Thabani Nyawose, a senior manager in the eThekwini Municipality, is one of the leaders touted to be the next mayor of eThekwini. | Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Thabani Nyawose, a senior manager in the eThekwini Municipality, is one of the leaders touted to be the next mayor of eThekwini. | Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Jostling for mayoral positions heat up in KZN as coalition talks come to an end

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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Durban - The battle for vacant mayoral position in KwaZulu-Natal is heating up as coalition talks between various political parties in the province are expected to conclude on Thursday.

In eThekwini, the two prominent warring factions have fielded three candidates.

The CR17 faction has submitted the name of Thabani Nyawose, a senior manager within the metro, to replace outgoing mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda.

This is while the pro-Zandile Gumede faction has fielded her long-time confidant, Zama Sokhabase, to run for the position.

Gumede's supporters had initially wanted another of her confidants, Nkosenhle Madlala, to run for the position.

They also wanted Themba Ntuli, another loyalist to become the deputy mayor.

However, the biggest impediment to the factions’ ambition is that the ANC is yet to conclude talks with all the parties it needs in the region in order to form a government.

The IFP and the DA have outrightly rejected ANC overtures.

The ruling party was left to negotiate with the EFF, NFP and Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) and talks were still ongoing by Wednesday.

In the troubled Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) Municipality, outgoing mayor, Mzi Thebola is fighting for the mayoral chains with Jabu Ngubo.

Their names have been submitted to the interview panel chaired by former tourism minister Derek Hanekom who has been tasked with interviewing mayoral candidates in KwaZulu-Natal.

Ngubo was the municipality’s speaker when in 2019 the ANC removed then-mayor Themba Njilo and some of his top councillors for allegedly failing to turn the municipality around.

In the hung council of uMhlathuze (Richards Bay-Mpangeni), the ANC is understood to be going to interview the outgoing mayor, Mdu Mhlongo, and two other candidates who could not be verified by Independent Media.

Mhlongo is the current chairperson of the ANC in the region (ANC Musa Dladla region).

ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the provincial executive committee met on Monday and received all nominated mayoral candidates.

He added they expected the interviews to get under way this week after getting a directive from the national executive committee.

The ANC is not the only party facing a headache over mayoral candidates.

The IFP and ABC are also facing similar challenges.

IFP insiders say the party is faced with the challenge of where it would deploy its all-powerful KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, Thami Ntuli.

Ntuli is currently the mayor of Nkandla and he is credited for weakening out the ANC in the King Cetshwayo District.

“The NEC is still mulling whether he should stay in Nkandla or be moved to head the district since the party has won it. It is yet to be seen what will happen to him. Another challenge is who will the party field in Mhlathuze once the coalition talks are over. But it seems likely that Xolani Ngwezi will be our candidate,” the IFP source said.

The source added that all talks about mayoral positions would be concluded tomorrow when the NEC of the party meets to discuss the matter.

IFP national spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said their negotiation team would report to them today.

“The IFP has not concluded its talks. The negotiations team is due to report to the NEC tomorrow,” added Hlengwa.

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Political Bureau

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