Beware: Two Zuma men are now in charge of eThekwini

Jacob Zuma may no longer be the ANC’s president but his hand was visible in the finalisation of the eThekwini council.

Beware: Two Zuma men are now in charge of eThekwini
© Provided by Daily Maverick

One morning in 2006, a relatively unknown construction company lodged papers at the Durban High Court, suing the South African government.

PG Mavundla Engineering felt aggrieved after having lost out on the bid to build eThekwini’s iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

In court papers the company claimed that its consortium – which included a leading Italian construction company – had not only submitted a competitive bid but had also quoted the lowest price for the construction of the stadium.

The case was withdrawn before the court could adjudicate on the matter. Word was that the provincial ANC government had reached an out-of-court settlement with the company – the details of which were never made public.

But the company continued to grow, not only in its profile but also in its construction grading as it scored contracts in major infrastructure projects, including at Eskom.

Fast-forward to Thursday, 24 November 2021. Philani Godfrey Mavundla was elected as the deputy mayor of eThekwini. At some point Mavundla was the ANC mayor in Umvoti, before defecting to the National Freedom Party and then founding the Abantu Batho Congress in 2020. The ANC won two seats in the eThekwini council in the 1 November local government elections.

But before Mavundla became the mayor of Umvoti, which includes Greytown, he shot to fame as a generous Zuma benefactor and fervent follower of the former president.

After the 2007 Polokwane conference, where Zuma defeated Thabo Mbeki to become the president of the ANC, Mavundla slaughtered no less than 20 cattle to celebrate Zuma’s victory.

Mavundla and Zuma also share a few things in common.

Not only is Mavundla polygamous but his palatial homestead in Greytown – with multiple residences for each of his siblings and wives, and his own three-storey house – rivals Zuma’s Nkandla compound.

He also offered to pay Zuma’s R7-million bill for the controversial Nkandla upgrades. I think by now, reader, you have a better picture of who Mavundla is.

The return of Mxolisi Kaunda as the mayor of eThekwini was preceded by a nail-biting contest that ended with the ANC retaining the mayoral chain, beating the DA’s Nicole Graham by 113 votes to 104.

Zuma may no longer be the ANC’s president but his hand was visible in the finalisation of the eThekwini council.

After the collapsed council meeting on Monday 22 November, where the IFP backed out of an earlier agreement to vote with the ANC in councils where the governing party had the highest votes, intense horse-trading ensued and deals were made.

The ANC amended its proposed council executive to include Mavundla – amid protestation about the potential illegality of the move by opposition parties. For his support, Mavundla was offered the deputy mayorship of KwaZulu-Natal’s only metropolitan municipality.

He will deputise for Kaunda. The latter is as much a Zuma man as is Mavundla. In July, Kaunda openly decried the jailing of Zuma and was accused of tacitly supporting the violence and looting that reduced his town to ruins. Now two Zuma men are in charge of eThekwini.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC has always had a Zuma headache, and the recent unrest in July plus the poor electoral performance in the local government elections by the party have thrust Zuma back into the political arena. For the first time the ANC was reduced to less than 50% in eThekwini.

The party’s dominance was also undermined in a number of local municipalities where the IFP has now re-emerged as a major player – installing its mayors in councils previously held by the ANC.

What is clear now is that ANC KwaZulu-Natal chair Sihle Zikalala and provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli are at their weakest. Already one of the regional youth structures has called for their resignation.

Both Zikalala and Ntuli will fight for re-election at the overdue ANC provincial conference.

Whoever emerges as the next ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal will not do so without Zuma’s blessing.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is still smarting from the electoral pounding that the ANC received this month.

His ego is bruised after the ANC used him as the face of their election campaign, arguing that he remained popular despite the ANC’s battered image. That did not help. Now his name will be recorded in history as that of the ANC president under whose leadership the former liberation movement sank below 50% of the national vote for the first time since 1994.

His five-year term ends in 12 months’ time. For a while it seemed almost certain that Ramaphosa would be re-elected as ANC leader without much of a contest. But that can no longer be guaranteed.

KwaZulu-Natal will be the base where the rebellion against Ramaphosa will emerge.

Although he will not be contesting at the ANC’s 55th national congress in December 2022, Zuma’s spectre will hover over that conference.

Watch this space. DM168

Sibusiso Ngalwa is the politics editor of Newzroom Afrika and chair of the South African National Editors’ Forum.

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest stockist, please click here.

