Durban - A close relative of outgoing eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo has claimed a key victory, winning a KwaZulu-Natal ward, standing as an independent candidate. Malombo Nxumalo, the cousin of the departing mayor, secured his spot as the tallying of votes in KwaZulu-Natal wound down on Friday. Ward 4 in Inchanga has been in tumult in the lead-up to local government elections, with claims of political killings prompting a face-off between the ANC and the SACP. In February, Bongani Hlatshwayo, 38, and Phillip Dlamini, 68, were killed during a public meeting at a sports ground.The killings deepened divisions between the two tripartite alliance members, with the SA Communist Party pulling out of electoral processes in the province and the ANC Youth League calling for the SACP provincial secretary to step down.The cases against five people arrested for the killings was still pending. Nxumalo, speaking to News24, said he felt great about the victory. "I feel great because this is the will of the community. I will be meeting with my entire family at the weekend," he said. He said that while he acknowledged the term “independent candidate”, he believed it sent the wrong message. "The term independent gives the impression that I chose to stand and then went out and canvassed for votes, and that is not the case. I am a community candidate, the community chose me and then they elected me," he said.