DA’s Vasco da Gama elected new speaker of Joburg

22 August 2016 - 17:29
By TMG Digital

The Democratic Alliance has taken the first step in dethroning the African National Congress in the City of Johannesburg. The DA's nominee for the position of speaker‚ Vasco da Gama‚ on Monday won against the ANC's Constance Bapela.

Da Gama received 145 votes against Bapela's 126. There were nine unused ballots.

The IEC said it noted the discrepancy of one additional vote but said that was not material enough to declare the election process unfair.

Voting for the speaker of council was interrupted more than once at the inaugural sitting of the new council; the first time after party agents objected to some councillors showing their ballot papers before putting them into the ballot box. A second adjournment then had to take place after scuffles broke out between the Economic Freedom Fighters and officials of the Independent Electoral Commission.

  • WATCH LIVE: City of Joburg elects a new mayorThe City of Johannesburg municipality has convened the first inaugural council meeting: Will encumbent ANC mayor Parks Tau continue to run the country's economic hub or will the EFF throw its weight behind the DA's Herman Mashaba to hand him the mayoral chains? 

Focus now turns to the vote for executive mayor.

Speaking on Sunday at the party's regional offices in Johannesburg‚ Tau‚ in his capacity as ANC regional chairperson‚ said the future of the City of Joburg being controlled by the ANC or opposition parties‚ remained to be seen.

Tau’s party failed to secure an outright majority‚ getting just over 44% of the vote‚ while the DA earned just over 38%.

The EFF had indicated that‚ while rejecting coalitions with other opposition parties‚ it would vote with the DA in hung councils to unseat the ANC. A snag in Johannesburg‚ however‚ is that the EFF has voiced it opposition to DA candidate Herman Mashaba as mayor.