Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Nqaba Bhanga says Eastern Cape Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha does not have powers to declare his election as Mayor null and void.
Bhanga was elected during a protracted council meeting on Friday, where Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels presided over the election, after Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya was allegedly kidnapped by unknown men during the council meeting.
Bhanga says, “The Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay is Nqaba Bhanga, they must just drink it and love it. Because he’s going to be here, Nqaba Bhanga is here in the City Hall, Nqaba Bhanga is running the city as an Executive Mayor…”
“The first thing he [Nqatha] can do if he doesn’t like that he must go to court and ask the court to set aside my election as the Executive Mayor. Please he must not stay there in Bisho, he must go to Grahamstown High Court and the one of Port Elizabeth. He must go there and ask him why he’s not going there. Because he has no authority over this and he can’t do anything about it,” added Bhanga.
BREAKING:Nqaba Bhanga’s election as new mayor of Nelson Mandela Metro has been delcared as unlawful,null and void.Below is a correspondence by MEC of Cogta Xolile Nqatha stating this. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/FBETEaEwvE
— Lerato Fekisi (@LThipa) December 8, 2020
Nqaba Bhanga rejects COGTA MEC’s letter declaring his election as NMB mayor unlawful:
Leadership important in dealing with rising coronavirus cases in Nelson Mandela Bay: Bhanga
The Eastern Cape has seen a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. The declaration of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as a hotspot by President Cyril Ramaphosa was prompted by rising numbers of infections and communities that reportedly ignored the restrictions.
Currently, the metro has more than 4 000 active cases and a death toll of over 1 900.
Newly elected Mayor Nqaba Bhanga believes that lack of leadership in the metro may have contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19.
“We have to deal with the scourge of COVID-19, we are a hotspot. It starts with leadership. We have to mobilise and take our people as partners to make sure we put strategies in place. We are going to see enforcement in the city. You will see roadblocks everywhere making sure that people are doing as expected, you will see the visibility of metro police enforcing those regulations.”
Before Bhanga’s election, the metro had been without a mayor for almost a year following the ousting of the late Mongameli Bobani. Some residents believe that this lack of leadership may be behind the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
But others have blamed the residents. “It’s something that we can never pin into the unavailability of leadership because administratively things were happening. It all goes back to what is it that we tell our children at our homes, what do we advise our brothers and sisters as far as COVID- 19 is concerned.”