The eThekwini executive council (Exco) meeting to elect Durban’s new mayor got under way with a surprise visit by the former mayor at the city hall on Thursday.
The building was closed to allow the voting to proceed without any interruptions. No councillors were allowed in or out of the house during voting .
Outgoing mayor Zandile Gumede caused a stir when she arrived after most of the candidates were seated and proceedings started, and council was told she had been excused for “personal commitments”.
She is expected to remain as an ordinary councillor if Mxolisi Kaunda is voted in a mayor of KwaZulu-Natal’s economic hub.
Proceedings got off to a shaky start as members of the opposition parties demanded that Exco chairperson Sipho Nzuza inform them of a list of names of the incoming councillors.
Council members from the EFF and DA accused the ANC of not following the proper protocol in terms of electing a presiding officer to oversee the proceedings before nominating a municipal speaker, citing specific clauses within the Municipal Systems Act (MSA).
However, this was over-ruled by a legal council expert.
The ANC proceeded to nominate Weziwe Thusi, former MEC for social development, as municipal speaker while the DA nominated Yogiswari Govender.
The voting process is under way as officials from the IEC monitor the situation.
According to an IEC official, 199 ballot papers were printed for each council member.
The ANC has 121 seats in the council followed by the DA (54), the IFP (8) and EFF (7).
The same nomination and voting process is expected to follow for the mayoral candidates. It is unclear whether any opposition parties would nominate a candidate for mayor at this stage.
The results are expected later on Thursday.