ANC-IFP co-operation in KZN on the brink

Around 6pm a mob, apparently ANC supporters, stormed the eThekwini council meeting and disrupted it

22 November 2021 - 18:41
KwaZulu-Natal ANC chair Sihle Zikalala, left, and secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC chair Sihle Zikalala, left, and secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The inaugural meeting of the eThekwini municipality council has ended prematurely, after a power failure in the venue, without concluding its business of electing office bearers on Monday.

“While the teams were working on restoring power, the meeting was also disrupted by a group of individuals,” a statement from the city said.

 

The meeting, which by 6pm had been going on for more than seven hours, was ultimately called off. It had earlier been on the brink of collapse, with chaos having ensued after the IFP caucus’s decision to abstain from voting.

The eThekwini municipality said it was investigating how security controls were breached after a group of people in ANC regalia disrupted the council meeting.

The city said the meeting will reconvene “in due course”.

Around 6pm a mob, apparently ANC supporters, stormed the meeting and disrupted proceedings. They left about 15 minutes later.

While the speaker, Thabani Nyawose of the ANC, made it through without the help of the IFP, when the time came for the election of the rest of the officials, including the mayor, cracks between the IFP and ANC agreement on governance in hung councils were so visible that the latter's councillors found every excuse to delay the proceedings.

The ANC NEC had decided it would field Mxolisi Kaunda as the party's mayoral candidate.

First, the ANC requested the meeting adjourn for lunch. Then the ANC caucus again halted proceedings with a request for a “health opinion of the gathering for safety against Covid-19”. There were also concerns raised about the wind and its affect on the tent the meeting was held in. 

The ANC-IFP agreement stated that the parties would not contest each other in municipalities where one holds the majority of seats.

But in Newcastle, where the ANC had 22 seats and the IFP 18, the IFP voted with other parties, including the DA. They took the municipality, leaving the ANC in the lurch.

In KwaNongoma, where the IFP had a majority, it teamed up with the EFF, getting the mayoral position. The EFF got the deputy mayor position. 

The IFP had previously said it would not work with the ANC. 

The eThekwini municipality said it was investigating how security controls were breached after a group of people in ANC regalia disrupted the council meeting.

The meeting and ended abruptly without concluding its business of electing office bearers on Monday, but the security breach was not the only factor at play.

"The inaugural meeting of the eThekwini municipality council has ended prematurely following a power failure in the venue. While the teams were working on restoring power, the meeting was also disrupted by a group of individuals," a statement from the city said.

The city said Nyawose will reconvene the meeting "in due course".

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