Picture: Reuters

Durban - After being disqualified from contesting all the councils except the Nquthu Municipality, the NFP received a consolation when it at least secured two seats in the local government elections.

The party was disqualified from the municipal elections after failing to pay the required deposit within the stipulated deadline.

However, after its leaders in Nquthu paid the required deposit for the local municipality, a door was opened for them to contest.

The preliminary election results as at 8pm on Thursday night, showed that NFP representation was reduced from the five seats it obtained in the 2011 municipal elections to two.

In the last elections the party had formed a coalition with the ANC, after neither the latter nor the IFP won the municipality with an outright majority, when they both obtained 14 votes.

This time around, depending on negotiations among the parties, the NFP can potentially play a role in determining who, between ANC and IFP, governs there, apart from the DA and EFF.

According to the preliminary election results, the IFP won 15 seats, the ANC 14, NFP two and EFF and DA one each.

Speaking to the Daily News, NFP KZN deputy chairman, Erickson Zungu, said they welcomed the two seats they had won.

“We did not register to contest in all the wards, so the two seats are something to write home about,” Zungu said.

He was delighted that there was a prospect of his party determining who governed Nquthu Municipality.

“It looks like we will be king makers. We have said we are going to work with the ANC, and we had done so, even during these elections,” Zungu said.

The NFP KZN had on the eve of the elections urged its members to vote for the ANC, but this was rejected by some, who opted to back other parties like the DA, Cope and Al-Jama-Ah.

The NFP caused an upset in the 2011 municipal elections when it split the vote that could have gone the way of the IFP after their breakaway.

During the previous elections the party managed to win two municipalities, eDumbe and Nongoma, and also entered into a coalition with the ANC in 19 other municipalities.

This had translated into a total of 210 councillors, which is a far cry from just the two it clinched on Wednesday.