The ANC took a huge knock in Wednesday’s re-election of the Metsimaholo municipality in the Free State, courtesy of a strong performance by its ally, the South African Communist Party (SACP). This was the first time that the SACP contested the ANC under its own banner, which placed even more strain on the tripartite alliance. Although the final results were not yet available, election analyst Dawie Scholtz said the Metsimaholo municipality was set for another hung council. The re-election in all 21 wards in the municipality was necessitated by the collapse of a hung council made up of the DA, Freedom Front Plus and the Metsimaholo Civics Association, backed by the EFF. The coalition collapsed after the hung council failed to pass the 2017-18 budget on time. The municipality was put under administration and council was dissolved. The results are likely to open up another round of horse trading that could result in very complex permutations. Scholtz said on Thursday night that the ANC...

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