The African National Congress (ANC) was dealt yet another blow when opposition parties closed ranks and shared the top three positions at the hung Thabazimbi local municipality in Limpopo on Tuesday.
The ANC obtained 11 seats after the 2021 municipal elections, while the five opposition parties garnered a total of 12 seats.
The five opposition parties are the Democratic Alliance (DA), Freedom Front Plus, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Thabazimbi Residents Association (TRA) and the Thabazimbi Forum for Service Delivery (TFSD).
They voted together to install the DA's Tokkie Swanepoel as mayor, Butana Thlabirwa of TFSD as speaker, and Catherine Sikwana of TRA as chief whip.
The voting showed the ANC did not succeed in its talks late on Monday to persuade some of the opposition parties to form a coalition or to be voting partners.
The opposition parties did not have a written agreement when they went into the inaugural council meeting.
The DA's head of the Waterberg constituency, Desiree van der Walt, explained:
All matters before council will be dealt with item by item to ensure the best outcome for service delivery.
By 20:00 on Tuesday, another reconvened council sitting of the hung Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality in Limpopo was still under way as parties continue to disagree about a purported spoilt ballot.
The sitting on Monday ended in a stalemate after the ANC and the three opposition parties - DA, EFF and Freedom Front Plus - polled the same number of votes.
Another chaotic situation prevailed at the Makhado municipality in Louis Trichardt when infighting broke out among ANC councillors. The councillors disagreed over which mayoral candidate should be forwarded at the council sitting.
The party had recommended that the former mayor, Samuel Munyai, be retained while investigation on the new candidate, Gumani Mukwevho, was still ongoing.
The ANC, in the province, indicated the matter was due to a misunderstanding and a misinterpretation of the resolution of the party.
Party spokesperson Donald Selamolela said: "The matter will soon be resolved."