IFP chair Thami Ntuli elected KZN premier as GNU flexes muscle

IFP provincial chairperson and former mayor of King Cetshwayo District municipality, Thami Ntuli, has been elected Premier of KwaZulu-Natal.

Ntuli was supported by DA, ANC, NFP and IFP to ascend to the post previously occupied by Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

His election comes a day after the NFP pledged its allegiance to the the government of national unity (GNU) coalition. This GNU included the ANC, DA and IFP, among other political parties. The NFP had emerged as a kingmaker in the province after the May 29 elections.

Part of the newly formed pact in the province

Ntuli’s election to be the province’s number one citizen followed the same sequence started in the morning. This was during the sitting of the KZN legislature.

All the names fielded by the newly formed pact comprising the DA, ANC, NFP and IFP won all the positions up for grabs in the legislature. This included that of the speaker and deputy speaker, which fell to the ANC and DA respectively. Ntuli had faced off with the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party’s Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza. The latter (Chiliza) is a traditional leader of the eMadungeni tribal authority.

Champion of service delivery

Ntuli ascends to the post previously occupied by the ANC’s Nomusa Dube-Ncube, whose next political move is not yet known.

Affectionately called Mphemba (clan name) in the IFP cycles, Ntuli is a teacher by profession. He is also a former Nkandla local municipality mayor. The new premier rose to prominence when he became mayor of King Cetshwayo district. There he was hailed a champion of service delivery. This was for his stance on ensuring that problems of water in the district were a thing of the past. In the process he spent millions of the municipal budget to fix the water issues.

Embarking on a new journey

Addressing members of the house shortly after his victory, Ntuli said the province was embarking on a new journey.

“I’m humbled to be afforded the opportunity to serve the people of KwaZulu-Natal. My intention is to hit the ground running,” he said.

The next step for Ntuli is the selection of his provincial cabinet. It is expected to accommodate other members of the newly formed pact.

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