‘We knew we’d win Rustenburg’ – ANC Mayor

By Drum Digital
19 August 2016

The ANC mayor of Rustenburg, Mpho Khunou, says he expected to be reelected into his position even though the opposition commanded more seats in the 89-member council.

By Aphiwe Boyce

The ANC has 43 seats, but it won both the positions of speaker and mayor in a heated inaugural seating of the council this afternoon. It beat the opposition by 46 to 43, prompting a recount in the municipality that includes Marikana.

Khunou told DRUM that the ANC had quietly spoken to some opposition councillors after it lost the municipality during the recent local Government elections.

“We didn’t make a lot of noise. We spoke to parties that have won seats and had an understanding about the outcome,” he said. “What’s important is for all parties to work together in the interest of Rustenburg. A lot of bad things happened in the last two weeks. All parties must now rise to the occasion.”

The Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters were left scratching their heads  in disbelief  after the nominations and voting for the top two positions that also  saw Sheila Mabale-Huma was elected as a speaker. The EFF has 24 seats, the DA took 14. The Forum for Service Delivery won four seats. The United Democratic Movement, the African Independent Congress and FF Plus each have one seat.

On Friday 19 August, News24 reported that EFF leader Julius Malema told media that the Forum for Service Delivery would govern with the red berets' votes in the municipality. The smaller parties with the DA and EFF combined would have 46 council seats, beating the ANC and taking away from them the platinum belt of South Africa. Malema also told journalists the EFF was not hungry for power and it would do what the party thought would benefit the people of Rustenburg.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane is on record saying that the party had delegated power down to the province to form coalitions with small parties.

Following today’s vote, the DA member of Parliament in the area, Herman Groenewald, said: “We can’t prove it, but I suspect the smaller parties know how the ANC won the two seats. Definitely the smaller parties dropped us. It’s neither the DA nor the EFF.  The other small parties, especially those who have one seat each, didn’t keep the promise and did not vote with us. We are very disappointed with them but we accept the outcome.”

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