Johannesburg picks mayor from party with 1% of seats


A member of a political party with just 1% of the seats in Johannesburg’s council was elected mayor with the support of politicians from the African National Congress, who sought to regain influence in South Africa’s richest city.

Thapelo Amad from the Al Jama-ah party that holds three of the 270 seats in the council, was elected on Friday over the Democratic Alliance’s Mpho Phalatse, who was ousted in a vote of no-confidence on Thursday and decided to run for the job again.

Amad’s election means the top two positions in the council are now held by tiny minority parties. Colleen Makhubele, the only councilor from the Congress of the People, was picked as speaker in September after the DA’s Vasco da Gama also failed to beat a motion of no-confidence.

While the ANC holds the most seats in the Johannesburg council, it lost its outright majority in the 2016 municipal vote. Johannesburg and other major urban centers have switched hands numerous times since then as coalitions between political parties in South Africa proved to be shaky.

© 2023 Bloomberg

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