By Lungani Zungu
The IFP has emerged from the recent high-stakes by-elections as the biggest winner after snatching the crucial Ward 5 in Mthonjaneni in KwaZulu-Natal from the ANC.
Nine by-elections were held in KZN, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
Following its victory in ward 5, the IFP will now have 13 council seats out of the 25, paving the way for the party to govern with an outright majority in Mthonjaneni Local Municipality.
The party also won Ward 11 in Msinga and Ward 13 in Abaqulusi (Vryheid) Municipality.
Ward 11 became vacant after IFP councillor Siyabonga Magubane was gunned down in September.
Magubane’s fellow party councillor, suspended IFP Msinga Mlethi Ndlovu, was, dramatically, accused of being behind his assassination.
Musawenkosi Ndebele was named as Ward 11 councillor, and Siyabonga Ndaba was deployed to Ward 13.
Reacting to the IFP’s victory in KZN, party provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli said: “The IFP’s resounding victories in the wards in Mthonjaneni, uMsinga and Vryheid reflect the confidence that the people of this province have in the IFP.”
He added: “The IFP has, against all odds, won these three significant, highly contested by-elections in the province.”
In another by-election held in KZN, the DA maintained its convincing majority in Ward 10 under uMdoni Municipality, on the south coast of KZN.
The party won the ward with 82%, and Alan Cutten took over as ward councillor.
The ANC won Ward 4 (Khutsong Ext 3 Joe Slovo) in Merafong City back from an Independent candidate.
The party won the ward with 61.81%, clearing the path for Fanyana Alfred Motloung to take the reins as the ward councillor.
The victory gives the ANC an outright majority in Merafong City in Gauteng.
The party now has 28 seats of the total 55 council seats.
The DA clung to Ward 22 (Noordheuwel Rangeview) in Mogale City in Gauteng after bagging 74%, a decrease from 76%. Devin Nieuwenhuyzen was named the new councillor.
The ANC cruised to victory in Ward 20 in Mhlontlo Municipality in the Eastern Cape.
The party scored 70%, an increase from the 52% it won during last year’s local elections.
Thy ANC’s Mzwakhe Thembela takes over as councillor.
Elsie Marawu is the new Ward 33 councillor after the ANC retained the ward in Enoch Mgijima Municipality, receiving 54% of the votes.
Pictured above: IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa
Image source: @IFP