The African National Congress has retained the City of eThekwini after its candidate Mxolisi Kaunda beat the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) caucus leader in the region, Nicole Graham.
Kaunda received 130 votes to retain the mayoral chain in the hotly contested metro, with Graham receiving 104 votes.
There were two spoiled votes.
The voting that was postponed due to chaos in the council on Monday began late on Wednesday, after a slow start due to councillors being at each other’s throats.
This after newly elected council speaker ANC councillor Thabani Nyawose fielded several points of order from the ANC, Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillors.
Amendments to ANC’s exco list
Graham objected to the ANC’s attempts to amend its executive committee (exco) list because one of their councillors had allegedly resigned. She asked that the ANC’s submission be made at the next council sitting, in order to allow the election of the new mayor to go ahead.
Opposition parties complained that on Monday the exco lists were read and approved in council, but the ANC refused to accept this.
The exco, according to the Municipal Structures Act, is the highest committee of the political office-bearers which sets the vision, the direction of a municipality, and its policy parameters.
Nyawose ended up ruling in the ANC’s favour after receiving legal advice.
“I made a ruling on this matter [and] I don’t want to entertain it anymore … This was based on the legal advice and opinions read publicly to all of you,” Nyawose said.
“If you doubt that you can read it yourself because what I’ve been given here, makes me confident with the decision I’m taking to say we are proceeding with the business of the day based on legal advice we have received as the council, not myself,” he added.
Parties eventually got to nominate their mayoral candidates and voting commenced.
Earlier, ActionSA councillor Makhosi Khoza requested a full report from Nyawose regarding Monday’s council disruptions. The speaker said a report would be made available to councillors once it has been completed.
The IFP, on the other hand, wanted assurances from the speaker that the chaotic scenes that happened on Monday would not happen again.
Nyawose assured councillors that there would not be power failures at the Durban ICC and that security had been tightened.
Additional reporting by Thapelo lekabe