Mabale-Huma of the African National Congress (ANC) is now the newly elected Rustenburg speaker.
Mabale-Huma was elected amidst a dramatic first council sitting in Rustenburg and after election votes had to be recounted. The newly elected speaker took her seat as council speaker saying that she would uphold the law of the house.
The voting session was filled with drama and suspense after the first votes showed nominees Bosa Ledwaba from the Forum for Service Delivery and Mabale-Huma both had 44 votes.
But while the votes were being recounted, presiding Officer Johannes Motshwane discovered that one vote had been spoilt because the councilor voted for both nominees. Mabale-Huma was then declared the winner as she had 46 votes against her opponent Ledwaba with 43.
Mabale-Huma’s win as Rustenburg speaker is a clear sign that the feet of the ruling ANC is now rooted in the city. Early on Friday, the party’s mayoral candidate Mpho Khunou, was re-elected in a move that shocked opposition parties.
The election process was however marred by violence between ANC and EFF supporters outside the venue as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Councillors walked out shortly after the results were announced.
The EFF had before the commencement of the elections asked for council to vote with a show of hands instead of a secret ballot. This was refused by Motshwane which thus gave the AIC and BCM councillor to vote with the ANC, leaving one ANC vote from the opposition unaccounted for.
Khunou was then dressed in the red mayoral gown and the mayoral chain. There was loud applause and ululation inside and outside the hall.
While this was going on, EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee walked out of the public gallery. On his way out, he told news reporters that the Botho Community Movement (BCM) had “sold them out”.
DA MPL Herman Groenewald also told news reporters that all the opposition parties, aside African Independent Congress (AIC)- which had one seat, had agreed to vote for the F4SD’s candidates.