Beware: Two Zuma men are now in charge of eThekwini
© Provided by Daily Maverick

News Related


Princess Andre says mum Katie Price's 'head was in a bad place' amid dark times

Princess Andre said her mum Katie Price’s ‘head was in a bad place’ amid previous dark times. The 14-year-old appeared on Katie’s Channel 4 show about her Mucky Mansion and ... Read more »

Edu Manzano, Cherry Pie Picache, Jugs Jugueta repost message of Carlo Katigbak about ABS-CBN franchise

© Provided by Sa pagputok ng balitang naipamahagi na ng National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ang broadcast frequencies na hawak dati ng ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, ibinahagi naman ng ilang Kapamilya ... Read more »

14 Stylish, Influencer-Approved Outfits That Prove White Shoes Are a Wardrobe Staple

© Provided by This is a reminder that sneakers aren’t the only kinds of stylish white shoes out there. We’re telling you: Once you get past the initial unease ... Read more »

Marketmind: Transatlantic split

A look at the day ahead from Sujata Rao. © Reuters/JOSHUA ROBERTS A sign in front of Department of Commerce building is seen before an expected report of new home ... Read more »

US bio pharma firm to create 800 jobs by expanding business to Limerick

© Alamy Stock Photo Eli Lilly and Company Research Laboratories in Indianapolis in the US. A LEADING US healthcare and bio pharmaceutical firm employing 2,300 people in Cork, has announced ... Read more »

SRF-Moderatorin Fabienne Bamert (34) heiratet Ruder-Olympiasieger: Mario ist ihr Goldschatz

Für ihre Wintershow «SRF bi de Lüt – Live» kehrt Fabienne Bamert (34) morgen ins Wallis zurück, wo ihr Goldschatz Mario Gyr (36) um ihre Hand anhielt. Jetzt hofft sie, ... Read more »

Met asks Sue Gray to make minimal reference to No10 parties it is investigating in report

© PA Wire Downing Street partygate Metropolitan Police detectives have asked Sue Gray to make “minimal reference” to the Downing Street parties they are probing in her report. The force ... Read more »

West Midlands Police chief constable leaving after Commonwealth Games

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police has announced he is stepping down from his post after this summer’s Commonwealth Games. Sir David Thompson has been in the role since ... Read more »

Masi ‘likely' to be replaced in new structure

Michael Masi is set to lose his Formula 1 race director role as part of changes to the “race-management structure”, report the BBC. Formula 1 has a huge 2022 season ... Read more »

Australia pledges $704 million to save Great Barrier Reef

On Location: January 27, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press CANBERRA, Australia — The Australian government on Friday pledged to spend another 1 billion Australian ... Read more »

Myanmar lost 1.6 million jobs in 2021 amid COVID, coup: ILO

© Provided by Al Jazeera Myanmar’s economy has been hard hit by the pandemic and last year’s military coup [File: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters] Myanmar lost about 1.6 million jobs last year ... Read more »

Aadhaar-PAN Linking: Link Your PAN-Aadhaar Now or Pay Rs 10,000 Fine. How to Do It

© Provided by News18 Aadhaar-PAN Linking: Link Your PAN-Aadhaar Now or Pay Rs 10,000 Fine. How to Do It Aadhaar-PAN Linking: Linking your Permanent Account Number or PAN with Aadhaar ... Read more »

Miniature Banksy model sells for £1m at auction after bidding war pushed up price by £200,000 in just 2 minutes

A TINY model by Banksy has been sold at an auction for £1 million after the price was pushed up by £200,000 in just two minutes. The miniature stable which ... Read more »

Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie unrecognisable as unlikely drug smuggler in Banged Up Abroad

GAME of Thrones star Rose Leslie looks unrecognisable in her rarely seen TV debut – on popular docudrama series Banged Up Abroad. The Scots actress, who played Ygritte on the fantasy epic, entered ... Read more »

Französische Wirtschaft bleibt auf Erholungskurs

© KEYSTONE/EPA/BENOIT TESSIER / POOL Die französische Wirtschaft ist zum Jahresschluss auf Erholungskurs geblieben. Im vierten Quartal wuchs die zweitgrösste Volkswirtschaft der Eurozone zum Vorquartal um 0,7 Prozent,. Das teilte ... Read more »

The £230million profit Leicester have made on five sales since promotion

Leicester City have been a revelation since their return to the top flight in 2014, with a miracle Premier League title and an FA Cup to their name since. Staying ... Read more »

Spitzenplatz verteidigt: Toyota bleibt grösster Autoverkäufer vor Volkswagen

Der japanische Toyota-Konzern hat beim globalen Absatz seinen Spitzenplatz verteidigt und seinen deutschen Rivalen Volkswagen auf Abstand gehalten. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Toyota bleibt grösster Autoverkäufer vor Volkswagen Trotz der ... Read more »

Cineworld Canadian court battle heats up with new counter-claim

© Mike Egerton Cineworld is appealing a decision over a payout for an aborted takeover (Mike Egerton / PA) A court battle between Cineworld and a Canadian rival has heated ... Read more »

Australian Open 2022 – watch online in the UK

The Australian Open 2022 is reaching its finals, but the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year has already been front and centre of headlines around the world as ... Read more »

Luis Diaz absolutely rinsing Fred shows what Liverpool can expect from Colombian star

Liverpool are on the verge of pulling off one of the biggest deals of the January transfer window after hijacking Tottenham’s move for FC Porto winger Luis Diaz. Various journalists ... Read more »

WATCH: 'It means a lot to me' - Rafael Nadal marches into Australian Open final as history awaits

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Melbourne – Rafael Nadal marched into the final of the Australian Open to be just one match away from becoming the all-time men’s Grand ... Read more »

'A regrettable error' - Gender Commission backtracks on vaccination 'warning'

