Verwoerd, Malan & a case of Aggravated Assault – Part 1 (Malan & the Boys of Bird Island)

Chris-Steyn-Mark-Minnie-The-Lost-Boys-of-Bird-Island

This post is the first of a number of planned contributions all under the heading Verwoerd, Malan and a case of Aggravated Assault detailing incidents within two weeks, which had a dramatic impact on my life.

Part 1 will deal with the book “The Lost Boys of Bird Island” and a chapter in it that brings the credibility of one of the book’s authors, Mark Minnie, into question. I immediately bought the book upon release and finished reading it within one day. The accusations made therein of the involvement of at least three National Party (NP) Ministers (one of which the authors don’t name in the book based on legal advice received but which clearly reference Barend du Plessis) are indeed serious and warrants further investigation. I, however, found it a difficult book to read in that it jumps between the two author’s input sometimes without context and mostly without dates. It further contains no bibliography or endnotes, and it is therefore not possible to independently verify the respective stories of the two authors.

Even when the authors quote sources like actual articles published in “The Huisgenoot” or “Playboy SA” these are not referenced by the authors. The book is, in my view, therefore premised mostly on hearsay. Many an anonymous source are quoted but seldom are the identity of these contributors revealed. In one particularly striking paragraph (see postscript 1 below), a matter is stated as a fact followed only a few words later with the words apparently!

Because of the above, I remain rather skeptical of the main claims made in the book, but I’m open to being convinced otherwise by hard facts. That something was amiss and that Dave Allen, and possibly even John Wiley, had a case to answer for what happened at the time is clear, but the book contains no verifiable facts that any other NP Minister were also involved.

In chapter 22 of the book, Minnie writes about a search conducted of an Inkhata Hostel, which the later chapter 24 places within the timeframe of 1988/89. Upon reading this chapter, the hair on my arms stood up because what he describes in it, I experienced first-hand in a search on an Inkhata hostel as an army camp conscript, the only problem being that this search took place in 1991 and not 1988/89.

The following is what Minnie writes in chapter 22 about the search of the Inkhata Hostel that according to the timeline of the book took place in 1988/89:

“The next evening some serious brass are hanging around the parade ground. These are genuinely high-ranking dudes – colonels and brigadiers. Castles and stars line the epaulets of their uniforms. The briefing brings everything to light, and I’m not amused.

We’re going to move into a hostel occupied by miners who support the Inkatha Freedom Party. The government uses Inkatha fighters in a clandestine way to attack ANC supporters, all in an attempt to weaken and derail the liberation movement. Money and weapons are channeled to Inkatha to assist them in destabilising their perceived ‘foe’.

Now we’re commanded to conduct a search of the compound. Why? They’re meant to be our allies, these Inkatha guys. It’s all politics, I guess. We move out in convoy style. Very impressive – until we reach the hostel. Waiting to greet us in full battle dress are more than a thousand impis, Zulu warriors armed with traditional assegais and shields. They heard that we were coming and are now demonstrating that they disapprove of our entering the compound.

It’s a Mexican stand-off. Some Inkatha leaders and our top brass begin exchanging words in no-man’s-land. Zulu warriors assume their traditional battle crouch and raise their spears, shields covering their torsos. Chanting begins. Cops are on edge, fingers on triggers. Rifles at the ready, we’re waiting for the command that will surely unleash untold bloodshed. There can be only one winner.

Eventually, the discussion between leaders comes to an end. The Inkatha guys allow us to enter the hostel. We search for hours and find nothing – no guns, not even a little bit of marijuana. All’s well that ends well. We depart, both sides happy.

What a load of bullshit, I think to myself. The Inkatha fighters knew we were coming. That’s why there was nothing to find. It was all just a show to prove to the ANC that it’s not only their compounds that get searched. A sham display that allows local politicians to score some brownie points in the outside world.”

Compare the aforementioned to the following chapter in the unfinished manuscript of a book that I started writing way back in 2008 about my experiences in the Munsieville Township outside of Krugersdorp, where I worked as Municipal Manager from 1987 to 1992:

“Doing an army camp

I was unofficially exempted from doing any army camps while working in Munsieville. The argument was that I was doing my bit by working in a township and that to call me up would serve no purpose. When receiving call-up papers for a camp, all I had to do was to defer to the Colonel of Witwatersrand Command, and he would release me officially from doing the camp.

One late Friday in 1991 call-up papers arrived for a weekend army camp. I tried to get hold of the Colonel, but he was not available. It was only a weekend camp, and I reported for duty at Doornkop outside of Soweto. At the time violence flared in most hostels with migrant Inkhata Freedom Party (IFP) workers clashing violently with the ANC aligned comrades in the townships. Munsieville was fortunately spared from this type of violence as it had no hostel within its borders.

It was clear that something major was up as many high-ranking army officers were in attendance. While cleaning our R4-rifles, we were briefed about the purpose of our mission. We were told that President FW de Klerk lost his patience with the violence emanating from the hostels and decided to take decisive action to rid them of dangerous elements responsible for the violence and weapons.

One such hostel was George Goch situated in City Deep not far from the famous Ellis Park rugby stadium where the Springboks won the 1995 World Cup final. The hostel was named after the 1904/5 Mayor of Johannesburg and was built to accommodate mainly Zulu speaking migrants who worked on the mines of the Reef.

Our task was to form a protective cordon around the hostel, with the South African Police being deployed at the same time to enter and search the hostel for criminals and dangerous weapons. I noticed that the Friday fell on a month-end payday and had reservations about the feasibility of the operation given this circumstance but only being a ‘troepie’ (ordinary soldier) doing camp duty I kept my concerns to myself.

We were deployed in the early hours of Saturday morning, but unlike planned, the SAP members arrived an hour late. As we deployed, I noticed that most of the hostel’s residents were still awake and in party mood having used their meager income to purchase and consume booze. When the hostel residents noticed the army deploying, and in the absence of the SAP entering and searching the hostel, the mood turned nasty, and they started barricading the entrance to the hostel.

The Police eventually arrived. Tires where set alight and a tense standoff ensued. All the while the army kept the cordon around the hostel whilst the Police started negotiating with the residents to end their barricade. In what was my only army action I placed under arrest two residents who tried to flee the hostel during the siege.

After a further two to three hours, the operation was called off as a total failure, and the police went their way, and we retreated to the Doornkop army base where we were demobilised and released from any further camp duty. Great was my wife’s surprise when I woke her up on the Saturday morning in our Krugersdorp house with a cup of coffee as she expected me back only late on Sunday.”

The similarities between the two descriptions are striking, and in my mind, there is very little doubt that we are talking about one and the same incident which most definitely took place in 1991 and not 1988/89 as per the book. The only difference is that as a member of the army, I know why the Inkhata hostel residents knew that the police were coming and that’s because the SAP botched the operation and arrived an hour late and after the army already surrounded the hostel.

Apart from the similarities between the two incidents, there are other compelling reasons why the search could only have taken place post-1990 and therefore not in 1988/89 as alleged. The African National Congress (ANC) was disbanded on 2 February 1990, and there was no reason for the then NP government to try and please the ANC before 1990 and specifically in 1988/89 as alleged by Minnie. The ANC also only started to put pressure on de Klerks NP government to disarm Inkhata members from 1991/92 onwards, which calls reached a crescendo following what has become known as the Boipatong Massacre on 17 June 1992.

Minnie follows chapter 22 up with incidents described in chapters 23 and 24, claiming that he and his girlfriend were the targets of the Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) to get rid of them both, without any evidence and therefore merely speculation. In chapter 25 he writes of his return to Port Elizabeth upon his request, and a conversation with his commanding officer in which the Brigadier said the following:

“It’s on good authority I’ve been told that they want you out, Max. At least for a while. People are nervous. Hell’s bells, son, you know what I’m getting at. The president of the country is actively involved in keeping this story under wraps. You need to understand the seriousness of this situation.’ He tells me that a scandal of this nature would rip the National Party apart.

