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Uncertainty sparked hours before crucial Rustenburg council sitting

Late Thursday night in Rustenburg in the North West, drama unfolded when the king-maker in this only hung municipality in the province, Forum for Service Delivery, withdrew two of its councillors.

The Forum is touted by the opposition coalition to present the mayoral candidate as well as the speaker in Friday’s council sitting.

The African National Congress (ANC) needs two seats to take control of the municipality.

It has 43 seats, while the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Democratic Alliance (DA), and Forum For Service Delivery have 42 seats.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has confirmed that the Forum had withdrawn two of its councillors, while some members in the Forum refuted that.

The Commission says Rocky Malebana- Metsing and Pogisho Bothomane ‘s names have been sent to the National IEC offices to be removed from the list.

The duo was supposed to run for the mayoral and speaker’s positions respectively.

The IEC Provincial Electoral Officer Tumelontle Thiba says, “I can confirm that we received a request this morning from the national co-ordinator for Forum For Service Delivery that two candidates Rocky Malebana-Metsing and Pogisho Bothomane were to be withdrawn from the Forum For Service delivery list, as they have been dismissed by the party.”

Thiba says, “We received all the papers; we received declaration of the vacancy from the Municipal Manager as it supposed to be the case.”

And now the gloves are off. The DA is considering going the legal route.

It is constituency head in Rustenburg Herman Groenewald says if rumours about the removal of the Forum’s councillors has any substance to it, the law would have been broken.

“Well I am talking this to my lawyers in Potchefstroom, they are busy preparing for the court case. We will definitely see that those people get back to the list because I blame the party in the first place that they did it in a wrong way. These people did nothing wrong, they just cannot just take them off the list, just like that.”

The Forum spent the better part of Thursday locked in meetings, but some of its officials have refuted claims that there have been alterations to its list.

The smaller parties, the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Botho Community Movement and the African Independent Congress (AIC)  may sway the vote either to the ANC or the Forum’s coalition.

These parties have won a seat each.

The leadership of the Forum For Service delivery were not available for comment.

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