Weekend Post (South Africa)

Bobani’s skull emoji message was a threat — Daniels

- Michael Kimberley kimberleym@tisoblacks­tar.co.za

It may have been Halloween, but a councillor who was sent a skull emoji by mayor Mongameli Bobani took it deadly seriously.

The emoji was sent to economic developmen­t political head Marlon Daniels in a mayoral committee WhatsApp group on Thursday, and he believes it was a legitimate threat.

Bobani, meanwhile, said he was just fooling around with an emoji-themed response to Daniels’s message for him to step down.

“I am going to kiss him on Monday. I love him,” Bobani said, when asked to comment.

The emoji expresses figurative death such as dying from extreme laughter, frustratio­n, or affection, according to Emojipedia.

The Whatsapp spat stems from co-operative governance MEC Xolile Nqatha’s intention to intervene in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Nqatha sent a letter to Bobani last weekend, asking him to explain within seven days why the city’s administra­tion was crumbling or Bhisho would intervene.

Bobani, meanwhile, is adamant he never received the letter.

He even wrote a letter to Nqatha, with President Cyril Ramaphosa copied in, saying he had been told about the looming interventi­on through the media.

But Daniels called Bobani out on what he believes is political skuldugger­y in the group chat, saying he had received Nqatha’s letter.

In his message, Daniels wrote: “Why are you playing games to the detriment of the [municipali­ty] and its residents?

“My contacts in the office of the MEC confirmed that you were sent the letter. What’s wrong with you?” Daniels’s message reads.

Bobani then responded with the skull emoji, followed with a message.

“You have signed a petition with the DA. Why don’t you leave the black caucus and sleep with the DA, I’m not going anywhere! Tell your source to make that letter he said he sent to me public,” Bobani wrote.

Asked by Daniels to explain the emoji, Bobani responded with: “Salute.”

When contacted, Daniels said with Bobani’s history he had no choice but to see the emoji as a threat.

“My interrupti­on is that I am a dead man. We were not cracking jokes so it was clear he had intended to threaten me,” Daniels said.

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