SAfrica ruling party member elected Johannesburg mayor
A member of South Africa’s ruling party was elected mayor of Johannesburg on Wednesday, capturing the prestigious position from the country’s beleaguered opposition after its mayor of the city dramatically quit the party.
member of South Africa’s ruling party was elected mayor of Johannesburg on Wednesday, capturing the prestigious position from the country’s beleaguered opposition after its mayor of the city dramatically quit the party.
frican National Congress (ANC) candidate Geoff Makhubo was elected with 137 votes, against 101 for the Democratic Alliance (DA) candidate, in the latest in a series of setbacks to hit the main opposition party.
The election was triggered by the shock resignation of Mayor Herman Mashaba, who became the first DA mayor of South Africa’s largest city in 2016 but who quit the party in October, claiming its leaders were insensitive to racial inequality.
“The ANC has emerged victorious out of this process,” ANC spokesman Pule Mabe told reporters after the vote.
Makhubo, a former businessman, is a divisive figure who has faced allegations of links to a firm accused of being central to a systematic plunder of government coffers under South Africa’s former president Zuma.
He has denied any wrongdoing.
“He has been cleared, he has not been found guilty by any tribunal or court of law,” said Mabe.
“What is important to this victory today is that it now takes the city back to the hands of the people.”
The pro-business DA, which has long struggled to shake its image as a party for middle-class white people, has been plagued by internal factions in recent months.
In May national and provincial elections the party’s vote share dropped two percent, to 20.77 percent.
Its first black leader Mmusi Maimane stepped down in October, shortly after Mashaba’s resignation, saying his leadership had suffered several months of “coordinated attacks”.
He was replaced with a white interim leader until a vote for the party’s next president in 2020.
“Today is a sad day for the people of Johannesburg who believed in and supported the DA-led multiparty coalition government, even during the toughest of times,” said the DA in a statement following Makhubo’s election.
Before Mashaba held the post, Johannesburg had been headed by an ANC member since the end of the apartheid regime in 1994.
millionaire, who made his fortune in black hair products, Mashaba was one of the most senior politicians in DA.