The ANC won 54% of the vote in Mkhondo, but failed to gain any of the town’s senior positions, losing the mayoralty to independent Mthokozisi Simelane.

The ATM’s Mdudzi Dlamini was elected municipal speaker and the EFF’s Siphesihle Mkhwanazi was elected council whip.

Thirty-year-old Simelane, who is one of South Africa’s youngest mayors, gained 18 out of 34 votes cast in the mayoral contest. (The DA abstained from the vote.)

According to The South African, the ANC said it was disappointed with the result. Though it had gained an outright majority in the 1 November election – with 21 out of the 38 seats in the council – it was unable to secure any of the key positions.

‘We are going back to the drawing board to establish exactly where we lost it,’ an ANC official was quoted as saying.

On Friday, six ANC councillors in Mkhondo resigned, alleging that the party-list process was flawed, but suspended their resignation on Monday. All six participated in the election of office-bearers.