The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal said that there were no favours exchanged to have smaller parties voting with them in the eThekwini council.
This comes after allegations from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) that money was involved to have Mxolisi Kaunda elected as mayor. The Abantu Batho Congress (ABC)’s Philani Mavundla was elected deputy mayor.
But the party has denied the allegations, saying that it was a fair process.
KZN ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela: “It was a fair process. People don’t understand the ANC had an agreement with the smaller parties. That agreement was collapsed by the agreement they had with the IFP.”
He said that the ANC managed convince the smaller parties to work with them because they also shared similar interests.
“We had to regroup and say to the smaller parties, ‘yes, we acknowledge the mistakes we made but in the best interests of our people let us continue working together.'”
Ntombela said that the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) must accept defeat in eThekwini instead of spreading what it called unsubstantiated rumours that the governing party bought votes.
“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,” he added.
Councillors reconvened at the Durban International Convention Centre under tight security on Wednesday to elect the new leadership.
The initial session on Monday was abandoned when ANC supporters stormed proceedings, while a power cut added to the disruptions.
The IFP said that an agreement was in place with smaller parties to not vote with the ANC but things took another turn.
According to the ANC, the Abantu Batho Congress and other smaller parties agreed to collaborate with the governing party because of their shared interests.
The IFP’s Mduduzi Nkosi believes that 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 highlighted the election of Mavundla as the deputy mayor as a clear indication 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.
The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Nicole Graham, who lost to Kaunda, has also alleged that money did exchange hands, although she did not elaborate.
Meanwhile, newly elected eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has vowed that better governance would come out of his administration.
He addressed the council sitting 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 leadership of this municipality,” he said.
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