The Progressive Federal Party is making great strides in unseating the Nats, and impropriety of this magnitude could tip the scale in favour of the PFP in the next election. And apart from that, there is the disgraceful depravity of it all. That these powerful men who claim to be protecting the country are child rapists shatters the illusion of their superiority.”

The above and the specific reference to the Progressive Federal Party (PFP)  sets the events of chapters 23 to 25 squarely in the 1988/89 timeframe as the PFP was dissolved in April 1989 when they merged with a few other parties to form the Democratic Party (DP), the forerunner of the current official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

In an article in the Daily Maverick on 23 August 2018 titled Secrets, lies, cover-ups everywhere – here are some of the facts surrounding the entire sordid saga Marianne Thamm writes as follows:

“The allegations, should they ever have been made public, would either have sounded the death knell to the apartheid state or considerably weakened its credibility and hold over the white minority, especially in an election year. The revelations would also no doubt have changed or affected the trajectory of South Africa’s political future and the survival of the National Party itself.

 The National Party, on 30 January 1987, had announced a whites-only general election to be held on 6 May. March 1987, when the docket was stolen from Minnie’s office in Port Elizabeth on the instruction of PW Botha (as has been confirmed by a former colonel in the South African police to Rapport’s Herman Jansen) was the same month the National Party was due to announce its list of candidates. The then Minister of Environmental Affairs, John Wiley, had hoped to appear on that list.

Wiley “committed suicide” on 29 March 1987 after an hour-long telephonic conversation with PW Botha the night before. The previous month, Wiley’s close friend, PE businessman and diver, Dave Allen, who had scored a highly lucrative Bird Island guano concession (which would have been approved by Wiley), “committed suicide” after Minnie had arrested him on charges of sexually assaulting minors (as the charge was at the time) and for the possession of pornography.”

The above narrative explains the importance of placing the search of the Inkhata hostel and the alleged attempt on the life of Minnie and his girlfriend also within the timeframe of 1987 to 1989 as opposed to 1991. As I, however, explained above the search definitely only took place in 1991 and I’m willing to subject myself to a lie detector, so confident am I of the facts.

The question arises, therefore, why Minnie wanted to assert that the search on the Inkhata hostel had taken place in 1988/89 as well as how this affects his overall credibility and what’s alleged in the book? Perhaps he simply misjudged himself with the actual dates, but I highly doubt this.

I can only guess, but strongly suspect that the search and subsequent alleged assault on his life and that of his girlfriend only fits into the rest of the events as described in the book if these took place in 1988/89. This assertion is further borne out by the emphasis placed by Marianne Thamm on the period of 1987 to 1989 as being central to the theme of the book and all the events described therein.

If the events happened later namely in 1991 and not 1988/89 then –

  • Minnie’s transfer to the Soweto riot unit had nothing to do with the Bird Island investigation he had been working on in 1987 to 1989, but was purely for operational police reasons given that the political unrest was at its highest in the Soweto area in 1991/92,
  • Then the claims of an assault on his life were just one of a multitude of incidents where militants shot at police officers in Soweto in the early 1990s,
  • Then the incident where his girlfriend’s car had caught fire was because it was a very old model as described by Minnie himself in the book, and
  • Then his return to Port Elizabeth was simply a routine police transfer based on Minnie’s request.

The above raises serious doubts about Minnie’s credibility and what he and the other author, Chris Steyn, alleges happened in the book, however, for me, this is but one of many important unanswered questions that remain about the validity of the allegations in the book. Steyn in her 2006 book “Published and be Damned” already made most of the allegations contained in the new book, but she did not name Malan nor du Plessis. By 2006 nearly 20 years have already elapsed after the alleged sexual assault yet none of the victims came forward then. Why also the reluctance to publish the name of Barend du Plessis if the two authors are so confident of the allegations made in the book. Another critical question to ask is why nobody is calling for the arrest of the twin brothers who raped Minnie in his youth. He clearly describes the incident and even names his two attackers and the other people present at the time the incident happened.

When I first posted on Facebook what I knew about the 1991 search of the George Goch hostel, some people attacked me and called me a racist, others claimed that I’m on the payroll of members loyal to the former South African Defence Force (SADF) and a well-known feminist that all that I ever do is to defend white people and specifically white males as I believe that white people can’t do anything wrong! This when all I’m after is the truth in this sordid affair, even if this might prove me wrong in the end.

In the next post, I will write about an attack on my Dad and Stepmother a week or so ago and which left them seriously injured and traumatized. I’m seeking answers to the question why this vicious attack, and many others that are happening regularly, can’t be viewed as a hate crime when an incident like the coffin case received widespread attention and condemnation as being racists in nature. In the post after that, I will write about my role in exposing the fake radio advert of the Apartheid Museum which earned the producers TBWA Hunter Lascaris a Loerie award.

_________________________________________________________________________

Postscript 1: Contradictory statement in chapter 28 of the book – “Contributing to the success of the cover-up was the fact that some of the original state documents and files on the case were apparently among the countless papers deliberately destroyed in the run-up to the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.”

Postscript 2: Some of those that criticised me on Facebook pointed out that the police also conducted searches of hostels in the townships before 1990. That is, of course, true but the searches then had a crime-prevention focus rather than a specific overriding political goal like the search in 1991 that I describe herein, searches done before 1990 would not have been done to please or pacify the ANC or the outside world as per Minnie (….scoring “brownie points in the outside world”), these searches did not involve a large number of high-ranking officers of the army and/or the police other than those who commanded the search operation, and the police before 1990 would have been more careful to not target only specific Inkhata hostels. Also, such criticism does not address the many similarities between what Minnie describe in the book and the hostel search I was involved in, in 1991.

Postscript 3: For those that might feel that I’m insensitive to the family of Mark Minnie following his apparent suicide that is still under investigation, I specifically held back a week or so in finishing and publishing this blog post out of respect for them. I also publically and on social media expressed my sympathy with the Minnie family and wished them God’s strength and guidance in these difficult times.

Postscript 4: I have forwarded a letter to the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport setting out in summary format what I describe in this blog post, but they have to date failed to publish it. I have enquired from the editor Waldimar Pelser as to the reasons for the non-publication but is yet to receive any reply. It might be published in the said newspaper tomorrow, but I have nevertheless decided to go ahead with my blog post on the matter.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s Death: Time to Rediscover our Common History

The death of apartheid stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, laid bare the South African psyche and how much still must be done to heal the wounds of our troubled past. Troubled as it is, our past however presents at the same time, in my view, the ideal vehicle to build social cohesion that our society so clearly lacks.

https://www.news24.com/Columnists/Ralph_Mathekga/winnies-funeral-a-missed-opportunity-20180416 

Ralph Mathekga is a Fellow at the SARChI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the University of Johannesburg and in the above article Winnie’s funeral a missed opportunity he writes as follows:

“If there is any subject that brings out the differences in people, it has to be history.

Most conflicts in society are not about how to shape the future, but how to read the past and apportion responsibility. Religious conflicts that divide societies and have resulted in sustained conflicts such as the one we see in the Middle East are based on a historical account of the past. In this instance, religious convictions are largely a historical account of how our ancestors adopted religion and spirituality in their struggle for self-determination and survival in a hostile world characterised by good and evil.

Modern religious convictions are often a choice regarding which historical account of past events you believe, and the corresponding beliefs closely reflect one’s historical ancestry.

History is a window through which to look into the future. A nation that has a sense of a shared history, tend to develop a sense of common destiny. South Africans have conflicting versions of history. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s death has laid bare the fact that we do not agree on a common version of history for this country. In fact, the history of South Africa relating to the apartheid years and the struggle against the regime remains the most contested history and source of major differences in the country. 

Instead of using Mama Winnie’s passing as a moment to forge a common reflection on the glorious history of this country, including the courageous anti-apartheid struggle, South Africans resorted to desecrating that history by casting aspersions on the struggle role played by the giants such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.”

