WATCH: ANC says it hopes IFP will honour agreement ahead of voting for new eThekwini mayor
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DURBAN - Amid uncertainty on whether the IFP will honour its consensus agreement with the ANC in hung municipalities such as eThekwini, the governing party said it never negotiated in “bad faith” and it will still respect the agreement.
This comes as on Monday several major municipalities, including eThekwini and Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg), convened their first council sitting to elect mayors, and there are fears that the IFP may strike back by fielding candidates or back opposition parties that will take on the ANC, thus throwing a spanner in the works.
The disgruntlement within the IFP ranks grew at Abaqulusi (Vryheid) Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, where ANC councillors reneged on the deal despite pleas from Luthuli House.
The deal between the IFP and the ANC is that they should not contest each other in hung municipalities. The party with the highest number of votes should be allowed to form the government without the other breathing down its neck.
Speaking to Independent Media on Monday shortly after arriving at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, where the election of the new eThekwini mayor was to take place, ANC eThekwini region deputy co-ordinator Bheki Ntuli said they were a self-respecting organisation.
WATCH: Former ANC MP and Jacob Zuma nemesis, Makhosi Khoza who is now a leader and councillor of ActionSA tells Independent Media ahead of the election of new eThekwini mayor that they will not back the ANC. She said voters rejected the governing party. @IOL pic.twitter.com/IW5N9IRh1I— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) November 22, 2021
“As far as we know, we are respectable organisations; both of the organisations when we agree, we don’t negotiate in bad faith. If we engage, we engage properly. We are respecting the IFP as a partner that is going to be working with us; not necessarily a partner, but we have agreed that we will be working together in different municipalities. As the ANC we will be respecting our agreement and for sure we have no reason not to respect them,” Ntuli said.
Earlier, Ntuli, who is the running mate of Thabani Nyawose ahead of the regional conference, said the decision to field Mxolisi Kaunda was a result of party processes.
There was an expectation that Nyawose, who is a backer of ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, would get the nod. Last week, Nyawose was heard in a video thread telling a meeting of his inner circle that he had done well during the interview for mayoral candidates in metros and he would be fielded.
“People were expecting different people, but the process of the ANC was run very well,” Ntuli said.
The ANC is heading to the council sittings limping as the DA, EFF and ActionSA have already made it clear that they will not back it.
Speaking to Independent Media before the start of the council sitting, ActionSA councillor in the eThekwini Municipality, Makhosi Khoza, made it clear that if they backed the ANC it would mean bringing back, through the back door, a party that had been rejected by voters.