DA announces new Tshwane mayoral candidate

The Democratic Alliance announced on Sunday afternoon that Stevens Mokgalapa will be the party’s mayoral candidate for Tshwane after Solly Msimanga announced his resignation.

Mokgalapa — who currently serves as the DA’s shadow minister of international relations and cooperation — said on Sunday that he knows “massive tasks lie ahead”.

As the DA has a coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters, and does not have the numbers to elect a mayor on its own, the party requires the support of the EFF to elect Mokgalapa as mayor later in February, Businesslive reported.

Born in Tshwane, Mokgalapa completed his undergraduate studies in political science and his honours degree in international relations at the University of Pretoria.

He has served the City of Tshwane as both a Ward and PR councillor for a period of nine years, joining the then Democratic Party (now known as the Democratic Alliance) in 1999. He has also held several positions within the party as regional executive member, branch chairperson of the Tshwane CBD and township strategy manager.

Msimanga will step down as mayor on February 11 after leading Tshwane since 2016. He has said that his reason for stepping down was so that he could focus on his campaign for the position of Gauteng premier in the general elections in May.

Over the past year, Msimanga’s mayorship was challenged by revelations that his chief of staff lied about her qualifications and an irregular multi-billion rand contract.

The R1.2-billion contract awarded to engineering consultants GladAfrica was found to be irregularly awarded after the auditor-general found that it had not complied with supply chain regulations.

This became the source of a fallout between Tshwane municipal manager Moeketsi Mosola and Msimanga.

In May last year, Marietha Aucamp resigned from her position as Msimanga’s chief of staff after it was revealed that she did not have the correct qualifications for the position which requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Aucamp held a matric certificate.

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