New Joburg mayor vows to prioritise the poor

Mayor Herman Mashaba says his government will ensure the city's disadvantaged are well looked after.

Newly elected Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Newly elected Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba says as he assumes his new position, his first priority is to properly serve the poor, adding that he's prepared to use his own personal resources to fight poverty.

Mashaba was elected last night after receiving 144 votes, beating his predecessor Parks Tau who received 125 votes.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) also claimed the positions of speaker of the council and chief whip with the backing of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Mashaba says his government will ensure the disadvantaged are well looked after.

"The big job starts. We've got a crisis in our hands as a country. Eight cases and there's more, but eight cases I had to take personally to Human Rights Commission.

"Instead of saying to the Human Rights Commission, that if they are not taking them up, personally I'll use my powers to take them to the United Nations."

PASSING OF ANC COUNCILLOR

It was a dramatic day with multiple disruptions.

But things took a turn for the worse when the the ANC's Nonhlanhla Mthembu, who is affectionately known as "Black Diamond" and "Stompie", was declared dead after she collapsed during the session.

The mood changed drastically and speaker Vasco Da Gama allowed for the process to move quickly.

Mashaba postponed his acceptance speech in honour of Mthembu.

The ANC's Nkenke Kekana says Mthembu had served as an ANC councillor since 2011 and was re-elected to serve as a councillor this year.

CORRUPTION IS OUR NO.1 ENEMY

Mashaba says that as of last night, corruption has been declared public enemy number one.

"As of this evening corruption is declared public enemy number one in this city."

EFF supporters and members celebrated with the DA as the announcement was made.

Mashaba says the hard work would start now.

"And we're sitting and facing a massive challenge ahead of us. Speed is of the essence."

It was a long day filled with disruptions and twists and turns. Mashaba gave a brief acceptance speech but promised an inaugural speech at the next sitting.

After the announcement, Mashaba asked to postpone his acceptance speech in memory of the African National Congress (ANC) councillor who passed on there earlier in the day.

He did, however, take the opportunity to thank the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leadership saying: "Thank you very much for what you've done for this country."

Mashaba says the DA aims to create an environment that empowers entrepreneurs.

The ANC confirmed earlier that its councillor Nonhlanhla Mthembu, who collapsed during the city's council meeting, had died.

Earlier in the evening, paramedics were seen rushing into City Hall with a stretcher to attend to Mthembu.

It has been confirmed that had been was ill.