eldest daughter, Ongezwa Jack says they will miss him dearly.

“He was a listener even though he was a busy man. He always told us to follow our dreams. He was a true politician, he made all four of us believe we were his favourite. But he was such a good dad. We could not have asked for better,” says Jack.

Jack says that he always made time for his family.

“He was a very good listener and a very busy man. But every moment we shared with him, he made it count. He listened to all our stories, to all our dreams and he motivated us that no dream was too small to dream,” says Jack.

He is survived by his wife, both his parents, four children and two grandchildren.