ABC pulls out of coalition with IFP, leaving 4 KZN municipalities open to ANC-EFF takeover

Mavundla’s party has pulled out of the coalition pact with the IFP. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Mavundla’s party has pulled out of the coalition pact with the IFP. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Published May 3, 2023


Durban – The Abantu Batho Congress (ABC), which is led by former eThekwini municipality deputy mayor, Philani “PG” Mavundla, has formally ended its coalition pact with the IFP.

This is contained in a letter dated April 26, which the party sent to its councillors.

The coalition pact was inked in November 2021 after several municipalities were left hung.

“Greetings Councillors,

“The matter bears the above reference.

“The president has issued a directive as follows: ABC will not be voting with the IFP from now onwards unless mandated by the office.

“According to Rule:12.5.13, the founding president has unreserved power to issue an instruction, mandate or directive to any member of the party provided that such is not contra bonas mores (harmful to the moral welfare of society), illegal or contrary to the constitution of the party.

“This matter is not open for discussion,” read part of the letter sent to councillors of ABC and signed by its secretary-general, Phumelele Phahla.

Phahla did not comment when IOL asked what exactly led to the party pulling the plug on the coalition agreement. Through the coalition pact, the ABC helped the IFP to snatch power in municipalities such as Alfred Duma (Ladysmith) in northern KwaZulu-Natal and Umvoti in the Midlands.

The ABC’s single seat in the Dannhauser Local Municipality, in the north of the province, is also helping the IFP to thwart the ANC-EFF bid to take over the municipality.

The ABC has seats in municipalities like Inkosi Langalibalele (Estcourt) Local Municipality, Umzinyathi District Municipality and the Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) Local Municipality.

It also has two seats in the eThekwini metro where Mavundla worked with the ANC and filled the deputy mayor's position, but was later kicked out after a fallout with Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda from the ANC and replaced by Zandile Myeni from the National Freedom Party.

The directive on the coalition comes as Mavundla was recently sworn in as a councillor in Umvoti amid rumours that he would work with the ANC to dethrone the IFP mayor, Gabriel Malembe.

In return, his party’s councillors at Alfred Duma will vote for a mayoral candidate from the ANC to dethrone the IFP mayor there, Zama Sibisi.

On Friday, the ANC-EFF alliance will launch a motion of no confidence against the IFP leadership of the Uthukela District Municipality led by Inkosi Ntandoyenkosi Shabalala.

The ABC is expected to side with the ANC-EFF alliance during the special sitting convened by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

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