- Dramatic scenes engulfed the eThekwini council on Monday after the IFP abstained from the vote
- The IFP previously stated it would cooperate with the ANC in the province's hung municipalities
- However, its latest decision means the ANC’s hopes of electing a mayor in eThekwini have suffered a huge blow
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eTHEKWINI - In another glaring about-turn by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the party abstained on a vote to confirm the ANC’s nominee for council speaker in eThekwini on Monday.
The move comes after the IFP last week confirmed that it would cooperate with the ANC in the province's hung municipalities, following another previous decision where it stated that its stance is to have no dealings with the ruling party.
However, it seems the IFP has now made up its mind as its decision to abstain from the vote effectively cost the governing ANC mayoral candidacy in eThekwini, leading to the ANC's hopes being thrown into uncertainty.
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Attempts to sway the vote
But the meeting was momentarily cast into disarray when IFP councillors clamoured for their abstention to be noted on record following the election of Nyawose.
The South African reported that after proceedings eventually ground to a halt for the day, it was resolved that it will reconvene later in the week.
Briefly News understands that sources on the ground claimed the IFP had implored other parties to, instead, show support for DA leader, Nicole Graham for the mayoral seat.
Online political observers react to drama
There were plenty of reactions to the drama on social media, which Briefly News takes a deep dive into below.
@Luthuli Luthuli wrote:
"It's no shock to me. How can national leaders negotiate power for regions without considering different dynamics? All of them have never been councillors."
@Nkosinathi Steven Makasi said:
"That was the decision of IFP in the 1st place but Gaja Buthelezi sold out when he met Ramaphosa behind the closed doors."
@Hlax Hlalele Mahlaela added:
"IFP is causing all this political confusion. They should make up their mind man, communities are waiting for services."
ANC coalition talks with other parties finalised
In related news, Briefly News previously reported that coalition engagements between the ANC and the political parties it plans to ally reached finality on Thursday.
The ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) likely convened at the weekend where it was expected to release a complete list of the parties with which it will lead.
Against the backdrop of the highly-contested ballots across the country, the future of many hung municipalities relied on the outcome of the discussions between parties.
In an earlier statement, the ruling party confirmed, following talks with the parties it plans to enter into a working partnership with, that a majority of hung municipalities can now move forward with forming councils.
Source: Briefly News