Durban - Despite the ANC nominating Mxolisi Kaunda to take over the eThekwini mayoral seat, opposition parties are gunning for the position in the hope that ANC councillors who are aggrieved by Zandile Gumede’s removal, would change their vote.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal insisted that the full council would sit this week for the swearing-in of the new members of the executive, but the DA said it was unlikely.
Gumede went last week to Luthuli House to challenge the party’s provincial executive committee’s (PEC) decision to fire her and the ANC provincial leadership would appear Monday before the ANC top six to present its side of the story.
It is believed the majority of the ruling party’s councillors were backing Gumede and should another ANC candidate be forced upon them, they might vote with the opposition, to punish the PEC.
Sources revealed that 62 party councillors were unhappy about being threatened with charges in connection with Gumede’s fraud and corruption case involving the city council’s solid waste tender.
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said before the swearing-in the mayor, deputy mayor and speaker’s positions would be up for grabs.
“It is a standard practice that we nominate a candidate as official opposition. If we don’t nominate our candidate, it means we agree with the ruling party’s candidate,” said Mncwango.
Mncwango said the DA caucus would decide this week who it would nominate to contest the three positions.
“We will contest all available positions as they are up for grabs,” Mncwango said.
IFP councillor Mdu Nkosi said his party would support DA candidates.
“Since the DA is an official opposition, we will allow them to have the mayor and speaker.
“We cannot, as opposition not contest these positions,” said Nkosi.
He said the opposition had a 50% chance of taking over the city council.
“We might soon have an opposition mayor,” said Nkosi.
An ANC councillor, who asked not to be named, said the ANC was facing a difficult position since the majority of the councillors supported Gumede.
“This is quite serious because if among us we are still divided it is possible that the opposition will get in. We could lose all senior positions,” said the councillor.
Spokesperson for Gumede’s supporters Mzomuhle Dube warned that if the full council kicked Gumede out through a motion of no confidence, the ANC would be left disrupted.
“They can remove her, but they (ANC) would find it difficult to elect their person,” said Dube.