Durban – The bid to oust the IFP mayor of the Alfred Duma (Ladysmith) local municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal has failed – at least for now.
This was after one of the ward councillors withdrew his signature from the petition, thus rendering it unimplementable.
The councillor, Phasika Nsele from ward 29, which is occupied by the IFP, wrote to the Speaker, Bheki Sithole, on Monday and said he was no longer part of those demanding a special sitting.
He did not state his reason for the sudden withdrawal which left the council with 36 signatures, one short of the required quorum.
Nsele confirmed to IOL that he indeed wrote to Sithole and withdrew his signature.
The entire council has 73 councillors with the IFP occupying 33 seats, ANC 28 seats, EFF 5, DA with 3 and the NFP, ABC and the other two minority parties holding a seat each.
“I Councillor P Nsele from ward 29 wishes to advise of the withdrawal of my signature from the petition dated 6 February 2023.
“I therefore wish to state it clearly that I am therefore no longer part of the said petition calling for a special council sitting,” Nsele wrote to Sithole.
According to letter seen by IOL, Sithole then wrote to the councillor of the National Peoples Ambassadors (NPA) who initiated the motion that it has fallen flat and as such, a special council cannot be convened.
“Kindly be advised that councillor Nsele has submitted a letter of withdrawal of signature in respect of the petition.
“In view of the above, the request for a special council meeting cannot be processed as the request does not contain majority signatories,” the speaker wrote to the NPA.
Sithole confirmed to IOL on Wednesday that he received Nsele’s letter of withdrawal and as such, the special council sitting cannot be convened.
“For a special council to sit, we need signatures of 37 councillors, after councillor Nsele’s withdrawal it meant that there were 36 signatures.
“As a result of that, the council could not be convened and I can officially confirm that it would not take place,” Sithole told IOL.
The sudden realignment of political leadership in municipalities comes after the EFF dumped the IFP as its coalition partner, leaving several municipalities vulnerable to takeovers by the ANC-EFF-NFP alliance.