EFF blames ANC for JHB Council election mayhem

DA’s Vasco Da Gama’s been elected speaker after a number of disputes, including over the voting process.

An EFF City of Johannesburg council member gestures in the Johannesburg City Hall. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it's overjoyed that the African National Congress (ANC) has again been defeated, and has welcomed Vasco Da Gama as the City of Johannesburg's new speaker.

It's been a chaotic day in the chambers and gallery with a number of disputes between party members.

After much debate over the voting process, Da Gama eventually emerged triumphant.

The EFF's Floyd Shivambu has blamed the ANC for playing dirty during the voting process.

"The leadership of the ANC, even at the provincial level, they climbed the stage and cornered us on stage. The regional secretary of the ANC Johannesburg was on stage, then we told them to leave the stage because we didn't want that stage being occupied by so many people."

Shivambu says their goal is to ensure the ANC is brought to its knees.

"The greatest joy for us is that the ANC has been defeated. Our aim is to defeat the ANC; we want to bury the ANC and we are beginning that process here. We know that without government the ANC is going to die a literal death."

DA CONFIDENT OVER CITY OF JHB CHIEF WHIP, MAYOR WIN

At the same time, with Da Gama elected as the City of Johannesburg's new Speaker, the DA is confident that its candidates will also be elected mayor and chief whip.

The inaugural sitting was disrupted earlier today, with scuffles between party agents and some councillors calling for a re-run of the vote for speaker.

The next round of voting is expected to begin soon.

As the newly elected speaker prepares to preside over the nomination and election of mayor and chief whip, councillors are hoping the next session will go smoothly without disruptions and delays.

The DA and EFF say the election for speaker showed the voting patterns by councillors, which favoured the DA, adding that the pattern will continue until the election for chief whip.

Floyd Shivambu says with the EFF's help, the DA has enough support to wipe the ANC out of the economic hub.

"Look at where they are, look at the Western Cape, without their control of government they disappear naturally. That is what is going to happen here in Gauteng. They must start preparing themselves that they are not going to be in government in the province."

Earlier, outgoing Mayor Parks Tau walked around the chamber after the DA won the first round, greeting the DA, EFF and other parties.

When asked if he's conceding defeat, he responded: "Never. I am still contesting".

He will go head to head with Herman Mashaba, who's been seen in high spirits in the chamber.