His words rings so true and that goes for White people’s understanding of the history and struggle of Black people but also just as much for Black people’s understanding of the history and struggle of White people.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lets-stray-back-our-historic-laagers-solly-moeng/?published=t

In response to the above article Let’s not stray back in our historical laagers, I wrote as follows recently on Facebook when the author, Solly Moeng, asked for input on the question “How do we recover ourselves as a united, diverse nation, hold hands again and build together for a better shared future?”:

“…………The second aspect that will in my view make a tremendous difference is not to vilify the history of especially the Afrikaner as if it was all just bad as opposed to the all righteous struggle waged by mainly Black people. Fact is our troubled history is not always as clear cut as black vs white or good vs bad. It’s much more nuanced than that and it takes careful consideration to arrive at a fair, balanced and objective view.

The Afrikaner history for example is full of bad and evil, which we all know of and which will be to our eternal shame, but it’s just as much filled with struggle and patriotism. Struggle in overcoming prejudice by the British who saw Afrikaans speaking people as lesser human beings in the 1800’s, struggle in overcoming poverty when in the 1930’s one in three Afrikaner households were living in abject poverty, struggle in overcoming the trauma of losing thousands of men, women and children during the 2nd Anglo-Boer War in the cruelest circumstance etc. Patriotism in fighting for and securing South Africa’s independence in 1961 from British colonial rule, patriotism in realising the error of our ways and breaking from South Africa’s past of segregation by having the courage to vote overwhelmingly yes in the 1992 referendum for change etc.

Fact is we have a common history rather than an White/Afrikaans or Black/Zulu/Xhosa history and if we celebrate it together, and in the right way, it has the potential to unite us as a country, troubled as it may be. Just a small example to illustrate this – when I worked at one of the big 5 auditing firms, I had a consultant working with me Zwile Zulu, who comes from a Zulu Royal background. We one day discussed our common history and realized that in February 1838 his forefathers killed one of my 8th distant cousins, Stephanus Johannes van Vuuren, together with Piet Retief and all his other men. I indicated that five of my forefathers exacted revenge on Dingane in December 1838 for this at the battle of Bloedriver and probably in doing so killed some of his forefathers. Rather than indulging in a debate about who was right or who was wrong back in 1838, we rejoiced the fact that somewhere back in our history our forefather’s tracks did cross, bonding the two of us inexplicably and irretrievably together, Black and White. Does the same not apply to all who are citizens of this country?”

I must admit that I had mix feelings about the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. I worked in the townships of the then Witwatersrand and also the Munsieville township in the 1980’s where on 13 April 1986 (ironically a day before the date she would be buried exactly 32 years later) she said her by now infamous words “… Together hand-in-hand, with our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country….”. A few days after her speech a township resident, Doctor Nakale Kgogome, suspected to be a police informer was dragged into an open area in Munsieville where he was set alight with a gasoline filled tyre around his neck. He died of his horrific injuries in hospital and this tragic event left an indelible mark on my consciousness.

Given the aforementioned, it was difficult for me personally to deal with the fawning adulation bestowed on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela following her death. At the same many so-called expose’s, documentaries and interviews came to the fore that added nothing new that was not already in the public domain, but which many and especially those in the EFF fold grabbed onto with their life, to erroneously show that Winnie’s has been misrepresented and that their was a conspiracy to defraud her legacy or even worse that she has been sold out by her comrades. This was a crude attempt at revisionist rewriting of history that went as far as to taint the role played by people such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu as highlighted by  Ralph Mathekga above, and even the reputation of of three respected journalists, Thandeka Gqubule, Anton Harber and Nomavenda Mathiane was called into question (in a rather weak apology the Huffington Post astonishingly said that “they felt the public would understand” and that it was “not making a literal accusation”).

In the end I however had to temper my own personal feelings about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, by appreciating her role in the wider struggle to rid South Africa from Apartheid and what she meant, wrongly or rightly depending on each person’s own perspective, for so many South African’s. I took a lot of personal convincing for me to do so but in the end, just as in the example of me and Zwile Zulu mentioned above, I came to the realization that somewhere in my past, my path and that of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela crossed, and that this bonded the two of us inexplicably and irretrievably together as South Africans with a common history.

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2018-04-13-has-truth-become-a-casualty-of-winnies-rejection-of-accountability/ 

As Palesa Morudu, a publisher and writer based in Cape Town wrote in the above article  Has truth become a casualty of Winnie’s rejection of accountability?, I in the end also added my voice to those that prayed “May she rest in peace” and “Let us celebrate the glory of her legacy” but who also said lets at the same time “condemn its horrors”.

As Ralph Mathekga noted above a nation that has a sense of a shared history, tend to develop a sense of a common destiny. My wish is therefore for all South African’s to reconsider our common history, troubled as it may be, and what this history tells us it means to be a South African. That we all at the same time acknowledge the past hurt that we caused one another but also recognize that, at various points in our past people, of all races and backgrounds suffered. That we in doing so take off our lenses of prejudice and hatred, and attempts to score points by selectively quoting history, and that we look one another squarely in the eyes, saying that its our common history that binds us all together,  inexplicably and irretrievably, Black and White.

Postscript 1: I’m busy reading a fascinating book by Harry Booyens “AmaBhulu – The Birth and Death of the Second America”. In it he documents the birth of the Afrikaner nation, its struggles to find a home it can call its own in Africa just to be robbed of it every time by the British imperialists and the many interactions my forefathers had with the various African tribes. The book brings vividly to life the fact that many times in our troubled past the Afrikaner and the African tribes worked together for the common good and in many instances exchanged land for goods or assistance rendered which goes against the prevailing narrative the Whites always stole the land. I will therefore in a few posts to follow focus on these aspects namely the cooperation between Afrikaner and Black people throughout our history, the history of land occupation in Southern Africa and also highlight the extent to which the Afrikaner suffered under British imperialism and domination.

Postscript 2: I quoted above the second aspect that I thought would assist to recover ourselves as a united, diverse nation,  and to hold hands again and build together for a better shared future. The first aspect that I thought would make a big difference are the following as I worded it in my Facebook post:

“The first thing that will in my view make a tremendous contribution is to accept all South Africans as rightful citizens of our beautiful country and for our government to be unequivocal about it in all their messaging. For as long as the word settler or colonialist is being branded around, it will make a lot of people, including me, feel that we are not welcome in the country of our birth and make us to doubt the sincerity of our fellow South African’s. These utterances creates unnecessary breathing space for racists to come to the fore and spew hate.”

 

Analysis of the Metsimaholo 2017 by-election results and the coalition prospects in this Free State Municipality

INTRODUCTION

Following the 2016 local elections, South Africa was gripped with coalition fever, with 27 municipalities having hung councils where no one political party has more than 50% of the allocated seats.

Forming coalitions is an exercise in real politics ( politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises) and its therefore dangerous to predict the outcome of any coalition negotiations beforehand. Relying on what is speculated in the mainstream media is especially fraught with danger as evidenced in this article looking at what transpired in 2006 in Cape Town when parties were also faced with a hung council scenario Anatomy of a coalition coup: Are there lessons ahead of the August election?

In this blog post I will look at the municipal by-election that took place in the Metsimaholo  Municipality in the Free State on 29 November 2017, analyse the result and compare it with the 2016 local government elections that took place on 3 August 2016 and indicate what the most likely coalition government would be seeing that the no party again received 50 %+ of the allocated seats.

BACKGROUND

  • Total seats: 42
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 22
  • Seat allocation: ANC 19, DA 12, EFF 8, MCA 2, FF+ 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 3 seats for a majority and the DA 10
  • Possible coalitions available at the time: The ANC could have partnered with the DA or EFF individually or together with the two smaller parties or just with the MCA (the Metsimaholo Community Association, a local party that might hold the balance of power) and FF+ who together holds 3 seats. The DA could have formed a coalition with the ANC or EFF but in the latter instance they will require the support of the one or both of the smaller parties.

COALITION FORMED AFTER THE 2016 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION

The Democratic Alliance (DA) formed a coalition in the end with the Metsimaholo Community Association (MCA) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), supported by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), to govern the municipality. The MCA’s Sello Hlasa was elected mayor, while Arnold du Ploy and Linda Radebe of the DA were elected Speaker and Council Whip respectively.

