Mxolisi Kaunda re-elected eThekwini Municipality Mayor. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

AFTER a chaotic council session on Monday when a group dressed in ANC regalia disrupted the meeting, the governing party has managed to hold on to eThekwini after Mxolisi Kaunda won the metro’s mayoral race.

Kaunda, a key ally of former president Jacob Zuma, beat the DA’s Nicole Graham, setting a scene of ANC jubilation inside the Durban International Conference Centre (ICC) where the council to elect the new mayor, his deputy and the Chief Whip took place.

An incensed Graham blamed smaller parties for handing power back to the ANC in eThekwini.

Kaunda received 113 votes and the DA’s Nicole Graham 104, while two of the ballots were spoiled.

In a surprise move, Philani Mavundla of the Abantu-Batho Congress (ABC) party was nominated by the ANC for the deputy mayoral position.

Among those who were in attendance to witness the voting process was Mdumiseni Ntuli, the provincial secretary of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, along with Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, who are both ANC deployees in the provincial government.

In July, Kaunda made headlines when he said that people had the constitutional right to call for Zuma to be released from jail.

The unrest lasted for a week, leaving more than 300 people dead while President Cyril Ramaphosa camp was left fuming.

Kaunda was MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison from 2016 until 2019 when he replaced former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.  

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