IFP to take Mtubatuba by motion of confidence

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa whose party wants to reclaim Mtubatuba by motion of no confidence.

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa whose party wants to reclaim Mtubatuba by motion of no confidence.

Published Dec 7, 2021


DURBAN - The IFP in Mtubatuba said it would bring a motion of no confidence to reclaim the municipality from the ANC.

In a drama-filled council meeting last week, IFP narrowly lost the municipality to the ANC. There were accusations that there were councillors in the IFP coalition who were bribed to vote with the ANC.

During voting, two IFP councillors requested to leave, with one saying he forgot his identity document and driver’s licence in his car but never came back, and another had asked to go to the toilet when the voting started and was refused entry upon his return.

This raised suspicions that the two had been bribed. Other rumours were that councillors supporting president Velenkosini Hlabisa were not happy their candidate was sidelined for the mayoral position.

A regional party leader, who asked not to be named, told the Daily News on Tuesday that while waiting for the court process, the party has decided to take short-cuts and grab the municipality by a vote of no confidence and remove ANC from power.

The leader said the two councillors cost the party the municipality, but it was difficult to prove the bribery claims. He said the party had spoken to both EFF and DA councillors, and it was likely that the motion could be tabled soon.

During voting for the speaker position, the DA abstained, but the IFP leader said all had been sorted out with their coalition partners ahead of the motion, which he said could be next week or early next year.

“They caused us to lose. That’s what we are sure of, but the question remaining on our lips is why they did what they did. Although they are giving us explanations, it is difficult to understand that you would only realise that you had no ID when the voting process started,” said the leader.

ANC regional secretary Thobelani Ncamphalala said his party would defend the motion and keep the municipality. He denied rumours they stole the municipality by bribing IFP councillors.

In the 44-seat council, the IFP received 19 seats followed by ANC with 15, the EFF 4, while smaller parties, which included NFP, AIC, UDM, DA, ACDP and Independent, got one each.

With EFF’s four seats and one from the DA, IFP was expected to win easily, but drama unfolded during voting for the speaker’s position when two party councillors walked out, causing IFP to lose the speaker’s position by 22 to 20 votes.

In anticipation of the loss, IFP councillors walked out but voting for mayor and deputy positions continued, and the party went to court to challenge the sitting, arguing it had lost quorum.

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