DURBAN - THE ANC in Zululand has appealed to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka to investigate the legality of the council decision to reduce executive committee (Exco) seats.
Initially, the Exco seats allocated were seven, with the IFP receiving three while the ANC and NFP had two each, but during the inaugural council on Friday, seats were reduced to six in total resulting in the IFP remaining with three seats, the ANC two and the NFP one.
ANC leader chief whip Khayelihle Khumalo said the IFP decided to reduce seats because they feared the ANC and NFP coalition would control Exco, adding that his party would seek advice from Cogta on whether the IFP’s decision met legal requirements or not. Khumalo said that before the council inauguration, Exco had been allocated seven seats but the IFP and EFF coalition voted to reduce the seats to six.
“We do not think this was legal which is why we want Cogta to intervene and give us guidance. We need that seat back,” said Khumalo.
The NFP had appointed its acting president Jeremiah Mavundla and Siphamandla Ntombela to sit on the Exco.
Ntombela told the Daily News on Sunday that his party was confused when the IFP proposed the reduction of seats, adding that after the ANC and NFP objected to the proposal the IFP and EFF used their majority vote to force it. He too said they were awaiting a directive from the MEC.
In the 37-seat council, the IFP received 17 seats followed by the ANC with 10, NFP eight while the DA and EFF had one each. The EFF rescued the IFP and helped Thulasizwe Buthelezi retain his mayoral chain. The EFF’s vote was crucial to both parties to decide who between the ANC and the IFP governs the municipality.
Khumalo said EFF councillor Thulani Ndlovu had initially agreed to work with his party but before the council started he came to inform them that his party bosses had told him to vote with the IFP and threatened to fire him if he did not take the party mandate. Ndlovu who was appointed to the deputy mayor’s position denied he was threatened with dismissal but agreed he was told to vote with the IFP. If the ANC and NFP coalition succeed in getting the Exco seat back their coalition would be a majority. This would mean that while IFP and EFF were the majority in the full council, the ANC and NFP coalition would be controlling Exco, which was the decision-making structure of the municipality.