ANC flag. (Paul Herman, News24, file)
Johannesburg - The ANC's newly elected mayor in Rustenburg, Mpho Khunou, was just as shocked as the opposition after his re-election on Friday, he told News24.
"We were prepared for any outcome. These things have no guarantee. There was a real possibility that the ANC would find themselves in the outs," Khunou said.
Khunou beat opponent Rocky Malebane-Metsing of the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) by three votes, retaining Rustenburg municipality, where voting was done by secret ballot, with a 46-43 vote.
Having thrown his weight behind the F4SD, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema had pronounced that the council would no longer be controlled by the African National Congress.
The turn of events came as a surprise to EFF members who attended the seating, prompting the party's secretary general Godrich Gardee to accuse the ANC of using bribery to gain votes.
"The EFF were only prepared for one outcome - to emerge victorious. We had no qualms going into that meeting. The EFF must grow up. They cannot approve of democracy when it suits them," Khunou said.
Khunou told News24 he hoped that the opposition would work together with the ANC to develop the municipality further.
He said one of the main challenges facing the municipality was to ensure that both provincial and national government come to the party and help.
There was a considerable backlog in housing that can only be dealt with in collaboration with provincial and national government, he said.