COALITION COLLAPSED IN JULY 2017

The municipal council failed to adopt a budget for the 2017/18 financial year because of disagreements between the coalition members. As a result the council was dissolved in July 2017 and an administrator appointed by the provincial government.

For an overview of what went wrong with the DA, EFF, FF+ and MCA coalition read the following two articles:


Dissolving of council welcomed by DA

RUN-UP TO THE 2017 BY-ELECTION

The run-up to the by-election was dominated by the news that the SAPC decided to field 42 candidates to contest the Metsimaholo by-election, a turning point for the party in that it for the first time contested elections alone without its alliance partner, the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

SACP fields 42 candidates in historic first solo by-election

SACP contesting Free State by-election ‘regrettable’, says ANC

SACP ‘Hasty’ Regarding Metsimaholo By-Elections – Cosatu

The SACP has the ANC over a barrel in Metsimaholo municipality

Metsimaholo by-elections an experiment to dislodge the ANC

Municipality up for grabs

Will the Metsimaholo by-elections bring relief to its beleaguered residents?

By-Election preview: All eyes on the big contest in Metsimaholo, Free State

ELECTION DAY – 29 NOVEMBER 2017

Despite claims of irregularities and vote rigging in the Metsimaholo Municipality by-elections, the Local Government Minister Des Van Rooyen who was overseeing the process felt that all went well on election day –

Minister van Rooyen happy with Metsimaholo by-election

Earlier it was reported that Minister van Rooyen left Metsimaholo after EFF supporters allegedly blocked him from entering a polling station –

Van Rooyen leaves ‘voluntarily’ after EFF supporters allegedly block him in Metsimaholo

The SACP claimed that there was irregularities in the voting process –

SACP cries foul over Metsimaholo by-election voting process

The ANC called for an investigation into allegations of vote rigging in Metsimaholo –

ANC calls for an investigation into the allegations of vote rigging in Metsimaholo

2017 METSIMAHOLO BY-ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

Following the counting of the votes the IEC announced the Metsimaholo election results late on Friday 3 December 2017:

IEC releases Metsimaholo by-election results

Mets 1

Mets 2

The by-election results is depicted in the pictures above and summarised in the table below comparing it to the 2016 and 2011 local government election results:

Political Party

2011 % Votes

2016 % Votes

% Shifts 2011 to 2016

2017 % Votes

% Shifts 2016 to 2017

ANC

63.04 %

45.08 % – 17.96 % 30.24 %

– 14.84 %

DA

28.97 %

35.22 % + 6.25 % 24.36 %

– 10,86 %

EFF Did not participate

17.87 %

+ 17.87 % 17.47 %

– 0.40 %

SAPC Did not participate

n/a

Did not participate

7.58 %

+ 7.58 %

Of the smaller parties the FF+ increased its percentage of the vote from 2.14% to 3.02%, the MCA’s percentage dropped from 4.91% to 1.48% whilst the support for COPE and the ACDP remained fairly constant. The Matatiele-based AIC party had an impressive foray into Metsimaholo. They won a PR seat and 2.11% of the vote.

FINAL ALLOCATION OF THE AVAILABLE 42 SEATS

Final seat allocation based on the by-election result were as follows:

  • ANC 16 (three less than in 2016),
  • DA 11 (one less than in 2016),
  • EFF 8 (sames as in 2016),
  • SACP 3 (did not participate in 2016),
  • MCA 1 (one less than in 2016),
  • FF+ 1 (same as in 2016),
  • AIC 1 (did not participate in this municipality in the 2016 elections),
  • F4SD 1 (did not participate in this municipality in the 2016 elections).

REACTION TO AND ANALYSIS OF THE 2017 BY-ELECTION OUTCOME

The following articles sets out some of the reactions to the outcome of the 2017 by-election in Metsimaholo:

Metsimaholo hangs in limbo as by-elections has no outright winner

‘Really massive collapse’ in ANC support in Free State by-election

ANC support down in Metsimaholo, SACP pick up 3 seats – IEC

DA Metsimaholo has voted for a new beginning – Patricia Kopane

Metsimaholo’s elections send strong signal – SACP

An analysis of by-election result in Metsimaholo indicates that:

  1. The ANC is continuing to loose voter support at an alarming rate (since the 2011 local government elections to the latest 2017 by-election their support in Metsimaholo dropped by a staggering 32%). The majority of their losses can be ascribed to voters voting for the EFF in 2016 and now again in 2017 and to the SACP in 2017. They also lost votes to other parties such as the DA and other smaller parties but up to 25% of their losses are the result of voter support gained at their expense by the EFF and SACP. This indicates how critical the SACP is for the ANC continued power base and the party will have to put all its energy into mending the fences with their alliance partner before the 2019 general election.
  2. The by-election result also confirmed the trend that the ANC’s support base is more robust in rural areas than suburban or urban areas as they did better in more rural based wards of Metsimaholo compared to those in the towns. The ANC will have to somehow regain the trust of the urban voters if it wants to have any hope of governing again nationally after the 2019 general election.
  3. The DA percentage of the votes in 2017 compared to 2017 dropped by nearly some 11%. While the party was propelled by high turnout in the suburbs in 2016, turnout this time round was sharply down in vote-rich areas for the DA, averaging at about 25% less than 2016. There was lower turnout in the ANC-held wards as well, but the lower turnout was not as pronounced.
  4. It also seems as if many former white DA voters in Metsimaholo this time around voted for the FF+ which indicates some extent of disillusionment with DA’s direction under Mmusi Maimane with many feeling that the DA has become nothing else than an ANC light version. This is a trend that the DA will have to counter if it wants to build on its election gains of previous national and local government elections.
  5. The DA also did not have enough growth in the townships of Metsimaholo to mask their decreasing returns in the suburbs, and ultimately increase their representation on the council. The DA will have to do better in the townships in 2019 it wants to build on its election gains of previous national and local government elections.
  6. The EFF made great strides in some township wards but their growth was not uniform, and in some ANC-held Metsimaholo wards their share of the vote went down. They ended up where they began with eight seats. The EFF did not manage to increase their percentage of the overall vote in the 2017 election compared to that of 2016 in the end, leading to questions as to whether the party is about to reach a ceiling of voter support?
  7. The SACP had a solid showing in their first electoral foray and was allocated 3 PR seats on the Metsimaholo Council. They came very close to also winning Ward 3 (Refengkgotso Deneysville), where the ANC beat them by 34 votes, getting 35% of the vote compared to their 34%. The SACP was able to get over 10% of the vote in six of the 16 ANC held wards. Will the SACP continue contesting elections or put that strategy on hold if their preferred candidate wins the presidential race at the ANC conference in a few weeks’ time?
  8. Despite the FF+’s solid growth on election day, they still only have one seat on Council. They were able to hurt the DA, but were not able to attract enough DA voters to get an additional PR seat.
  9. As indicated earlier the AIC had a an impressive foray into Metsimaholo. They won a PR seat and will be an ally for the ANC if they have any chance of ruling in Metsimaholo.
  10. The MCA ended up holding onto one of their two seats but will struggle to be the factor they were in Metsimaholo after the 2016 election.
  11. The F4SD did well to gain one seat following the election.
  12. The number of political parties represented on the Metsimaholo Council increased from only 5 in 2016 to 8 in 2017. I would not say that this is any indication that in future voters will be willing to vote in large numbers for smaller parties as in my view this is a trend typically only found in local government elections.

2017 POSSIBLE COALITION SCENARIOS IN METSIMAHOLO

  • Seats required for overall majority = 22.
  • Scenario: The ANC requires 6 seats to form a majority and the DA 11.
  • Possible coalitions for the ANC: The ANC could partner with the DA or EFF individually or together with the other smaller parties to form a coalition government. Such a coalition with either the DA or EFF would however be highly unlikely and to govern without the DA or EFF they will have to secure the support of the SACP and three of the four smaller parties namely the FF+, AIC, MCA or F4SD who each gained 1 seat.
  • Possible coalitions for the DA: The DA could form a coalition with the ANC or EFF but in the instance of the EFF they will require the support of either the SACP or three of the four smaller parties namely the FF+, AIC, MCA or F4SD who each gained 1 seat.

