Newly-elected eThekwini speaker Thabani Nyawose. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
Newly-elected eThekwini speaker Thabani Nyawose. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Political parties want security and power supply assurances ahead of crucial eThekwini council vote

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Nov 23, 2021

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Durban - In a bid to ensure that the mooted Wednesday sitting of the eThekwini Municipality council to elect a new mayor, deputy and exco (executive committee) members is not botched again, the DA has written to the speaker to demand assurances.

Writing in her capacity as the leader of the DA caucus in the municipality, Nicole Graham asked newly elected speaker Thabani Nyawose (ANC) to ensure that democratic processes were not bent.

In the letter seen by Independent Media and sent to Nyawose on Tuesday, Graham said even the power failure that plunged the sitting into a crisis even before there was a security breach by rogue ANC supporters is suspicious.

“The eThekwini council inauguration yesterday fell into chaos after the meeting was disrupted by councillors, a mob of ANC supporters who broke into the venue and an electricity failure. It is widely thought that this failure may have been deliberate. The generator at Moses Mabhida Stadium has reportedly not been serviced,” Graham said in the opening part of her letter to Nyawose.

Picture: @NicoleGraham031/Twitter

This is in reference to the incident on Monday when the gigantic marquee pitched at Moses Mabhida Stadium to accommodate the council’s sitting was plunged into darkness following a power failure.

Prior to that, opposition councillors accused their ANC colleagues of trying to avert “their looming defeat by raising endless points of order.”

At that point the IFP, which had initially abstained when the voting for the speaker took place, decided to join the fray by backing Graham to take on ANC’s Mxolisi Kaunda for the mayoral position.

The to and fro went on until the power failure, forcing Nyawose to adjourn the sitting.

But Graham wants Nyawose to assure her and the other opposition parties that there are measures in place to prevent the power failure and security breach.

“It is critical that democracy prevails and that a lawful and legitimate meeting can go ahead to elect the remaining council office bearers. Against this backdrop, I request written responses to the following by 5pm today, the 23rd of November: 1) What steps have been taken to secure the Council venue and prevent any disruptions or security threats to tomorrow's meeting? 2)

“Is the same venue being used? 3) What steps have been taken to ensure that electricity supply to the venue remains stable and that any interruptions to the main electricity supply will not hamper the continuation of the meeting? 4) Please outline the process, including any legal steps, that will be used to elect a mayor and deputy mayor, and what steps will be taken in the event that the meeting is disrupted by disgruntled councillors.”

Meanwhile, as the IFP’s crusade to fight back following “betrayal by the ANC” continues, the party on Tuesday forged an alliance with the EFF to take over Umhlathuze Municipality (Mpangeni-Richards Bay).

The IFP’s Dr Nkonzo Donda was elected mayor while the EFF’s Nkululeko Ngubane was elected as his deputy.

The ANC was also kicked out of Umvoti (Greytown) Municipality when the IFP teamed up with the ABC (Abantu Batho Congress). Initially, the ANC wanted to team up with the ABC but the deal fell through late last week.

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