ANC takes control of uMkhanyakude District Municipality amid heated council sitting
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DURBAN - The ANC emerged victorious in the uMkhanyakude District Council, narrowly securing positions of speaker, mayor and deputy mayor in a drama-filled inaugural council sitting today.
The problems began as KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala was set to take the podium, when IFP members expressed their disapproval saying the premier had no business addressing the council.
In a video circulating on social media, an IFP councillor, who has since been identified as Killer Mkhwanazi, was seen slapping the table in the council chamber, saying the premier had no business in addressing the council. Police had to be called in to restore order before proceedings of electing office-bearers could continue.
“He is not going to speak here”, the councillor could be heard saying in the video.
After a while, calm was restored and Solomon Mkhombo was elected council speaker, edging out IFP councillor Petros Madlopha by 18 votes to 17.
A similar pattern followed in the election of the mayor, with the ANC edging out the IFP and getting councillor Mandla Ndlela elected as mayor and councillor Zodwa Mtshali as deputy mayor.
The district has 35 council seats with the ANC, IFP, EFF, NFP and an independent represented at the council.
Today’s chaotic council sitting came just days after another sitting where punches were exchanged in Alfred Duma Municipality (Ladysmith), while an eThekwini council sitting had to be abandoned last week after a rowdy group interrupted the inaugural meeting before a power failure brought the sitting to an abrupt end.