The reconvening of the eThekwini Municipality’s council at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) on Wednesday afternoon got off to a slow start, with councillors 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, resulting in the election of a new mayor and deputy mayor being delayed.
On Monday, the first council sitting at Moses Mabhida Stadium was abruptly adjourned after a power failure and the chaotic storming of the venue by a group of disgruntled ANC supporters.
It’s understood the ANC was worried it might lose control of the eThekwini metro after opposition parties banded together to unseat the governing party from power.
The race for the municipality’s executive mayor is between the ANC’s Mxolisi Kaunda and the DA’s caucus leader in eThekwini, Nicole Graham.
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 councillors were now expected to vote for eThekwini’s next mayor.
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.