ANC racing against time to broker a deal with smaller parties for eThekwini Mayorship

Durban – The ANC in eThekwini is racing against time to try and secure a deal with smaller parties which will ensure that the ruling party retains the only metro in the province after their agreement with the IFP collapsed spectacularly on Monday.

The heated meeting had to be adjourned for tomorrow following chaos which broke out during the council sitting aimed at inaugurating new councillors including electing a new mayor.

The election of council speaker Thabani Nyawose had set the mood of what was going to be an emotionally charged affair.

During the voting session, the IFP’s 16 councillors in the metro abstained with Nyawose narrowly winning by 103 votes.

He was up against DA’s councillor Thabani Mthethwa and former ANC uMvoti local municipality mayor Philani Mavundla who is now a leader of Abantu Batho Congress (ABC).

The pair received 63 and 33 votes respectively.

During the recent municipal elections, the ruling party had 96 seats in the council and needed at least 15 seats to form the government.

It was expected that because of the agreed arrangement between the two political foes, it would have seen the ANC retaining the key metro.

On Monday’s sitting emotions ran high with ructions visible between the IFP and ANC councillors.

Other IFP councillors mocked their ANC counterparts, saying: “UJesu uyabuya namhlanje (today Jesus is coming back),” supposedly a reference to the statement made by former president Jacob Zuma who said the ANC will rule until Jesus Christ comes back.

The ANC requested that the meeting take a long adjournment before the commencement of the election of the mayor.

The meeting collapsed after powerful storming of the meeting venue by ANC and EFF members who sang struggle songs.

Mxolisi Kaunda, long serving ANC councillor had been forwarded by the ruling party to stand for mayorship in the province’s economic hub.

His name and that of Nyawose was submitted to the ANC’s interviewing panel for consideration of the metro’s political head.

Kaunda was appointed mayor of eThekwini in 2019 following the departure of Zandile Gumede who faced a plethora of corruption allegations.

ANC spokesperson in KZN, Nhlakanipho Ntombela confirmed that their deal with the IFP had collapsed because of its insistence that it wanted to control at least one municipality in of the four province’s key economic hubs.

“They started their tricks by contesting the ANC in Newcastle and uMhlathuze and going against what was agreed upon.”

EThekwini municipality spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela said: “The Municipality is investigating how the security controls were breached. The newly elected Speaker, Cllr Thabani Nyawose will reconvene the meeting in due course.”

It is not only eThekwini where the IFP’s/ANC pact crumbled as in other hung councils in the province, the IFP also pulled a fast one on the ruling party.

It has also emerged that the DA, IFP, EFF and other parties were now resolving on their own candidate to challenge the ANC.

The DA is the second biggest party in the metro with 58 seats while the EFF takes third position with 24 seats. Other smaller parties including ActionSA have a combination of 28 seats.

For more political news and views from this week’s paper, click here. 

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