DA's Refiloe Nt'sekhe clarifies 'absence' from Ekurhuleni council election
The DA's Refiloe Nt'sekhe has dismissed claims she absconded from the Ekurhuleni council meeting at which a new mayor was to be elected, and accused the ANC of playing political games after failing to process her resignation as a councillor two weeks ago.
This comes after it was announced only on Monday during the Ekurhuleni council meeting that Nt’sheke was no longer available to contest the mayoral election as a DA candidate, with council officials saying she was the only councillor marked as absent in the attendance register.
Speaking to TimesLIVE during a short recess, Nt’sheke denied allegations that she had left the DA, and that she was absent, as alluded to by the council. She said she withdrew her councillor candidacy on November 8.
“I am here as you can see, to support the DA caucus of Ekurhuleni fully. I am 100% behind my team and still serving as deputy federal chairperson as well.”
Nt'sekhe's withdrawal has been met with much speculation, with some suggesting that she was “used” by the party to secure black votes.
“On the 8th of November, I submitted my resignation to the DA provincial structures indicating that because the numbers were not looking positive, I would release myself from my seat as a councillor and continue to serve Ekurhuleni from my position as Gauteng legislature member.
“Clearly what has happened today is that the ANC has decided to use this as a political ploy. And have not processed the resignation, therefore also using the racial narrative which is actually quite wrong.”
She maintained that there had been nothing untoward with her withdrawal, arguing it was purely on the basis of low electoral support. The metro is one of the 61 which was declared hung after there was no outright winner. The ANC received 38.19% votes, followed by the DA with 28.72% and the EFF with 13.47%.
At lunchtime, a total of 224 councillors had been sworn in. The election of office bearers including speaker of council, chief whip and the executive mayor was under way.
Councillor Dorah Mlambo for the ANC and the DA’s Raymond Dlamini’s names had been put up and seconded for the position of speaker.
The ANC's Mzwandile Masina is expected to be re-elected for the executive mayor position, but with the help of a coalition with smaller parties.
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