Mayors are not elected on Twitter but in the council, Mashaba tells DA

04 May 2023 - 10:39
By Unathi Nkanjeni
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba. File photo.
Image: EUGENE COETZEE ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba. File photo.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has taken a jab at the DA's poll results claiming people want Mpho Phalatse back as Johannesburg mayor, saying mayors are not elected on Twitter.

The DA conducted a poll this week asking people online who they think should lead the city between Phalatse, Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie, ActionSA's Johannesburg caucus leader Funzi Ngobeni and the ANC's Dada Morero.

“The DA's Mpho Phalatse is a proven candidate from the biggest and most stable opposition party in Johannesburg. Her election as mayor gives Joburg its best chance to recover from the current political instability, which threatens the future of every resident,” said the party.

Mashaba said the results proved nothing.

“Mayors are not elected on Twitter but in the council by the majority of councillors. In the City of Johannesburg, you need 136 councillors to be a mayor,” he said.

McKenzie reiterated he was not running for Johannesburg mayor after many linked his resignation to the postponement of the election of a mayor in the city.

“I am not in the race any more. I will be embarking on a tour of South Africa to canvass support for 2024. I am eagerly awaiting to see who will emerge eventually to give them maximum support,” he said. 

Former coalition partners, the DA and ActionSA, have been at loggerheads over a mayoral candidate for the city after the DA announced last week it would nominate former mayor Phalatse as its candidate, saying she had a proven track record and understood the needs of the people of Johannesburg.

This after the abrupt resignation of former mayor Thapelo Amad, who was facing a motion of no confidence.

In a sudden turn of events, ActionSA announced Ngobeni would contest against Phalatse for the position.

Tuesday's council meeting to elect a new executive mayor was postponed until Friday after being marred by delays due to caucus breaks.

The EFF, ANC, minority parties and Al Jama-ah requested separate caucuses throughout the day which resulted in the speaker adjourning the meeting, saying it was clear councillors were not ready to elect a mayor.

ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont said the city being without a mayor was to the detriment of service delivery to the city’s more than 4-million residents.

“After the ANC-EFF coalition called a council meeting to elect a mayor, it was they who perpetually delayed council proceedings for caucus meetings, and again proves that they are wholly unable to provide the necessary leadership to restore good governance,” he said.

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