Thabani Nyawose elected eThekwini speaker despite IFP abstaining from voting process

Johannesburg – Thabani Nyawose, one of the faces of the ANC CR17 campaign has emerged victorious as speaker of eThekwini metro despite the IFP deciding to abstain from the election process.

Nyawose is a senior manager in the municipality.

It wasn’t immediately clear as to what prompted the IFP to renege on the pact signed by the two parties last week. In a dramatic turn of events, 16 councillors that the IFP has in the KZN economic hub boycotted the session in what political analysts describe as a protest movement against the party’s top leadership decision to work with the ANC.

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 and party’s stronghold.

Emotions ran high during the sitting with ructions visible between the IFP and ANC councillors.

One IFP councillor charged: “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. It wasn’t clear whether, with the change of heart by the IFP, the ANC mayoral candidate Mxolisi Kaunda would be re-elected to office.

Kaunda was appointed political head of the metro in 2019 following the departure of Zandile Gumede who faced a plethora of corruption allegations.

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