The following article sets out the three possible coalition scenarios:

By-Election: Metsimaholo – with no outright winner and entry of SACP, prepare for strange bedfellows

The three possible coalition scenarios are as follows:

“Scenario 1: DA (11) + EFF (8) + VF+ (1) + MCA (1) + F4SD (1) 22/42

The most likely scenario would see the DA returning the favour to the EFF. This week the EFF lent their votes to the DA to help defeat motions of no confidence against the respective mayors of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay. The two parties together would have 19 out of the 22 votes needed to form a coalition which could govern in Metsimaholo. The most palatable party for both to work with would be the F4SD. Both parties were willing to work with the F4SD to rule in Rustenburg in North West. The F4SD was formed by aggrieved ANC members and they are more likely to work the opposition then the ANC. The opposition would need another two votes. The VF+ are not going to work with the ANC. The question is whether the EFF would want them in a coalition, and/or whether their supporters would tolerate them sitting with the EFF (and potentially the SACP). The MCA supported the opposition after the 2016 election. While the party was split, the leader who worked with the ANC is no longer in the party, and it is more plausible to expect them to work with the opposition again. So, the EFF and the DA have a realistic path to the needed 22/42 seats. The elephant in the room is the SACP and their valuable three seats.”

“Scenario 2: ANC (16)+SACP (3) + AIC (1) + MCA (1)-21/42 Hung Council.

The ANC knows that the first party to join them in a coalition in Metsimaholo would not be their tripartite alliance partner, the SACP, but the AIC. The ANC (16) + AIC (1) would leave the ANC five short of the magical number of 22. Let’s assume that Gwede Mantashe can broker a deal between the ANC and the SACP, and even offer the SACP the mayoral chain – that would still only take the ANC coalition to 20. They would be two short. The MCA had mixed feelings last time, and maybe the ANC could persuade them again. We would now be in hung council territory: 21. Unless the ANC offered the F4SD some rich pickings in Rustenburg, where they could offer them a place in the coalition, it is unlikely for the F4SD to work with the ANC. We know that the DA, the EFF and the VF+ will not work with the ANC. Thus it is more plausible that the ANC will not be governing in Metsimaholo.”

“Scenario 3: DA (11) + EFF (8) + SACP (3)

Ironically, a scenario which would be most stable numerically but the least stable ideologically would be a coalition with the DA (11) EFF (8) and the SACP (3) which would give them 22 seats. The DA would have to resign itself to either an EFF or an SACP mayor. The coalition could count on support from the F4SD, VF+ and possibly the MCA on policies which would suit the smaller parties, but at the same time they would not be held ransom by the smaller parties. The DA would be reluctant passengers here, but no scenario is ideal for them. Neither scenario 2 nor 3 is ideal for the SACP, and of course, scenarios 1 and 3 are not ideal for the EFF. Strange bedfellows will be holding hands in Metsimaholo.”

CONCLUSION

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has indicated that it is willing to enter into a coalition with the ANC in Metsimaholo municipality in the Free State provided the governing party meets its “conditions” which include a commitment to respect the people, fight corruption and tackle corporate capture.

SACP sets terms for ANC coalition

Where to now for Metsimaholo?

The most likely outcome for me would be a coalition between the DA (11), EFF (8), FF+ (1), MCA (1) and the F4SD (1) giving such a coalition the 22 votes to form a majority government in Metsimaholo. Only time will however tell as coalition politics sometimes makes for strange bedfellows.

 

ANC biggest loser in 2016 coalition outcome, DA biggest winner but EFF still holds the keys

Introduction

Following the recent local government elections, I wrote the following four posts about the state of play in the 27 hung municipal councils where none of the political parties contesting the election in a municipality had a clear majority of the seats allocated:

The final coalition whistle blew on 25 out of the 27 hung councils who had their statutory meetings to elect mayors, speakers and other office bearers before the deadline of 14 days after the IEC declared and gazetted the final results. The 2 outstanding municipal councils who still need to elect their office bearers are the following:

  1. Jozini in KwaZulu-Natal where the municipal council have met three times and every time deadlocked with 20 votes to each coalition with the ANC (19) and 1 independent councillors voting together and the IFP (18), EFF (1) and DA (1) voting together -> ANC pushing for a by-election in Jozini
  2. Kgatelopele in the Northern Cape where The DA and KCF agreed to a coalition to form a majority government with 4 seats (2 each) out of the 7 seats on the council. One of the DA Councillors was however shot execution style before the council meeting and the council therefore have 1 vacancy currently and the DA/KCF coalition could not be formalised. An ANC member was subsequently arrested and charged for the murder of the DA Councillor -> ANC ward candidate charged with DA councillor’s murder

National coalition agreements reached

Following the elections, the major political parties scurried to secure coalitions in as many of the 27 hung councils as possible (see this article for an overview of what happened behind the scenes -> The six meetings that changed South African Politics ). In the end the DA formed a coalition on a national basis with a number of smaller parties such as COPE, the UDM, ACDP and the FF+ (DA enters into coalition with UDM, ACDP, IFP, COPE) whereas the EFF decided not to enter into any formal coalitions but to support the DA in voting for office bearers in municipalities where this will result in the ANC being unseated (EFF not going into coalition government with any other party ).

This basically outmanoeuvred the ANC nationally, leaving them very little room to negotiate and secure locally agreed coalitions in a small number of the 27 hung municipal councils. As things unfolded thereafter in 25 of the 27 hung municipal councils, bore testimony that in the 2016 coalitions stakes the ANC was the biggest loser, the DA the biggest winner but that the EFF is the party that still holds the key in many of these municipalities.

Local coalition developments

Despite the nationally agreed coalitions secured by the DA and the EFF’s approach to strategically support what they called the lesser of two evils namely the DA, at local level a few interesting developments still unfolded in the following 6 hung municipal councils:

  1. Mogale City in Gauteng where despite the election of DA Mayor, an ANC speaker was elected with speculation that the IFP voted with ANC for speaker and with DA for Mayor -> Mogale City elects a DA mayor & ANC speaker
  2. Rustenburg in the North West where the EFF had its best chance to govern a municipality but where they were left disappointed when the BCM voted with the ANC to deny them this opportunity ->  Newly elected ANC mayor shocked at result
  3. Modimolle/Mookgopong in Limpopo where 2 ANC members must have voted for a DA Mayor as the DA candidate received 17 votes in total as opposed to the 15 the DA expected (7 from DA, 6 from the EFF and 2 from the FF+) ->  ANC loses Modimolle mayor post to DA
  4. Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal where the ANC subsequently disputed the outcome of the mayoral election ->  ANC disputes outcome of Nquthu council meeting
  5. eDumbe in KwaZulu-Natal where two IFP Councillors voted together with ANC and against the wishes of their party and were subsequently expelled from the IFP ->  IFP in KZN expels two councillors for siding with ANC
  6. Kannaland in the Western Cape where ANC/DA coalition has the majority in Council although both parties have indicated that they did not officially form a coalition. The DA is busy investigating the fact that 2 DA Councillors voted with the ANC against the national leaderships wishes ->  DA to discipline Kannaland councillors

I have captured the outcome of the forming of coalitions for each of the 27 hung municipal councils in the table that’s attached at the end of this article. The information is as far as I could ascertain correct for each municipality however in a number of instances I had to make certain assumptions as all the information required was not always in the public domain. I also relied on the following valuable entry in Wikipedia that sets out in detail the outcome of the 2016 local government elections -> South African Municipal Elections, 2016 .

I then analysed the outcome across the 27 municipalities to establish certain trends as how the coalition stakes unfolded. The major findings are set out below.

Minority vs majority coalition governments

In 11 of the 27 hung municipalities (40.74%) a minority government were formed where the leading coalition did not have enough seats/votes to secure a majority government and where they will therefore have to rely on the ongoing support of another party that’s not part of the ruling coalition.

