ANC, SACP and smaller parties to govern Metsimaholo

SACP's Lindiwe Shongwe is the new mayor, while ANC's Thabo Mabala takes position of speaker

SACP governs its first municipality

Johannesburg - The South African Communist Party (SACP) is in charge of a municipality for the first time, after forming a coalition government with the ANC and three smaller parties in Metsimaholo in the Free State.

The party secured the position of mayor on Thursday, in the second council seating following the by-elections last month.

Lindiwe Shongwe is the municipality's new mayor, while the ANC's Thabo Mabala took the position of speaker.

The chief whip of the council went to Metsimaholo Community Association's (MCA) Victor Nyembe.

The EFF, which hoped to govern its first municipality when it contested elections, fielded candidates for all three positions but lost.

The SACP and ANC smoked the peace pipe after disagreements over the SACP's decision to independently contest the by-elections held last month.

The SACP's decision to go to the polls had angered its alliance partner, the ANC, and it played hard ball about forming a coalition.

However, they needed the help of the MCA, which secured one vote, the African Independent Congress (1) and the Forum for Service Delivery (1).

The SACP had received three votes and the ANC 16, while the other opposition parties, the EFF and DA, also failed to secure an outside majority.

The municipality that was under a DA/EFF/MCA coalition was forced to hold elections after the council was dissolved.

The DA has welcomed the dissolving of the coalition-run Metsimaholo Municipality Council.

The Free State Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) took the decision to dissolve the council on July 6, in the wake of the coalition collapse.

This followed infighting among the political parties in the coalition, which led to the failure of the Metsimaholo Local Municipality to adopt its 2017-18 budget.

The municipality was governed in a coalition by the DA, EFF, the MCA and the Freedom Front Plus.