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Tau ousted as Mashaba takes control of Johannesburg

The battle for the leadership of the City of Johannesburg raged deep into the night on Monday

But the inaugural sitting of the city council was overshadowed by the death of an ANC councillor hours after she was sworn in at Johannesburg City Hall.

The councillor, Nonhlanhla Mthembu, was seen being attended to by two paramedics at 5pm, moments after Speaker Vasco da Gama asked for nominations for the mayoralty.

Mayor Parks Tau, whose party won the most votes in the August 3 elections, but failed to obtain an outright majority, was nominated by the ANC.

ANC regional leader Geoff Makhubo announced at 7pm that Mthembu had suddenly died.

Makhubo asked that Da Gama allow members of the ANC caucus to leave after casting their votes for the mayor and chief whip.

The election of DA mayoral candidate Mashaba sealed the fate of the ANC after 22 years in power. The party still controls most of the wards in the city, but not Johannesburg’s purse strings, which will now fall under the control of the DA.

The city has an annual budget of more than R50-billion.

The DA put together a multiparty partnership agreement with opposition parties, including the EFF.

Despite having expressed strong reservations about Mashaba’s candidacy, the EFF voted with the DA.

A tally of the 270 votes cast showed that Mashaba got 144 votes against Tau’s 125.

The results brought an end to Tau’s first term in office in an election dominated by national issues that overshadowed his administration’s successes.

The Tau administration obtained numerous unqualified audit opinions, registered surpluses and received praise from credit ratings agencies.

Yesterday the proceedings began with objections to the swearing in of the outgoing member of the mayoral committee responsible for housing, Dan Bovu, who is accused of bribery and fraud.

EFF Johannesburg region chairman Musa Ndobela, asked presiding officer Trevor Fowler not to allow Bovu to be sworn in, but to have him “arrested by the police”.