DA ‘votes with’ triumphant ANC in Ndwedwe Local Municipality, denies the claim
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DURBAN - IN A surprise move, the DA may have voted with the ANC in the Ndwedwe Local Municipality on Tuesday despite the party denying the claim.
The inaugural council meeting was held at Nsuze sports grounds. When municipal manager Msawenkosi Radebe announced the results for the speaker’s position, the ANC's Mduduzi Cele received 22 votes, beating both Sabelo Sibiya (IFP) with 11 votes and the EFF’s Wilfred Makhanya with four.
In the 37-seat council, the ANC has 19 seats followed by the IFP with 11, the EFF with four while the DA, the African Freedom Revolution and African Independent Congress (AIC), each have one.
The figures for the ANC victory could mean that all three small parties voted for the ANC because the IFP and the EFF apparently voted for their councillors alone. This, if true, would mean that DA councillor Mnqobi Sibiya went against the party’s stance that under no circumstances would it work with the ANC in any municipality.
The DA councillor appeared to have helped the ANC twice because during the election of the mayor, the ANC’s Sam Mfeka tallied the same number of votes as the speaker while the IFP's Phumelela Shezi kept his party at 11.
The DA provincial chairperson Dean Macpherson had initially told the Daily News he was going to investigate, but later said it was not true and the information he had gathered was that their councillor abstained from voting.
However, the municipal manager dismissed this, saying all 37 councillors cast their votes and there were no spoilt votes. Sibiya also denied voting with the ANC, saying he did not know where the ANC’s 22nd vote came from.
Sources within the ANC said it had asked small parties to assist after threats that there were councillors who were planning to sabotage the party because they were unhappy their mayoral candidate was not appointed as mayor.
Despite these threats over the allocation of positions, the ANC has retained the municipality, scooping all the troika positions (mayor, deputy and speaker). The event was also attended by the public, who braved the rainy weather and packed a marquee.
The signs of an ANC victory became evident when it won the speaker’s position through Cele. The ANC’s Mfeka was elected as mayor, and in the deputy mayor’s position is the ANC’s Zandile Siwetu, who received 21 votes while the IFP’s Joice Nkwanyana received 12.
In terms of executive committee seat allocations, the ANC received four while the IFP and the EFF received two and one respectively.
On Monday, the Daily News was reliably informed that there were ANC councillors who were going to collapse the inauguration because they were unhappy that their mayoral candidate was rejected.
Former mayor Vincent Chili did not return to the council while former speaker Khonza Ngidi was appointed to the municipality’s executive committee.
The ANC was the biggest loser in the recent elections, having lost eight seats, dropping from 27 to 19, while the IFP scooped three wards from the ANC, increasing its seats from eight to 11. The EFF, which had one councillor, added three seats to make it four while the AIC, which was not represented before, received one seat.
In his maiden speech, mayor Mfeka thanked his party and councillors for the confidence they had shown in him by appointing him to the position. He committed to work hard to improve the lives of the people of Ndwedwe.