IFP hoping for repeat of Nquthu performance in uPhongolo by-election
Nathi Olifant | 2017-06-11 16:17:31.0
Jubilant IFP supporters celebrate their victory ahead of the official results announcement on May 25, 2017 in Nquthu, KwaZulu-Natal.
Image by: THULI DLAMINI
Buoyed by recent successes in KwaZulu-Natal’s Nquthu region‚ the Inkatha Freedom Party has set its sights on snatching uPhongolo Municipality from the African National Congress in this week’s upcoming by-elections.
uPhongolo’s Ward 7 in northern KwaZulu-Natal will be one of three wards in the country holding by-elections on Wednesday.
The other two by-elections are in Ward 45 of the City of Mbombela in Mpumalanga and Ward 24 of Sol Plaatjie in the Northern Cape.
However‚ it’s the uPhongolo election that is set to be the most hotly contested with the ANC recently having lost the previous two in the province – in Pietermaritzburg’s Ward 32 in March and the entire municipality of Nquthu last month.
The ward became vacant in December when ANC councillor Mbhekiseni “Pat” Khumalo was shot dead at his home by assassins.
In March the Independent Electoral Commission postponed the by-elections following objections to the voters roll.
The IFP believes it has a good chance to wrestle control of the ward away from the ANC.
The ANC is the majority party in the municipality with 15 seats to the IFP’s 10.
The DA has two seats while the EFF and an independent have one seat apiece.
Should the IFP win‚ the party will need to coax the independent councillor with an exco seat to avoid the prospect of a deadlock.
IFP President Mangosuthu Buthelezi told party faithful at a rally in Pongolo at the weekend that the ANC had won the ward only with a narrow margin in 2016.
“Nquthu is just the beginning‚” he said.
ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma said on Sunday the party was going all out to consolidate the gains it made in this ward.
“We will retain the wards …”
TMG Digital/The Times