Of these 11 municipalities the EFF’s support is required in 6 minority governments led by the DA (Johannesburg, Tshwane, Mogale City, Metsimaholo, Thabazimbe and Modimolle/Mookgopong), support from the EFF in 4 minority governments led by the IFP (Endumeni, Nquthu, Abaqulusi and Mtubatuba) and the support of at least one IFP councillor in 1 ANC led minority government (eDumbe). The EFF therefore holds the keys in 10 of the 11 minority local governments which will require careful management of the coalition/EFF relationships in these municipalities.

In 14 of the 27 hung municipalities (51.85%) the leading coalition were able to form a majority government. This includes 8 DA led municipalities (Nelson Mandela Bay, Witzenberg, Hessequa, Knysna, Prince Albert, Laingsburg, Beaufort West and Ubuntu), 5 ANC led municipalities (Ekurhuleni, Rustenburg, Estcourt/Loskop, Bitou and Nama Khoi) and 1 ANC/DA led municipality (Kannaland).

In 10 of the 14 majority government municipalities (71.42%) the leading coalition has secured just enough seats/votes to secure an ordinary majority. This includes 6 DA led municipalities (Nelson Mandela Bay, Witzenberg, Hessequa, Laingsburg, Beaufort West and Ubuntu), 3 ANC led municipalities (Rustenburg, Bitou and Nama Khoi) and 1 ANC/DA led municipality (Kannaland). This means that if any by-election is to take place in any of these 10 municipalities over the next 5 years, the balance of power could potentially shift to another party/coalition.

In only 4 majority government municipalities does the leading coalition have a majority of either +1 or +2 (one or two more seats than what is required for an ordinary majority). This is for the ANC in Estcourt/Loskop and the DA in Prince Albert = +1 majority and ANC in Ekurhuleni and the DA in Knysna = +2 majority).

The remaining 2 hung municipalities (7.40%) is still to be decided (Jozini and Kgatelopele).

Ruling coalition does not include the party that got the most votes/seats in the election

In 12 of the 25 decided hung municipalities (48%) the leading coalition is a group of parties that do not include the party that received the most votes/seats in the election. The worst affected by this is the ANC with 10 out of the 12 municipalities where in 8 of them they conceded government of the municipality to the DA and 2 municipalities to the IFP. The 10 municipalities in which the ANC received the most votes/seats in the 2016 local government elections, but where they still failed to form a leading coalition government are the following (major party leading the coalition in brackets):

  1. Johannesburg (DA)
  2. Metsimaholo (DA)
  3. Mogale City (DA)
  4. Thabazimbe (DA)
  5. Modimolle/Mookgopong (DA)
  6. Endumeni (IFP)
  7. Abaqulusi (IFP)
  8. Hessequa (DA)
  9. Laingsburg (DA)
  10. Ubuntu (DA)

The DA lost 1 municipality (Bitou) where the received the most votes to the ANC and ICOSA 1 municipality (Kannaland) to an ANC/DA coalition.

The 10 municipalities lost by the ANC is a direct consequence of their failure to reach formal coalitions at national level with any of the key political parties.

Change in leading party

The following table reflects the number of hung municipal councils where there was a change in the leading party in 2016 compared to the 2011 local government elections. The list contains only 23 hung municipalities because two newly demarcated municipalities (Modimolle/Mookgopong and Estcourt/Loskop) did not exist in 2011 and 2 hung municipalities still needs to be decided (Jozini and Kgatelopele):

Untitled

The table indicates that the ANC is the biggest loser having lost 78% of the 14 hung council municipalities where a different party is leading compared to 2011.

Conclusion

The above analysis supports the notion that in the 2016 coalitions stakes the ANC was the biggest loser, the DA the biggest winner but that the EFF is the party that still holds the key in many of these municipalities.

Managing the coalitions in the 27 municipalities is going to require extraordinary wisdom, diplomacy and patience given the narrow majority margins in most of these municipalities and the fact that the leading coalitions in 10 of these municipalities will require the ongoing support of the EFF -> Difficulties of forming and maintaining coalitions

Summary table

The attached PDF document summarises the coalition outcomes in all of the 27 hung local municipalities and were used to conduct the analysis set out in this post.

2016 Coalition outcomes for 27 hung municipalities

Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Picture in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces

INTRODUCTION

Following the 2016 local elections, South Africa is gripped with coalition fever, with 27 municipalities having hung councils where no one political party has more than 50% of the allocated seats.

Forming coalitions is an exercise in real politics ( politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises) and its therefore dangerous to predict beforehand the outcome of any coalition negotiations. Relying on what is speculated in the mainstream media is especially fraught with danger as evidenced in this article looking at what transpired in 2006 in Cape Town when parties were also faced with a hung council scenario Anatomy of a coalition coup: Are there lessons ahead of the August election?

In this series of blog posts I nevertheless looked at the possible coalitions in each of the 27 municipalities. In the first post the situation in the Metros was looked at ->  Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Metro Picture followed by the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces -> Coalition Fever: An Overview of the picture in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces. In the third post I looked at all the hung councils in KwaZulu-Natal -> Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Picture in KwaZulu-Natal  and in this  last post possible coalitions in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces.

WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE

There are eight municipalities in the Western Cape that require coalitions, a full third of the 24 local municipalities. There are a number of small, local parties that hold the balance of power in various municipalities. These parties include Witzenberg Aksie (WA); the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA); the Active United Front (AUF); the Knysna Unity Congress (K.U.C); the Karoo Gemeenskap Party (KGP); the Karoo Ontwikkelings Party (KOP); and the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF) (source: Peter Berkowitz).

WITZENBERG

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 DA  46.38%  45.96%  -0.42%
 ANC  36.3%  32.28%  -4.02%
 WA  – 4.99% +4.99%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 23
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 12
  • Seat allocation: DA 11 seats, ANC 8, WA 1, ICOSA 1, EFF 1, COPE 1
  • Scenario: The DA short 1 seat and the ANC 4.
  • Possible coalitions: The DA could form a coalition with any of the other 5 parties represented on Council. The ANC can work with the DA or will have to go into a coalition with the WA, ICOSA, EFF and COPE.

CONCLUSION

The most likely coalition seems to be the DA working with COPE.

HESSEQUA

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  40.47%  46.14%  +5.67%
 DA  47.41%  42.94%  -4.47%
 FF+  – 4.86% +4.86%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 17
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 9
  • Seat allocation: ANC 8 seats, DA 8, FF+ 1
  • Scenario: The ANC and DA both short 1 seat.
  • Possible coalitions: Both the ANC or DA could partner with the FF+.

CONCLUSION

The FF+ is the kingmaker in this municipality and a DA/FF+ coalition is the most likely outcome although FF+ leader, Pieter Mulder, served previously as an deputy minister in the ANC cabinet. Latest news reports indicates that Coalition negotiations in Hessequa ‘hit a snag’

BITOU

Bitou Local Municipality, formerly known as Plettenberg Bay Municipality, forms part of the Eden District Municipality, which is located in the Western Cape province.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 DA  47.56%  48.58%  +1.02%
 ANC  45.48%  40.99%  -4.49%
 AUF  – 5.36% +5.36%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 13
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 7
  • Seat allocation: DA 6 seats, ANC 6, AUF 1
  • Scenario: The DA and ANC both short 1 seat.
  • Possible coalitions: Both the DA or ANC could partner with the AUF.

CONCLUSION

The AUF is the kingmaker in this municipality. BREAKING NEWS – The AUF has decide to side with the ANC to wrestle control of the municipality away from the DA -> AUF to from coalition with the ANC in Bitou Municipality .

KNYSNA

Knysna Local Municipality is part of the Eden District Municipality, located in the Western Cape province. Adjacent municipalities include George Local Municipality to the north-west and Bitou Local Municipality to the east. The municipality is also bordered by the Indian Ocean in the south.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
DA  50.83%  49.61%  -1.22%
 ANC  38.31%  32.14%  -6.17%
 COPE  6.85% 5.71% -1.14%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 21
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 11
  • Seat allocation: DA 10 seats, ANC 7, COPE 1, K.U.C 1, ACDP 1, Independent 1
  • Scenario: The DA short 1 seat and the ANC 4
  • Possible coalitions: The DA could form a coalition with any of the other parties whilst the ANC will have to form a coalition with the DA or alternatively the three smaller parties and the independent councillor.

