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Tau laments JHB loss, vows to work as opposition leader

Parks Tau says he'll still contribute in any way possible to see transformation in JHB.

FILE: Outgoing City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Johannesburg Major Parks Tau says he is prepared to serve as the leader of the opposition in the city.

Yesterday, the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Herman Mashaba was elected as the new mayor of the city after receiving 144 votes to Tau's 125.

Tau, who is the African National Congress's (ANC) Johannesburg chairperson, says he will still contribute in whatever way possible to see transformation realised in the metro.

But he says the outcome of yesterday's council meeting has delivered a blow to the ANC's transformation programme.

"We have suffered a major setback and it could contribute significantly to the way in which the country goes because Johannesburg is the economic heartland. It contributes a lot to the economic sustainability of the country."

WATCH: Victory for DA and mayor Mashaba

Yesterday, voting for Johannesburg's speaker was halted when some councillors complained that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members showed their ballots to party agents before depositing them into boxes.

Voting for a speaker was stopped several times, while the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) investigated concerns raised around the secret voting process.

Constance Bapela from the ANC and Vasco Da Gama from the DA both accepted nominations for the position.

The DA raised concerns about the outcome of the vote amid allegations of bribery against ANC Housing MMC Dan Bovu. Bovu has since responded to the claims against him, describing them as false, malicious and defamatory.

The EFF has laid criminal charges against him, claiming he attempted to bribe EFF councillors to vote in favour of the ANC during the council meeting.

Through his lawyers, Bovu called on the red berets to provide proof of their claims or face legal action.

The elections have seen the ANC losing outright control of five major metros, including three in Gauteng.

Last week, the governing party lost the hotly-contested Nelson Mandela Bay to the DA, when Athol Trollip was installed as the mayor.

Nationally, the ANC had gained 53 percent of the vote, down from 62 percent five years ago.

Additional reporting by Clement Manyathela.