The Nelson Mandela Bay election was thrown into crisis on Thursday following the discovery of stacks of marked ballot papers lying unsecured in a tent at the IEC’s regional operations centre in the city.
Late on Thursday night the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay said it had lodged a dispute with the IEC.
But on Friday morning Mthembu said the party had decided to withdraw the dispute and “continue with our lives”.
According to Mthembu, the party had lost because the DA had managed to get its supporters to go out and vote.
“We looked at the nature of the dispute, and decided we should withdraw it and continue with our lives and accept that we have lost Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We are not happy about the turn out in ANC strongholds, we did not manage to get our people and our voters to come out in their thousands and vote.
“That explains the phenomenon of Nelson Mandela Bay. We have more wards there but we still lost Nelson Mandela Bay to the DA,” said Mthembu.
Counting of votes in the local government elections will continue on Friday with Tshwane and Johannesburg remaining battlegrounds where the ANC and the DA were neck-and-neck.
While it appears to be shaken in some of the metros, the ANC remained significantly ahead across the country with an overall vote of 54,8 percent to the DA and EFF’s 26,51 percent 7,94 percent respectively.