Umtshezi council: ANC pulls off coup

2011-05-04 00:00

THE ANC pulled off a coup at the Umtshezi Municipality, ousting the Inkatha Freedom Party and gaining control for the next two weeks until the local government election.

This is all thanks to the disarray in the IFP ranks due to the breakaway by the National Freedom Party.

The ANC grabbed the opportunity, realising that the rival parties are so distrustful of each other that they would cast their votes elsewhere rather than for each other.

After the former IFP member and mayor Lymon Shelembe and others defected to the NFP, there were vacant seats on the executive committee.

These would have gone to replacements from the list submitted to Independent Electoral Commission and the IFP would have remained in charge. To prevent that from happening the ANC proposed a vote of no confidence in the leadership. This was carried out by a secret ballot and the ANC knew that the IFP and NFP members would not vote for each other.

The ANC ended up getting the majority of votes and elected its own mayor, Bongani Dlamini, and speaker Phiwe Sokhela.

This is an important development because crucial decisions have to be taken by the council in the next two weeks. One more council meeting takes place next week to pass the budget and council insiders say the ANC can make certain changes to the budget to give preference to projects on the party’s wish list.

There is also the day-to-day running of the council and decisions will be in the hands of the ANC, which has never won that council in a local government election.

With this coup, the party is hoping that it will retain power after the elections on May 18.

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