Durban — Contrary to popular belief that Umkhonto weSizwe party sympathisers within eThekwini Municipality council will sink the ANC, a well-known MK party man, councillor Visvin Reddy, has saved mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.
The stakes were high ahead of voting in a motion to oust Kaunda from his position after the EFF made it clear that it will support his removal.
Among the parties that took part in the debate, African Democratic Change (ADeC) leader Reddy had announced that he would vote for Kaunda’s removal, but after horse trading during the caucus that was requested by Active Citizens Coalition councillor Imitiaz Sayed, Reddy did not return to the council room. Sayed had made it clear that he would vote with the ANC.
After counting, the ANC – with the support from certain small parties – got 109 votes while the opposition received 98. The opposition was not only let down by Reddy and other small parties, but the IFP which had brought the motion was short of three councillors, the DA of two and the EFF of three.
This meant that if the eight councillors were present it would have been a different picture.
The parties that saved the ANC were the Al Jama-ah, Mosa, TA, NFP and the ACC while the MF and AFP abstained.
Reacting to the outcome, DA caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa expressed disappointment at the smaller parties, especially councillor Reddy, for selling out the people of eThekwini, who are struggling to get services because of the failures of the ANC, calling on the voters to punish the parties that betrayed them.
Echoing Mthethwa’s sentiments, councillor Yogis Govender, who is from oThongathi, lashed out at Reddy and smaller parties, saying they sold out the residents of the northern areas who had been without water for many weeks.
Govender said it was strange that some of the parties were voted for mainly by people of Phoenix, Verulam and oThongathi, but they still sold them out.
“The voters must see for themselves who they are.
“Voters wasted their votes and should have voted ANC straight rather than trusting these parties which have now sold them out.
“The voters must punish them,” said Govender.
Reacting to the outcome, the IFP’s Mdu Nkosi also blamed Reddy for “running away”, saying it was disappointing to see what he did. Nkosi also blamed the speaker, Thabani Nyawose, for not allowing a secret vote, adding that he believed that there were also ANC councillors who would have voted for Kaunda’s removal.
Explaining why they wanted Kaunda gone while they are in coalition with the ANC, the EFF’s Themba Mvubu said they wanted to prove what they have been saying all along – that they were not in coalition with anyone in eThekwini but always vote differently on each item.
The EFF was also angered by the ANC’s arrogance which never bothered to consult them on the motion despite knowing about it since last year, he said.
Kaunda, who appeared relaxed, said he was never worried about the motion, saying his only concern was to deliver services to the people.
Defending himself, Reddy said those blaming him were looking for a fall guy, saying he knew the motion was not going to go ahead. He said he was not well but expressed his disappointment that the smaller parties changed their minds at the last minute.
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