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EFF remains defiant on 'Die Stem' at first eThekwini council meeting

2016-08-23 12:52
EFF leadership. (News24)

Durban - Newcomers to the eThekwini Metro council, the Economic Freedom Fighters, sat down as soon as "Die Stem" portion of the national anthem was sung on Tuesday.

The eight members, who were expected to be sworn in during the inaugural council sitting at the Durban City Hall, sang along to the anthem until it got to the Afrikaans part.

More than 220 new, returning councillors and all office bearers were expected to be sworn into office in the eThekwini council.

The sitting, which was scheduled to begin at 10:15, started at around 11:00. A new mayor and council speaker are expected to be elected.  

The African National Congress won the metro and secured 126 seats, while the Democratic Alliance has 61 seats.

Gumede most likely to be mayor

READ: Maimane 'should help drop Die Stem from the anthem'

This was followed by the Inkatha Freedom Party (10 seats) and the EFF (eight seats). There are five independent candidates and seven minority parties.

ANC mayoral candidate Zandile Gumede is seen as the most likely to take over from outgoing Mayor James Nxumalo. The DA was expected to nominate Haniff Hoosen as its mayoral candidate.

Nxumalo was seen greeting and embracing people inside the city hall. He sat one seat away from councillor Logie Naidoo, the outgoing speaker.

The red carpet was cleared when Gumede walked into the city hall with KwaZulu-Natal Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and councillor Fawzia Peer by her side.

According to the programme, the swearing in of councillors was expected to be followed by the swearing in of traditional leaders. That will be followed by the swearing in of the speaker.

The executive committee was expected to be established before the election of the mayor, deputy mayor, chief whip and the swearing in of office bearers.

Eradicating poverty

The new mayor is expected to address the city at a later stage.

Dube-Ncube congratulated the new and returning councillors for being elected, and urged them to commit themselves to the service of the metro's residents.

"[We must] continue to usher in the new transformation in the lives of our people and we know that the councillors here will do just that," said Dube-Ncube.

She added that the new councillors were expected to champion the province's Sukuma Sakhe programme to eradicate poverty, create employment and address social ills affecting eThekwini residents.

Councillors are currently being sworn in by Chief Magistrate Admond Ngubane.

In the past few days, the DA's Athol Trollip was elected as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay and the DA's Solly Msimanga as mayor of the City of Tshwane. The party's Herman Mashaba was elected as the mayor of the City of Johannesburg.

Read more on: da  |  anc  |  eff  |  durban  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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