Johannesburg - Tlokwe mayor Annette Combrink will resign from her position, the DA said on Thursday after the ANC retained six wards in Wednesday's by-elections.
“Executive mayor Combrink will conclude her business, and when that is done she will tender her resignation,” North West Democratic Alliance leader Chris Hattingh said.
He could not confirm when this would be.
Hattingh said the DA would officially become the minority opposition in Tlokwe, but would not cling to power in the same way the African National Congress had when its mayor Maphetle Maphetle was ousted and ANC councillors did not vacate their offices.
“Obviously we are disappointed; this was a very long campaign,” he said.
“However, we find comfort that the ANC has been pushed back, despite their campaign, which was a vicious one.”
He said the ANC had stated it would do whatever it took to reclaim the wards, and it had lived up to that promise.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) released the results of the by-elections on Thursday.
ANC candidates retained wards one, four, 11, 12, 13, and 20 of the municipality.
In ward one, the ANC got 1144 votes, and an independent candidate 253. In ward four, the ANC got 1064 votes, and the DA 1022, the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) 12, and the independent candidate 450.
The ANC retained ward 11 with 655 votes. An independent candidate obtained 96 votes, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) six, and the UCDP five.
In ward 12, the ANC obtained 1206 votes, an independent candidate 106, and the UCDP two.
In ward 13, the ANC took 844 votes, the DA 561, an independent candidate 373, the PAC 28 and the UCDP one.
Ward 20 was retained by the ANC with 543 votes, to an independent candidate's 346 and the UCDP's four.
The ANC welcomed the results.
“Democracy has prevailed. The ANC now holds a majority of 30 seats in the 52 seat council [in Tlokwe], thus restoring order and credibility to the council,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
“Repeated attempts by opportunistic elements to subvert the legitimate will of the people have failed. This resounding victory of the people lays to rest, once and for all, the exploitative political manoeuvrings by desperate forces within the Tlokwe local council.”
The by-elections were initially supposed to take place in the same wards, with the exclusion of Ward 13, on October 23. That by-election was postponed earlier after an out-of-court settlement.
However, they were postponed until Wednesday after six independent candidates asked for more time to campaign.
The date of October 23 was set after the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein heard an application by five independent candidates who were disqualified from taking part in previous by-elections by the IEC.
The ANC retained control of two of three wards in the remainder of the previous by-elections in Tlokwe.
The seats were vacated when 14 ANC councillors were expelled from the party in July for participating in a motion of no confidence in Maphetle. He was replaced as mayor by Combrink.
The ANC's national disciplinary committee subsequently overturned the expulsions, but nominated other candidates for the by-elections. Some of the former councillors decided to stand as independents.
The ANC in the North West said it was elated by the “overwhelming victory”.
“To us as the ANC, this victory is a befitting send-off of our beloved president and father of the rainbow nation comrade president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,” provincial secretary Dakota Legoete said.
“We want to thank all those who voted today [Wednesday], and those that reaffirmed their confidence in the ANC because of its commitment to change and transformation.”