The ANC have pulled off a stunning victory in Johannesburg, securing the vote for the vacant mayor’s role by the barest of margins. Needing 135 votes to seize control of a majority, their nominee Geoff Makhubo squeaked home with 137 votes. The ballot was decided in the first round of counting.
New Johannesburg Mayor is the ANC’s Geoff Makhubo
The final results were announced just after 16:00. The ballot had been delayed, as the house moved to make it a secret vote. There were also concerns about the legality of the results process – more on that later. Here’s how the votes played out, and what the big three parties ended up with:
ANC: 137DA: 101EFF: 30
Who is Geoff Makhubo?
Herman Mashaba left his role as Johannesburg mayor back in October, sparking a wave of resignations that saw DA leader Mmusi Maimane also quit his post. The EFF announced they would be fielding their own candidate (Musa Novela), meaning that they would not automatically back the choice of their coalition partners (Funzela Ngobeni).
The ANC threw their hat into the ring last week. Geoff Makhubo was nominated as their preferred choice, but he comes with a certain amount of baggage – the councillor has been implicated in a corruption racket.
[BREAKING] Geoff Makhubo has attained 137 of the votes, making him the new #JoburgMayor.— Jacaranda News (@JacaNews) December 4, 2019
How the battle for Johannesburg was won
With 270 seats presiding in Jozi, it was establised that the candidate who received 136 votes or more would automatically win the election on the “50 + 1” rule – any majority, no matter how small, takes control based on this principle. Da Gama, however, was adamant that he consulted a legal team last week before sanctioning the ballot. Debate about this process raged throughout the morning session.
The EFF had previously said they would enter no coaliton agreements… unless their “Tshwane Ultimatum” was met. The IFP also held a significant stake in the race, with five key seats available to the “highest bidder”. It was reported last week that the ANC want to convince them to break their agreement with the DA and join their side.
We’re still establishing who the minor parties – including UDM and IFP – ended up backing, but it’s likely that one DA member voted against their own party. For now, Geoff Makhubo is the official Johannesburg Mayor, and he’s likely to keep the seat until the 2021 Elections. It’s a huge turnaround for the ANC, and for the DA, their fall from grace continues at an alarming speed.