DURBAN - ETHEKWINI Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s future hangs in the balance after his name appeared at number 9 on the ANC’s nomination list for the 2021 local government elections in the KwaZulu-Natal region.
Kaunda’s chance to return to the region’s position as executive mayor of the metro shrank when the list of top 10 candidates in the eThekwini region leaked. Number 9 of the top 10 positions, as per the tradition of the party, does not qualify to be appointed as the office-bearer in the municipality.
Approached for comment, Kaunda’s spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa said the mayor could not comment on the internal processes of the ANC.
“The relevant structure to speak to is the party because this is an internal matter which the ANC is in a position to respond to,” Mntungwa said.
Thabane Nyawose, at number 1, is likely to be the first choice for the mayoral position. Thanduxolo Sabelo, a member of the municipality’s executive committee (Exco), sits securely at number 7, guaranteeing him another chance to remain in the decision-making body.
A senior leader, who did not want to be named, told the Daily News on Wednesday that the ANC would, after the election, create a space for Kaunda to go to the legislature because the top four in the list should not be changed.
He said the task team would submit three names to the ANC provincial executive committee but it was likely that it would recommend the people from the top four positions on the list.
ANC eThekwini regional task team co-ordinator Bheki Ntuli confirmed that the party intended to balance the list so that no one would feel marginalised from both factions. He also confirmed that the party was not likely to tamper with the first four positions when allocating posts after the election.
“I can confirm to you it’s the regional leadership’s wish that the troika (mayor, deputy mayor, and speaker) comes from the first four positions although the final decision would be made by the provincial and national leaderships especially concerning who will be the mayor.
The regional task team coordinator of the ANC Sbongile Khathi confirmed that Kaunda’s name had made it to the list and stressed that all those in the top 10 were in a “very safe position”.
“I cannot confirm whether the list is correct but I can confidently say that the first 10 on the list are secure. However, I am not in a position to disclose the internal details of the ANC and its nomination list for candidates,” said Khathi.
ANC branches in eThekwini have been embroiled in disputes. Various branches lodged disputes and claimed that the processes to nominate candidates were flawed because some branches allegedly did not meet the requirements.
Provincial ANC spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela previously told the Daily News that the regional leadership was attending to all the disputes and only if the issue is escalated, will the province intervene. He also mentioned the party had set up a committee to deal with all the disputes.
Meanwhile, the ANC in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal is facing uphill as it failed to submit lists of candidates to the Electoral Independent Commission before the deadline.
Independent political analyst Xolani Dube said there appeared to be a problem with the administration in the province. “It has become a new normal for such inconsistencies. The ANC has failed when it comes to the issues relating to administration, it makes no sense for the governing party to be crying foul,” said Dube.