How ANC secured Ekurhuleni
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Johannesburg - Divided opposition parties in Ekurhuleni gave the ANC a plain sailing victory that resulted in the party retaining control of its only metro council in Gauteng.
The ANC's victory margin of 11 votes for the mayor and speaker over their closest rival, the DA, showed that the opposition parties were not voting as a unit.
Prior to these elections, the ANC entered into an election pact with the African Independent Congress (AIC) and the PAC.
The AIC had secured four seats and the PAC got one seat, and together with the ANC, which secured 109, would have given the governing party a majority of 114 to control the council. The metro has a total of 224 councillors, which included the position of mayor and speaker.
The ANC and DA were equally also confident of victory but all that changed soon after the nomination of ANCs Patricia Kumalo and Shadow Shabangu of the DA for the position of speaker.
While everyone expected the ANC and DA to scramble for votes, Kumalo réceived 117 while Shabangu only managed to secure 106. This was a common trend when mayor-elect Mzwandile Masina was voted in, snatching victory from the DA's Ghaleb Cachalia.
These results demonstrated that some of the opposition parties voted alongside the ANC. Apart from the AIC and PAC, the ANC also obtained the support of the Patriotic Alliance and the Independent Ratepayers Association of SA (Irasa), under veteran councillor Izak Berg.
The other remaining parties, the EFF, COPE, IFP, Freedom Front Plus and ACDP had all pledged to vote as a coalition for the DA, but one of these parties' councillors gave his vote to the ANC, which led to the reduction of the DA vote.
Berg, the sole Irasa councillor in Ekurhuleni, confirmed that he voted for the ANC. A former DA councillor and staunch critic of the ANC, Berg said: “I had only two choices. I voted for a candidate who lives in Ekurhuleni. Yes, I voted for Mzwandile Masina. I could not vote for someone who lives in Joburg.
“Ghaleb Cachalia lives in Parktown. He used the residential address of Nicola da Silva in Edenvale to register to participate in these elections,” Berg said.
He made the same allegations against Cachalia during the sitting of the council, after Cachalia told the council that Masina was not supposed to be a mayoral candidate, because he had yet to resign his cabinet position in Parliament.
But Masina differed with him and insisted that he had already resigned as MP and cabinet member.