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By Jarryd Westerdale

Digital Journalist

ANC confident NFP will get them over the line in KZN

The ANC, DA and IFP hold 40 seats while the MK party and EFF hold 39, leaving the fate of KZN in the NFP's hands

The tense KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial government battleground looks set to be settled by the slimmest of margins.

The unprecedented surge of Jacob Zuma’s MK Party fell just short of a 50% outright majority which could still leave them occupying the opposition benches.

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In what seemed an unlikely alliance a few weeks ago, the ANC, IFP and DA have an agreement which gives them a combined 40 seats in the 80-seat KZN provincial legislature.

The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party and the  Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) hold a combined 39 seats, making the National Freedom Party’s (NFP) solitary seat worth its weight in gold.

NFP holding all the aces

The NFP has been in discussions with all the role players. The ANC seem confident that the NFP will tip the scales in their favour.

ALSO READ: Election battlegrounds: Violence and tension grip, but who will be king of KZN after 29 May?

Speaking on 702, ANC’s KZN Secretary Bheki Mtolo felt the NFP aligning with themselves and the Multi-Party Charter allies was a formality.

“We have never in our sleep, in our dreams, doubted the NFP on our relationship. I also know the NFP have never doubted their relationship with the ANC. I am confident that the NFP is going to support our view in forming a provincial government that will include the IFP, DA, and ANC. I’ve got no doubt of that,” Mtolo told Clement Manyathela.

The lesser of two evils?

The NFP’s other option would be to create a 50-50 split of the legislature that would result in political gridlock.

Mtolo added that the ANC, IFP and DA were finding common ground and were aligned on forming a government based of peace and ethics.

ALSO READ: MK Party intends opening criminal case against Jabulani Khumalo

The IFP’s Thami Ntuli will be the coalition’s choice for Premier. Mtolo stressed that the ANC will “allow him to apply his mind” and the KZN government will have respect for the law and respect for the people.

Conflicting claims have been attributed to the NFP about the horse they are more likely to back, but Mtolo said they were aware of discussions with rivals.

“The NFP has not hidden that it will talk to other parties. It is not a subbranch of the ANC, they have their own identity, their own policies, their own way of doing things. It would be unfortunate for the ANC to dictate to the NFP,” Mtolo said.

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