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Solly Msimanga's takeover of Tshwane briefly delayed

Queries emerged about a court judgment over an ANC councillor candidate.

DA mayoral elect Solly Msimanga at the Tshwane Council Chambers. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

PRETORIA - After a brief delay by the ANC at the official ceremony to swear in the new mayor of the capital city, proceedings have resumed at the council chambers.

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Solly Msimanga is set to take over as Tshwane's new mayor after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other opposition parties announced this week that they'd support the DA to elect new local governments in several hung municipalities.

Proceedings were delayed after queries emerged about a court judgment over an African National Congress (ANC) councillor candidate.

City manager Jason Ngobeni gave the party time to meet privately with the Independent Electoral Commission to discuss how to handle a situation, where two members showed up today to occupy one seat.

The ANC says it did not want to be implicated in contravening a court ruling and would like to have the matter of the two councillors clarified before proceedings continue.

Yesterday, outgoing mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the ANC had accepted the outcome of this year's local government elections and would assume the position of official opposition, but that this wasn't a win for the DA.

COUNCILLORS SWORN IN

Gauteng Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba read out the oath of office, which the new councillors repeated, promising to put the interest of the people of Tshwane and South Africa first.

The councillors affirmed that they will obey and uphold the Constitution of South Africa.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane could be seen the gallery alongside party leaders in the province and seating on the row ahead of him was EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Msimanga is expected to be sworn in as the mayor of the administrative capital in a short while.

CHANGES IN NELSON MANDELA BAY

Yesterday, the DA's Athol Trollip took office as mayor, unseating the ANC, in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Underlining its political credentials by rallying smaller parties to form a coalition, the DA took over Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to end 22 years of uninterrupted control by the ANC.

"[Voters] have endorsed our offer of stopping corruption, growing our economy to create jobs and for better service delivery," Trollip, said.

The DA's control of Mandela Bay adds a second major city to its ranks, having run Cape Town municipality.

"Beyond our reputation in opposition, we have also developed a reputation in government... we have shown the people of South Africa that where we govern, we govern well," Trollip said.

Nationally the ANC won 53%, down from 62% five years ago, opening the way for a possible challenge to President Jacob Zuma' s leadership before the 2019 parliamentary election, in which the winning party's leader becomes president.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe told reporters on Sunday the party's leadership was trying to "deal with perceptions of the ANC being arrogant, self serving, soft on corruption and increasingly distant from its social base".

Investors have largely welcomed the election results, and the rand has gained around five percent since the vote.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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