While opposition parties in the eThekwini metro sang from the same hymn sheet and were ready to vote against the ANC on Monday, small party votes were bought with promises of positions - saving the ruling party from yet another bruising humiliation.
Philani Mavundla from the Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) served up the biggest surprise in eThekwini's council when he voted with the ANC, giving them control of the municipality.
"I wanted an exco seat and now I have got it. The DA simply refused to move on their stance on having us part of the executive leadership. That is it. They were rigid and we spoke to people who could listen," he told News24's sister publication, The Witness.