Rustenburg - The ANC retained the Rustenburg council on Friday after its mayoral candidate, Mpho Khunou, was re-elected in a move that shocked opposition parties.
Three opposition councillors voted with the ANC to give it a majority of 46 votes, against the 43 combined opposition votes for Forum 4 Service Delivery mayoral nominee, Rocky Malebane-Metsing.
The election was marred by violence between ANC and EFF supporters outside the venue.
EFF councillors walked out shortly after the results were announced. Khunou was then dressed in the red mayoral gown and the mayoral chain. There was loud applause and ululation inside and outside the hall.
Moments before, the same scenario played itself out with the election of the ANC’s Sheila Mabale-Huma as speaker, with 45 votes to the opposition’s 43.
The move came despite EFF leader Julius Malema announcing in Marikana on Tuesday that the Rustenburg municipality would not go back to the ANC, which had governed it before.
EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee walked out of the public gallery when Khunou was named as mayor.
He told News24 that the Botho Community Movement (BCM) had "sold them out".
DA MPL Herman Groenewald told News24 that all the opposition parties, with the exception of the African Independent Congress (AIC), which had one seat, had agreed to vote for the F4SD’s candidates.
Although it was a secret vote, the AIC and the one BCM councillor voted with the ANC, leaving one ANC vote from the opposition unaccounted for.