JHB mayor race: EFF says ready to govern, but ANC & DA have plans too

Current Democratic Alliance (DA) Mayor Herman Mashaba steps down on Wednesday.

FILE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema during a media briefing at Narec, Johannesburg on 21 November 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Political parties in the Johannesburg city council are expected to go head to head this week over the appointment of a new mayor.

Current Democratic Alliance (DA) Mayor Herman Mashaba steps down on Wednesday.

On Sunday, the DA announced it would not back down with its candidate for the mayoral position, despite the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) threats that it would vote with the African National Congress (ANC) to remove its mayor in Tshwane should the DA not back their candidate choice in Johannesburg.

The DA’s head of governance, James Selfe, is confident the EFF could be kicked out of the race, if their coalition partners vote with them.

The EFF plans to put forth its own candidate, adding it’s ready to govern in Johannesburg. The ANC will also put forward its candidate.

The council will meet on Thursday and the election of the new mayor will be the first order of business.

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Mashaba announced his resignation from the Democratic Alliance last month. Mashaba made the announcement after Helen Zille was named as the DA’s Federal Council chair in October.

He said the DA was no longer the same party he joined in 2014 and that when he joined, it was because he believed in Mmusi Maimane’s vision.

“I am gravely concerned that the DA I signed up to is not the one that emerged from this past weekend.”

Mashaba had previously told 702 ahead of the Federal Council meeting that he would resign if the party was to be taken over by what he called right-wing elements.

Mmusi Maimane also resigned from the party, along with Athol Trollip.