The suspension of Nelson Mandela Bay City Manager, Mr Johann Mettler, by Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani has been coming since Mettler’s arrival in the City.
“Bobani was part of a cabal that in 2013 forced former City Manager Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela out of her position. In 2015 the Metro had to pay R3.1 million in damages, including interest and legal costs, to Ms Msengana-Ndlela,” said DA Provincial Leader Nqaba Bhanga.
“Bobani’s unfair criticism of Mr Mettler, and other senior administrators, began as early as December 2016.
Referring to Mr Mettler, Cllr Bobani is on record saying, “I got rid of other City Managers and I’ll get rid of you too”.
Cllr Bobani’s first major fall out with Mr Mettler was when he refused to authorise a 10% commission payment to a lawyer, linked to Cllr Bobani, for disbursing R18 million of IPTS money to the Laphum’ilanga Taxi Association,” added Bhanga.
In January 2017 former Mayor, Athol Trollip and Mettler stopped a multi-billion rand “Waste-to-Energy project”, proposed by the public health directorate under Bobani’s leadership.
Bobani’s alleged involvement in the irregular payments to Milongani Eco Consulting and irregular appointments of EPWP workers during the “War on Waste campaign” were investigated by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC). The result of this led to him being removed as Mayoral Committee Member for Public Health in May 2017.
Bobani’s relationships and dogged defense of many disgraced, suspended, convicted and even dismissed officials pitted him against Mettler. After Bobani became Mayor he set about orchestrating Mettler’s premeditated suspension. This matter now looks set to become a legal battle.
“We will not allow the termination of investigations, disciplinary processes and prosecutions as this will be unlawful and amount to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The DA will continue to do all in its power to stop corruption, improve service delivery and to hold those in authority to account,” concluded Bhanga.