The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal said the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) should accept defeat in eThekwini rather than spreading unsubstantiated rumours that the governing party bought votes.
In eThekwini, the IFP has slammed those who voted with the ANC in council, accusing them of going into politics solely to enrich themselves. The ANC won the inaugural meeting of the council on Wednesday, securing enough votes for its mayoral candidate, Mxolisi Kaunda.
Philani Mavundla of the Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) was elected deputy mayor. Nhlakanipho Ntombela, KZN ANC spokesperson: “If you accuse people of being paid before you have evidence, don’t do it. Don’t go around saying people have been paid. If you have evidence, bring it on board.”
Councillors reconvened under tight security on Wednesday at the Durban International Convention Centre to elect the new leadership.
The first session on Monday was called off after ANC supporters stormed the building, and a power outage added to the chaos.
The IFP claimed that an agreement had been reached with smaller parties not to vote with the ANC, but events took a different turn. According to the ANC, the Abantu Batho Congress and other smaller parties agreed to work with the ruling party because they shared common interests.
Mduduzi Nkosi of the IFP believes favours were exchanged. “If we agree as political parties that we are going to vote together to ensure that the ANC cannot govern this city and then here they somersault and change, it means that people are here for money,” Nkosi said.
Nkosi has pointed to Mavundla’s election as deputy mayor as proof that there was more to the deals. “We also received offers but we turned them down, so you can see that people are rich in their pockets,” Nkosi said.
Nicole Graham of the Democratic Alliance (DA), who lost to Kaunda, also claimed that money was exchanged, though she did not elaborate. Meanwhile, newly elected eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has promised that his administration will provide better governance.
He spoke to the council shortly after his election. Kaunda said that he would prioritise the issues raised by community members. “Firstly, water and sanitation services, electricity supply, waste management, crime and corruption, unemployment. These are the priorities that we’ll be putting forward as the leader of this municipality,” he said.