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Nkosindiphile Xhakaza Elected as New Ekurhuleni Mayor

by Central News Reporter
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Nkosindiphile Doctor Xhakaza Elected as New Ekurhuleni Mayor Amidst Council Tension

Doctor Nkosindiphile Xhakaza of the African National Congress (ANC) has been elected unopposed as the new mayor of Ekurhuleni on Thursday. 

This election brings to an end a period of political uncertainty following the ousting of the previous mayor, Sivuyile Ngodwana of the African Independent Congress (AIC), who was removed from office following a vote of no confidence.

The council meeting, which was eagerly anticipated and had been scheduled for a 10 am start to elect a new mayor, saw delays. The political atmosphere in the council had been fraught since Ngodwana’s departure, with various parties struggling to agree on his successor. Concerns were mounting that the failure to elect a new mayor might plunge Ekurhuleni into administrative turmoil.

The vacancy for the mayorship arose two weeks prior, igniting a wave of political manoeuvring after Ngodwana was deposed through a motion presented by ActionSA. The tension in the council chambers lifted as councillors gathered for the vote, marking an end to the period of uncertainty.

Delays in the proceedings were partly due to essential pre-meeting discussions between MEC Mzi Khumalo of Cooperative Governance (COGTA), council speaker Nthabiseng Tshivhenga, and chief whip Jongiziwe Dlabathi. 

Khumalo emphasised the importance of compliance with the directive for the meeting to proceed before 12 April, underlining the potential consequences of failing to elect a new mayor, including the possibility of council intervention under Section 139 of COGTA regulations.

The ANC has expressed strong confidence in Xhakaza, citing his extensive experience and prior service within Ekurhuleni’s municipal governance as key factors for his selection. Xhakaza’s history of service, including his roles under former Mayors Mzwandile Masina and Mondli Gungubele, as well as his tenure as MMC for finance, positions him as a stabilising figure amidst the council’s recent tensions.

Ekurhuleni, led by a coalition of the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), found itself without a mayor for nearly two weeks, highlighting the delicate balance of power within the municipality.

EFF Spokesperson Sinawo Thambo pointedly critiqued the dynamics surrounding the return of the ANC to mayorship, suggesting on social media that the moves made by ActionSA inadvertently favoured the ANC.  “The ANC is back in Mayorship in Ekurhuleni because Herman Mashaba and the Action SA put a motion of no confidence on the AIC (minority party) Mayor. Action SA through its motion was actually strategically returning the ANC to the mayorship. A vote for Action SA is a vote for the ANC.  Sharp!”

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