Following backlash from the scientific community, the Commission for Gender Equality has retracted its recent statement on vaccines The Commission came under fire after it warned against imposing mandatory Covid-19 ... Read more »

Seven new and returning Netflix shows we can't wait to watch in February 2022

© Provided by FemaleFirst Picture Credits (l-r): Netflix Netflix is the world’s leading streaming service, largely due to its huge collection of movies, TV shows, documentaries and more. Next month ... Read more »

And Just Like That: Cynthia Nixon praises show for addressing Kim Cattrall exit ‘head-on'

Cynthia Nixon has said that she was impressed with And Just Like That for addressing Kim Cattrall’s absence “head on”. The Samantha Jones actor did not return for the Sex ... Read more »

Swindon Town man set for transfer exit

© Provided by Football League World Glanford-Park Swindon Town midfielder Anthony Grant is said to have agreed a deal to join Scunthorpe United, as per a recent report by Football ... Read more »

Así es el nuevo Gordon Murray T.33, con un motor V12 de 616 CV

© España Gordon Murray Automotive T.33 Solo se fabricarán 100 ejemplares. La firma británica Gordon Murray Automotive, artífice del espectacular T.50, acaba de presentar oficialmente su segundo modelo, hermano pequeño ... Read more »

3 quick, simple and healthy recipes to spice up your weekend

With the Covid-19 pandemic being on the rise again, it leaves us no choice but to keep safe in our respective homes. And that can still be made into a ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Nishant Bhat wins with the highest votes in BB hotel task

© Glamsham/Instagram/Twitter Bigg Boss 15: Nishant Bhat wins with the highest votes in BB hotel task With the finale of ‘Bigg Boss 15’ just around the corner, the contestants were ... Read more »

SBI to Transfer Rs 50,000 crore Worth Assets to Bad Bank in Phase 1. Details Here

© Provided by News18 SBI to Transfer Rs 50,000 crore Worth Assets to Bad Bank in Phase 1. Details Here State Bank of India chairman Dinesh Khara on Friday said ... Read more »

Jangan buat PRN lagi, jika tidak, kita bertindak balas, Hadi beri amaran kepada Umno

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Abdul Hadi Awang membayangkan PAS berkemungkinan bertindak balas terhadap strategi Umno mencetuskan PRN di negeri kubu kuatnya. (Gambar Bernama) PETALING JAYA: Presiden PAS Abdul ... Read more »

NASA tawar tunai sehingga USD 1 juta untuk prototaip makanan segera misi Marikh

NASA menganjurkan Deep Space Food Challenge Phase 2 yang menyediakan ganjaran tunai berjumlah USD1 juta kepada sesiapa sahaja yang boleh menghasilkan prototaip sebagai solusi kepada beberapa cabaran yang digariskan pihak ... Read more »

Good Morning Britain's Laura Tobin shows off incredible legs behind the weather desk

GOOD Morning Britain's Laura Tobin has showed off her amazing look and incredible legs from behind the weather desk. Stylish Laura, 40, won praise from viewers watching the ITV breakfast ... Read more »

Arjun Bijlani poses with newlyweds Mouni Roy and Suraj Nambiar, says cheers to love

Mouni Roy and Suraj Nambiar’s wedding pictures have stormed over the internet, and we still can’t stop asking for more. The newlywed couple had two different wedding ceremonies on January ... Read more »

Lara Dutta, Pratiek Babbar-starrer 'Hiccups and Hookups' ready for Season 2

© IANS Hiccups and Hookups 2 Mumbai, Jan 28 (IANS) The makers of ‘Hiccups and Hookups’ have announced the second season for the web-show featuring Lara Dutta and Pratiek Babbar. ... Read more »

India Next: Charting the Growth Story

© Provided by Business Today India Next: Charting the Growth Story The Indian economy is anticipated to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world (IMF estimates India’s ... Read more »

Turkish Desserts: Healthy, fresh and rich in flavours

With soothing music playing in the background, you must have seen the videos of Turkish desserts trending on Instagram. Made with fresh ingredients and dipped in honey, these tempting food ... Read more »

Pragya Jaiswal opens up on having her role cut from Salman Khan's 'Antim: The Final Truth', says 'it didn't upset me'

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Actress Pragya Jaiswal who recently starred in ‘Main Chala’ music video alongside Salman Khan had revealed that the song was supposed to feature ... Read more »

Andrew Garfield says Spider-Man: No Way Home is 'beautiful' and stands on its own without Tobey & his cameos

© Provided by Pinkvilla Spider-Man: No Way Home’s unbelievable success has everyone talking about it and while one of the film’s biggest surprises was the cameos of Tobey Maguire and ... Read more »

Budget 2022: Tax initiatives govt should take to spur growth

© Provided by Business Today Budget 2022: Tax initiatives govt should take to spur growth One nation one tax in a complex federal country was a distant dream for most. ... Read more »

Kotak Bank Q3 results | Net profit rises 15% YoY to Rs 2,131 crore, beats estimate

© Ophelio Roel Almeida Kotak Bank Q3 results | Net profit rises 15% YoY to Rs 2,131 crore, beats estimate Kotak Mahindra Bank on January 28 reported a 15 percent year-on-year rise ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic