South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has taken back control of Johannesburg, after its candidate, Geoff Makhubo was elected mayor by a comfortable margin.
The ANC’s nominee for the position – which was formerly held by Herman Mashaba of the DA, whose last day was on November 27 – received 137 of the votes cast. His closest challenger was the DA’s Funzela Ngobeni, with 101 votes. The EFF’s Musa Novela received 30 votes.
His victory comes a week after a council meeting where the new mayor was expected to be elected was delayed by council speaker Vasco Da Gama to get clarity over the procedure to be followed in electing Johannesburg’s No 1 resident.
Former mayor and DA flag bearer, Herman Mashaba resigned last month in protest of the election of Helen Zille as the DA federal council chair.
Makhubo’s appointment sees the ANC reclaim the country’s economic hub after being toppled by a DA-led coalition, supported by the EFF, following the local government election in 2016.
But that coalition government has collapsed, after the EFF fell out of favour with the DA.
Drawn-out negotiations between the IFP and the ANC led to the party ditching the DA and their relationship in five municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Johannesburg result also means that the DA is at risk of losing its mayorship of the City of Tshwane.
Its mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, is under siege from opposition parties and from within his party following a leaked recording of him allegedly having sex with a colleague.
Both the EFF and ANC have filed motions to have Mokgalapa removed, while the DA is probing him over the recording.