The IFP managed to wrest control of a ward in Pongola from its rivals the NFP during a fiercely contested by-election – one of four held in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
The IFP, which also retained its ward in Umtshezi, said on Thursday last week that its victory in the ward previously controlled by the NFP proved that the ANC/NFP coalition which governs 19 municipalities, including Pongola, was on the wane.
“The IFP is proud to have withstood their total onslaught, despite the fact that state resources were used by ANC-led government departments in order to try to defeat the IFP,” said IFP MPL Blessed Gwala.
But NFP leader Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi said the result would not have any impact on the control of the municipality and blamed her party’s loss on fraud.
She claimed that “hundreds of voters from neighbouring wards and even those from outside the area were registered under the ward and transported to the area to influence the by-election results”.
In other by-elections, the DA retained control of its ward in Vryheid, while the ANC retained its ward in Ntambanana.
In Vryheid, the DA increased its support from 57.3 percent in 2011 to 72.8 percent.
The acting leader of the DA in KZN, Francois Rodgers, said the by-elections were a dress rehearsal for the 2014 national elections, and that indications were that the DA was growing.
The ANC said its victory in Ntambanana was a clear sign that voters had confidence in the party. In the ward, the ANC increased its support to 46.49 percent in the by-election, from 41.2 in 2011. “We are pleased that we have recorded significant growth not only in Ward 2, where we won, but also in wards won by other parties,” said ANC provincial spokesman Senzo Mkhize.