Johannesburg- Another council sitting to elect new political office bearers in KwaZulu-Natal has ground to a halt, this time leading to councillors exchanging blows while the meeting was in session.
Skirmishes and bad blood between leaders of various political parties in uMhlathuze local municipality, north coast of the province on Tuesday turned nasty when what started as a verbal altercation led to an ANC and EFF councillors engaging in a fistfight.
At the heart of the furore is who should lead one of the key economic hubs of the province after the IFP made a U-turn and fielded its own candidates to contest both speaker and mayoral positions instead of supporting the ruling party.
The two traditional political foes had struck a pact that they will support each other on the provinces more than 18 hung councils.
The grounds for the unholy union were that where a party had claimed more seats, it would take over governance uninterrupted and that this would be reciprocated in all the municipalities up for grabs.
On Tuesday morning, the ANC lost the speaker position in uMhlathuze following the teaming up of opposition parties.
The sitting had been convened on Monday but spilt over to Tuesday following various shenanigans playing out leading to the meeting going all the way too late at night.
Security had to be called in to separate EFF and ANC councillors who were baying for each other’s blood.
While ANC spokesperson in KZN Nhlakanipho Ntombela blamed the IFP of treachery, IFP provincial chairperson Thamsanqa Ntuli said it was the ruling party who reneged on the agreement.
“The ANC wanted to backstab us. They were working behind our backs, conniving with the NFP party in Abaqulusi, Nongoma and eDumbe to take power away from us,” said Ntuli.
In eThekwini Metro, the ANC is hanging by thread after the meeting on Monday descended into chaos. It will reconvene again tomorrow where a mayor is expected to be elected.
In Newcastle, the IFP ditched the ANC and took control of the council.
The same modus operandi took place in uMvoti local municipality where a party led by former ANC mayor Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) voted with the IFP and snatched the municipality from the ruling party.
Watch a video of the alleged altercation that was posted on Twitter below:
uMhlathuze Local Municipality. pic.twitter.com/tZeyoNcl7p
— Kgauza wa Lecowza (@Kgauza_SM) November 23, 2021
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