Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: SOWETAN
Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: SOWETAN

An ANC faction in the Mnquma council in the Eastern Cape has engineered the appointment of a new mayor to replace Thobeka Bikitsha, barely four months after her election.

The embattled council has been in disarray due to faction fighting in the governing party.

Opposing factions have been battling for dominance since the local government elections on August 3 last year. The governing party’s deployment committee had endorsed Bikitsha for the mayoral position. However, she was viewed by many as too "lightweight" for the highly —contested council, which is seen as a growth point for the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Bikitsha is also said to have failed in her duties as ward councillor last term, and some felt that it was wrong that she was now being promoted to the senior position of mayor.

Mnquma is the birthplace of DA provincial leader Veliswa Mvenya, while the area was a stronghold for the Congress of the People (COPE) and UDM in previous elections, making the ANC vulnerable to strong opposition in the council.

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