DA councillor Herman Mashaba was voted in as mayor of Johannesburg during a council meeting on Monday night.
He defeated the ANC’s candidate and previous mayor Parks Tau with 144 votes to 125. The DA also claimed positions of speaker of council and chief whip.
Voting for both mayor and chief whip took place well into the night, following a day of drama and tragedy. ANC councillor, Nonhlanhla Mthembu, 50, collapsed and died just before voting for mayor was due to start.
Mashaba expressed his condolences to the ANC. Out of respect for Mthembu, he said he would postpone his inaugural speech to the council’s next sitting on September 13.
During a brief speech, he acknowledged the presence of EFF MP Floyd Shivambu and party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. Last week, EFF leader Julius Malema said the party would vote with the DA in the major metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, and Nelson Mandela Bay.
“Thank you very much, for what you have done for this country,” he told them.
He pledged to develop Johannesburg and vowed to end corruption. Government should not be an employer, but create an enabling environment for the private sector to employ people, he said.