CONCLUSION

A DA coalition with any of the three smaller parties or the independent councillor seems to be the most likely. BREAKING NEWS – The independent councillor, Velile Waxa, formed a coalition with the DA in the Knysna municipality -> Coalition deal gives DA a further 5 years in Knysna .

PRINCE ALBERT

Prince Albert Local Municipality lies on the southern edge of the Great Karoo, a semi-desert region of the Western Cape province. The municipality provides services to Leeu Gamka, Prince Albert Road, Klaarstroom and Prince Albert, and is an area with diverse investment opportunities.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 DA  25.57%  33.53%  +7.96%
 KGP  50.45%  32.52%  -17.93%
 ANC  23.78 31.63% +7.85%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 7
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 4
  • Seat allocation:  DA 3 seats, KGP 2, ANC 2
  • Scenario: The DA requires 1 seat and the ANC and KGP both 2 seats.
  • Possible coalitions: The DA  could work with any of the KGP or ANC. The KGP or ANC could form a coalition or any of them can decided to work with the DA.

CONCLUSION

The ANC and KGP formed a coalition after the 2011 local elections and therefore are the kingmaker in this municipality. BREAKING NEWS – The DA and KGP formed a coalition to manage the Prince Albert municipality for the next 5 years -> DA bags coalition deals in Prince Albert, Laingsburg and Beaufort West  .

LAINGSBURG

Laingsburg Local Municipality is a friendly, modern Karoo town, only 280km from Cape Town. The town lies in a geologically fascinating area, steeped in history and tradition. It is a worthwhile and hospitable stop on the busy N1 highway through the Great Karoo.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  37.81%  46.08%  +8.27%
 DA  40.48%  43.88%  +3.4%
 KOP  – 4.5% +4.5%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 7
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 4
  • Seat allocation: ANC 3 seats, DA 3, KOP 1
  • Scenario: Both the ANC and DA short 1 seat to form a majority.
  • Possible coalitions: Both the ANC and DA will have to form a coalition with the KOP to form a majority.

CONCLUSION

A DA/COPE coalition governed this municipality after the 2011 elections. The KOP is the kingmaker in this municipality. BREAKING NEWS – The DA entered into a coalition agreement with the KOP -> Karoo Parties, DA forms coalition in three hung councils .

BEAUFORT WEST

Beaufort West Local Municipality is located in the Western Cape province. The adjacent municipalities and provinces include the following: Karoo Hoogland Local Municipality, Namakwa District Municipality and Northern Cape (north-west), Ubuntu Local Municipality, Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality and Northern Cape (north), Camdeboo Local Municipality, Sarah Baartman District Municipality and Eastern Cape (east), Sarah Baartman District Municipality and Eastern Cape (south-east), Prince Albert Local Municipality (south), and Laingsburg Local Municipality (south-west).

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 DA  41.01%  48.99%  +7.98%
 ANC  50.17%  42.21%  -7.96%
 KDF  – 5.18% +5.18%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 13
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 7
  • Seat allocation: DA 6 seats, ANC 6, KDF 1
  • Scenario: Both the DA and ANC short 1 seat.
  • Possible coalitions: Both the DA and ANC will have to work with the KDF.

CONCLUSION

The KDP holds the balance of power in this municipality. BREAKING NEWS – The DA and KDF formed a coalition to wrestle control of this municipality from the ANC -> KDF: Beaufort West coalition marks the end of corruption .

KANNALAND

Kannaland Local Municipality is classified as a Category B municipality and is responsible for basic service provision to the towns of Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Vanwyksdorp and Zoar, as well as the surrounding farming communities. Kannaland is situated about 340km north-east of Cape Town along the famous tourism Route 62. It is linked by tarred main roads to all other major centres, such as Oudtshoorn (100km), Montagu (139km), George (160km), Mossel Bay (185km) and Port Elizabeth (420km).

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ICOSA  41.96%  48.14%  +6.18%
 DA  23.49%  27.52%  +4.03%
 ANC  26.67% 21.51% -5.16%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 7
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 4
  • Seat allocation:  ICOSA 3 seats, DA 2, ANC 2
  • Scenario: ICOSA short 1 seat and both the DA and ANC 2 seats.
  • Possible coalitions: The

CONCLUSION

The seat allocation is the same as in 2011 when the ANC and ICOSA formed a coalition. Latest media reports seems to indicate that ICOSA is still talks with both the ANC and DA -> DA hoping to complete coalition deals in hung WC councils today .

NORTHERN CAPE

There are three small municipalities that require coalitions. Small parties and independents will be crucial in all three municipalities. The parties to watch are the Kgatelopele Community Forum (KCF) and the Khoisan Revolution (KSR).

UBUNTU

Ubuntu Local Municipality is a municipality in the Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality in the Northern Cape province. Its seat is Victoria West.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  53.55%  42.04%  -11.51%
 DA  31.97%  31.21%  -0.76%
 IND  – 13.76% +13.76%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 7
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 4
  • Seat allocation: ANC 3 seats, DA 2, Independents x2
  • Scenario: The ANC short 1 seat and the DA 2.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could work with the DA or any one of the independent councillors. The DA will have to work with the ANC or secure the support of both the independent councillors.

CONCLUSION

The independent councillors are the kingmakers in this municipality.

KGATELOPELE

Kgatelopele Local Municipality is a Category B municipality found in the Northern Cape province. It was formerly known as Danielskuil Municipal District or Area.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  67.15%  43.05%  -24.1%
 DA  21.98%  28.1%  +6.12%
 KCF  – 22% +22%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 7
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 4
  • Seat allocation: ANC 3 seats, DA 2, KCF 2
  • Scenario: The ANC short seat 1 seat and the DA and KFC both 2.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could form a coalition with the DA or KFC. The DA will have to work with either the ANC or KFC.

CONCLUSION

The KFC is the kingmaker in this municipality and could either go with the ANC or DA.

NAMA KHOI

Nama Khoi Local Municipality is situated on the north-western side of the Northern Cape province. It forms part of the Namakwa District Municipality, with the town of Springbok as the administrative centre. It is the largest municipality in the Namakwa District Municipality. Nama and Khoisan people occupied this area for hundreds of years.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  48.92%  46.73%  -2.19%
 DA  35.15%  41.01%  +5.86%
 KSR  – 5.15% +5.15%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 17
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 9
  • Seat allocation: ANC 8 seats, DA 7, KSR 1, COPE 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 1 seat and the DA 2.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could form a coalition with any of the DA, KSR or COPE. The DA will have to work with the ANC or secure the support of both KSR and COPE.

CONCLUSION

The KSR and COPE holds the balance of power in this municipality.

WORD OF THANKS

Thanks to the IEC and Paul Berkowitz for the pictures used in this series of blog posts. Paul wrote an excellent summary on the coalition picture outside of the Metros which could be read here ->  Coalition politics: what’s possible outside of the metros .

Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Picture in KwaZulu-Natal

INTRODUCTION

Following the 2016 local elections, South Africa is gripped with coalition fever, with 27 municipalities having hung councils where no one political party has more than 50% of the allocated seats.

Forming coalitions is an exercise in real politics ( politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises) and its therefore dangerous to predict beforehand the outcome of any coalition negotiations. Relying on what is speculated in the mainstream media is especially fraught with danger as evidenced in this article looking at what transpired in 2006 in Cape Town when parties were also faced with a hung council scenario Anatomy of a coalition coup: Are there lessons ahead of the August election?

In this series of blog posts I nevertheless looked at the possible coalitions in each of the 27 municipalities. In the first post the situation in the Metros was looked at ->  Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Metro Picture and in the second one the situation in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces -> Coalition Fever: An Overview of the picture in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces

In this third post I will look at all the hung councils in KwaZulu-Natal and in the last post possible coalitions in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces.

KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCE

There are seven municipalities in the province with no outright majority party. The ANC has the most seats in five of these and the IFP in two, but the two parties are quite evenly matched in most of these municipalities.

The ANC needs the EFF as a coalition partner in most of these municipalities, assuming that ANC/IFP or ANC/DA coalitions are not on the table. There is also the chance that some councils may remain hung.

ENDUMENI

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  51.35%  49.53% -1.82 %
 IFP  16.12%  30.52%  +14.40%
 DA  20.54% 15.59% -4.98%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 13
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 7
  • Seat allocation: ANC 6 seats, IFP 4, DA 2, EFF 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short only 1 seat and the IFP 3.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could partner with any one of the IFP, DA or EFF. The IFP will have to partner with the ANC or alternatively both the DA and EFF if it wants to form a majority in this municipality.

CONCLUSION

The outcome will very much depend on which way the IFP will go with one newspaper article suggesting that they plan to cut out the ANC in six KwaZulu-Natal municipalities -> Talks about coalitions continue

NQUTHU

Nquthu Local Municipality is an administrative area in the uMzinyathi District of KwaZulu-Natal. Nquthu is an isiZulu name meaning ‘the back of the head’. Isandlwana, the site of the historic Anglo-Zulu War battle that took place on 22 January 1879, is a well-known tourist destination worldwide. Nquthu Local Municipality is located along the north-eastern boundary of the district. It borders onto the Endumeni, eMadlangeni, AbaQulusi, Ulundi, Nkandla and Msinga Local Municipalities. It is predominantly rural in nature, with expansive rural settlements being one of the major features.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 IFP  40.07%  44.09%  +4.02%
 ANC  40.36%  42.02%  +1.66%
 NFP  16.24% 5.96% -10.28%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 33
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 17
  • Seat allocation:  IFP 15 seats, ANC 14, NFP 2, EFF 1, DA 1
  • Scenario: The IFP short 2 seats and the ANC 3.
  • Possible coalitions: The IFP could partner with the ANC or the NFP or both the EFF and DA. The ANC will have to form a coalition with the IFP or alternatively the NFP with the support of one more additional seat from either the EFF or DA.

CONCLUSION

The Nquthu municipality is the only one the NFP was allowed to contest as it paid the registration fee for this municipality on time -> NFP still has Nquthu, IEC .

Given the past history between the IFP and NFP the most likely coalition is between the IFP and DA/EFF. The NFP formed a coalition with the ANC in this municipality after the 2011 municipal election but this time around both parties will have to woo over either the EFF or DA to work with it.

Read this -> Consolation for NFP in Nquthu

ESCOURT/LOSKOP

Escourt/Loskop Local Municipality is located approximately 165km north-west of Durban and 400km south-east of Johannesburg. The National Road N3 also traverses the municipality on its western portion. The municipality comprises parts of the magisterial districts of Weenen and Estcourt; the informal settlements of Cornfields, Thembalihle and Mimosadale; Loskop and settlements around Weenen. Escourt is the largest commercial centre in the Midlands region. Weenen is a small agricultural town that is starting to emerge as a tourist destination.

This is a newly formed municipality through the amalgamation of the former uMtshezi and Imbabazane Local Municipalities

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  Newly established municipality  49.48%  n/a
 IFP Newly established municipality  39.73%  n/a
 DA Newly established municipality 4.16% n/a

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 46
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 24
  • Seat allocation: ANC 23 seats, IFP 18, DA 2, AL JAMA-AH 2, EFF 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short only 1 seat and the IFP 6.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could form a coalition with the IFP, DA, AL JAMA or EFF. Only they can form a majority coalition in the municipality as the best that the IFP could do is to work with the DA, AL JAMA and the EFF to also hold 23 seats.

CONCLUSION

The possibility exist that this Council may remain hung.

eDUMBE

eDumbe Local Municipality is situated within the Zululand District Municipality in the north-western part of KwaZulu-Natal. The location of the head office is in Paulpietersburg, which is 50km north of Vryheid and 59km south of Mkhondo (previously Piet Retief).

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  27.61%  50.65%  +23.04%
 DA  4.44%  25.26%  +20.82%
 IFP  16.03% 15.57% -0.46%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 16
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 9
  • Seat allocation: ANC 8 seats, DA 5, IFP 3
  • Scenario: The ANC short 1 seat and the DA 4.
  • Possible coalitions: Only the ANC can form a majority coalition in eDumbe by working with the DA or IFP. The best the DA can do is to match the 8 seats of the ANC by working with the IFP.

CONCLUSION

This is one of the municipalities that the NFP controlled after the 2011 municipal elections. In 2016 the possibility exist that the Council may remain hung.

ABAQULUSI

AbaQulusi Local Municipality is a local municipality in Zululand in the KwaZulu-Natal province. It is named after the AbaQulusi, a Zulu clan whose descendants live in the vicinity of Vryheid, Utrecht, eDumbe and eNgoje.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  38.52%  46.22%  +7.7%
 IFP  35.01%  42.14%  +7.13%
 DA  6.65% 7.13% +0.7%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 44
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 23
  • Seat allocation: ANC 21 seats, IFP 19, DA 3, EFF 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 2 seats and the IFP 4.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could work with the IFP or DA. The IFP on the other hand will have to work with both the DA and EFF.

CONCLUSION

The outcome will very much depend on which way the IFP will go with one newspaper article suggesting that they plan to cut out the ANC in six KwaZulu-Natal municipalities -> Talks about coalitions continue

JOZINI

Jozini Local Municipality is located in northern KwaZulu-Natal and borders Swaziland and Mozambique. The Lebombo Mountains and Makhatini Flats provide a diverse and beautiful terrain rich in local resources, including water features and fossil sites. Both Ndumu and Mkuzi Game Reserves can be found straddling the borders of the Jozini Municipality.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  49.84%  47.88%  -1.96%
 IFP  39.58%  46.18%  +6.6%
 EFF  – 1.99% +1.99%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 40
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 21
  • Seat allocation: ANC 19 seats, IFP 18, EFF 1, DA 1, Independent 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 2 seats and the IFP 3.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could form a coalition with the IFP or any two of the EFF, DA or the independent councillor. The IFP can partner with the ANC or the EFF/DA/Independent.

CONCLUSION

The IFP seems to want to cut out the ANC in as many of the hung councils in KwaZulu-Natal as possible. The most probable coalition therefore is that of the IFP and the EFF/DA/Independent.

Read this -> DA could be kingmaker in KZN and KZN coalition cards close to the chests .

MTUBATUBA

Mtubatuba Local Municipality is situated along the northern coastal belt of KwaZulu-Natal and in the south-eastern corner of the uMkhanyakude District Municipality. Mtubatuba is located roughly 200km north of Durban and 55km north of the Richards Bay/Empangeni metropole along the N2 National Route. Mtubatuba has developed from a railway siding into a strong sub-regional commercial, service, transport and administrative centre for the entire north-eastern Zululand region.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party 2011 % vote 2016 % vote % Shift
 IFP  39.88%  44.86%  +4.98%
 ANC  40.86%  43.98%  +3.12%
 DA  3.82% 3.82% +2.81%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 40
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 21
  • Seat allocation:  IFP 18 seats, ANC 18, DA 2, EFF 1, AIC 1
  • Scenario: Both the IFP and ANC short 3 seats.
  • Possible coalitions: The IFP and ANC could partner with one another or alternatively the DA and one or both of the EFF or AIC.

CONCLUSION

The IFP seems to want to cut out the ANC in as many of the hung councils in KwaZulu-Natal as possible. The most probable coalition therefore is that of the IFP and the DA/EFF.

THE NEXT BLOG POST

In the last post in this series on municipal coalitions I will look at the situation in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces.

WORD OF THANKS

Thanks to the IEC and Paul Berkowitz for the pictures used in this series of blog posts. Paul wrote an excellent summary on the coalition picture outside of the Metros which could be read here ->  Coalition politics: what’s possible outside of the metros .