The ANC’s Mxolisi Kaunda has been handed a second stint as eThekwini’s mayor, despite the Democratic Alliance (DA) at one point looking like it would take the mayoral chain.
It looked as if the DA would take eThekwini as well, after their unexpected successes in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.
But the council meeting was disrupted on Monday by people dressed in ANC clothing. The meeting was then rescheduled after a power failure. That postponement seems to have given the ANC time to set its plan in motion.
It started when the ANC changed its executive committee candidates — despite protestations from the DA, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). The party replaced Ntokozo Sibiya with Philani Mavundla on its executive committee.
Mavundla is the founder of the Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) and reportedly a former Jacob Zuma backer.
The ABC candidate secured two seats for the ANC, and seemingly convinced other smaller parties to throw their support behind the ANC.
This support secured the mayoral chain for Kaunda.
But who is Kaunda?
Kaunda first became eThekwini mayor in 2019 after corruption-accused Zandile Gumede was told to step down.
According to the eThekwini Municipality, he served as the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for transport, safety and community liaison between 2016 and 2019. During this time, he also chaired the provincial justice, crime prevention and security cluster (JCPS) and the public protests sub-committee.
After the 2014 general elections, Kaunda was the chairperson of the transport committee. He also served on the economic development, tourism and environmental affairs committee and the community safety and liaison committee.
Between 2009 and 2014, he was a member of the provincial legislature (MPL) and served as the chairperson of the transport portfolio committee. During this period, he also served on finance, community safety and liaison committee.
Before being elected to the ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC), Kaunda was the ANC Youth League’s (ANCYL) provincial secretary (2004-2008) and provincial Chairperson (2008 -2010).
From 2006-2009, he was a proportional representation councillor in the eThekwini Municipality.
His political career began in 2000 as a ward councillor in Inanda.