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DA mayor re-elected in Ekurhuleni, thanks to the EFF

tania campbell of the Democratic Alliance

During Wednesday’s council vote for mayor in Ekurhuleni, the African National Congress (ANC) lost big, compliments of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

According to IOL, this comes, just weeks after the red berets played a significant part in her ouster, the Economic Freedom Fighters has once again utilized its influence as kingmaker in the municipal government to re-elect Tania Campbell of the DA as mayor of Ekurhuleni.

No confidence vote

Wednesday, the EFF, which had refrained in the no confidence vote against Campbell on October 26, flipped its back on the ANC after the party refused to approve its province party leader, Nkululeko Dunga, as the next mayor.

Since the mayor’s office became vacant, the EFF and ANC have engaged in a number of talks.

A special council meeting was unable to elect a mayor last week because some ANC councillors disregarded their provincial leaders over the nomination of Dunga mere minutes after the former mayor, Mzwandile Masina, dropped out of the contest.

Masina supported Dunga’s nomination, but his fellow councillors preferred his deputy, Jongizizwe Dlabathi, who serves as the ANC chief whip, to be the new mayor.

The ANC requested a postponement of the election until a truce was reached with the EFF due to the divides.

Yesterday, however, drama erupted in the council rooms when the EFF nominated Dunga for mayor and the ANC nominated Dlabathi. Campbell was also nominated by the DA in what appeared to be a three-horse contest, although this was not the case.

The EFF unexpectedly withdrew its nomination and threw its “kingmaker’s weight” behind Campbell, who was reelected mayor with 124 votes to Dlabathi’s 99. One council member abstained from the vote.

READ MORE: ‘Supporters of the EFF are largely illiterate’

Tables turn

The ANC garnered 100 votes to unseat Campbell as mayor last month, while the DA could only muster 93. The EFF abstained with 31 votes but turned the tables on the ANC by reinstating Campbell, whom it had accused of ignoring service provision to black communities.

At the time, it also blamed the DA’s federal council leader, Helen Zille, for the decision because she had accused EFF leaders of extortion.

After her election, Campbell allegedly told the media, “It reflects confidence in me, as well as the desire of the bulk of council members for work to be completed and city stability.”

In its joint statement, the multi-party coalition in Ekurhuleni explained that its victory resulted from the inability of the ANC and EFF to unite, which could be viewed as a blow to the ANC’s plans for the 2024 provincial elections, and that, most importantly, it resulted from political parties banding together to prevent the return of ANC governance.

Solly Msimanga, head of the Gauteng DA, characterized the outcome as a failed attempt to score political points and stated that the multi-party administration could now continue its efforts “to fix what the ANC wrecked.”

However, these political machinations have been costly, both monetarily and in terms of service delivery. Putting a metropolitan region on hold while backstage plans are made leaves residents without services and concerned for the future.

“Now that the ANC and its surrogate parties have finished playing, we will return to working for the citizens of this magnificent city,” Msimanga declared.

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