Newcastle’s acting mayor confirmed

2010-03-16 00:00

AFTER acting as Newcastle mayor for almost a year, yesterday the ANC’s Afzul Rehman was finally confirmed and inaugurated as mayor of the Newcastle Municipality.

The municipality convened a sitting to elect its presiding officers yesterday.

Prior to Rehman’s unanimous election yesterday, the municipality was controlled by the Inkatha Freedom Party, collaborating with smaller parties, as there was no clear-cut winner during the 2006 elections.

During the 2006 local government election, the ANC received 28 votes, the IFP 20, the DA six, Nadeco (which later became Fedcon) four, the Freedom Front one, the African Christina Democratic Party one and the Royal Loyal Party also received one seat in the 61-seat council.

Rehman was elected deputy mayor last year, after an ANC-Fedcon collaboration. The IFP legally challenged the process, and Rehman became acting mayor.

Last year, the ANC won the bi-elections in three wards that were previously held by IFP councillors, who resigned amid internal conflicts within the party.

That win gave the ANC a simple majority of 31 councillors, hence yesterday’s election and inauguration of the new presiding officers.

Rehman’s colleague in the ANC, councillor Nkulumo Hadebe, was elected as the deputy mayor.

In his acceptance speech, Rehman said he was “humbled to be elected as the first citizen of this beautiful town”.

“It shows the extreme political maturity we have reached coming from an era of anarchy and political turmoil,” Rehman said.

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