ANC/IFP arrangement falls apart, parties accuse each other of political treachery
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DURBAN - THE ANC and IFP have accused each other of political treachery after several inaugural council sittings in KwaZulu-Natal, including that of eThekwini descended into chaos yesterday.
The chaotic scenes including an alleged fist fight in Ladysmith came less than a week after the IFP announced that it would back the ANC where the ruling party had won but not secured an outright majority in return for the same favour.
The only municipalities where the council meetings were incident-free was in Pietermaritzburg and Howick where the ANC and DA respectively had their mayors sworn in without any drama.
UMhlathuze is set for another council sitting this morning after chaotic scenes, including a power failure, and an alleged invasion of council chambers by a crowd singing Struggle songs that brought to a halt the meeting late yesterday afternoon following numerous delays. DA councillor in uMhlathuze Christo Botha accused the ANC of disrespecting the voters. “The voters were very clear that they did not want the ANC in power, but today the 27 councillors applied delaying tactics to try to deny the people what they want,” said Botha.
In a message circulated on social media and attributed to ANC, KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, ANC councillors were told to contest all available positions and not expect any favours from the IFP. “The IFP is clearly divided and has decided to contest against the ANC in certain places despite our agreements. Given the current prevailing conditions, we advise ANC structures to contest everywhere and anything possible working with small parties,” it read.
The message claimed that the IFP was the first to violate the agreement and therefore “we have no choice and can’t stand and watch”.
But the IFP’s Thami Ntuli said it had been the ANC that had not honoured the agreement.
It has been suggested that the ANC had ganged up with other parties including the National Freedom Party to attempt to dislodge the IFP in Abaqulusi (Vryheid) and Nongoma municipalities, but this had not succeeded.