Image of Mxolisi Kaunda wearing mayoral chains.

Mxolisi Kaunda has a new job. Image: eThekwini Municipality

ANC recalls eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda

Mxolisi Kaunda was elected mayor of eThekwini on 5 September 2019, replacing corruption-accused Zandile Gumede.

Image of Mxolisi Kaunda wearing mayoral chains.

Mxolisi Kaunda has a new job. Image: eThekwini Municipality

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has reportedly recalled Mxolisi Kaunda from his position as eThekwini mayor in Durban.

This was confirmed by the ANC secretary in the province, Bheki Mtolo, as reported by TimesLIVE. And according to SABC News journalist Samkele Maseko, Kaunda is being redeployed to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Cape Town.

The NCOP is scheduled to hold its first sitting on Saturday, 15 June 2024, meaning Kaunda’s last day in office will likely be on Friday.

We’re not involved in Kaunda’s axing, says IFP

Earlier on Wednesday evening, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Velenkosini Hlabisa announced that they were going into the government of national unity.

He also said the IFP had struck a deal with the ANC, Democratic Alliance and National Freedom Party to form a government in KwaZulu-Natal, headed by IFP chairperson in the province, Thami Ntuli, as premier.

And Hlabisa, while speaking to the media, distanced his party and their negotiations from the removal of Kaunda.

“We can’t speak much on their [ANC KZN] behalf. But on record, the IFP did not raise any matter that will deal with the coalition at a local sphere. We treat these [provincial and local government] as separate,” Hlabisa said.

Outgoing mayor’s tenure

Mxolisi Kaunda became mayor in 2019 when the ANC provincial executive committee in KwaZulu-Natal recalled Zandile Gumede, who had been charged with corruption. She is currently on trial for that case in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban.

Before he became mayor, Kaunda was MEC for transport, community safety and liaison in KZN.

In 2021, he was re-elected as mayor as part of a coalition with the IFP, after the November local government elections. It was the first time since 1996 that the ANC did not win an outright majority in the eThekwini Municipality. 

Since 2021, he has survived a number of attempts to remove him, including in late 2023 when the IFP sought to take the mayoral chains.