/ 26 January 2023

Mpho Phalatse ‘sad’ for Joburg residents after her second ousting as mayor

Mpho Phalatse
Johannesburg councillors on Thursday voted out Democratic Alliance mayor Mpho Phalatse for the second time

Johannesburg councillors  on Thursday voted out Democratic Alliance mayor Mpho Phalatse for the second time, following a similar move late last year which was overturned by the high court.

At a council meeting, 140 councillors voted to remove Phalatse, while 129 supported her.

“I am overwhelmed, I feel sad for our residents. Feel sad for the city. The city was in good hands and it’s really sad that it ended like this,” Phalatse told journalists after the vote.

Johannesburg has been run by often-fraught coalitions since 2016, when the ANC lost control of the city.

The Johannesburg high court reinstated Phalatse in October after her first ousting through a motion of no confidence on 30 September, which Judge Raylene Keightley ruled was driven by “ulterior purposes” because the council speaker had given an “unreasonable” 16 hours notice for the vote.

In a statement earlier on Thursday, DA national spokesperson Cilliers Brink singled out the Patriotic Alliance for condemnation over Phalatse’s latest fate.

He said the smaller party appeared set to hand control of the city back to the ANC after refusing on Wednesday night to support the current multiparty coalition government unless it got access to the city’s finances “through control over the two most lucrative portfolios on the mayoral committee: economic and infrastructure development”.

“From the start of the current round of negotiations to stave-off a motion of no confidence in mayor Mpho Phalatse, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has made it clear that we will not hand over the hard-earned taxes paid by the people of Joburg to a party that has patronage extraction as is its goal,” Brink said.

Smaller parties have previously accused the DA of acting as a big brother and undermining their role not just in the Johannesburg coalition, but those in other metros around the country where the ANC also lost control.