City of Joburg council elects Al Jama-ah councillor as mayor as Phalatse pens open letter after ousting

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Incoming Joburg mayor, Thapelo Amad.
Incoming Joburg mayor, Thapelo Amad.
Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo
  • Mpho Phalatse was voted out as Johannesburg mayor on Thursday.
  • She penned an open letter to share her thoughts on her removal.
  • Phalatse claimed the metro's coffers would once again be "looted on a grand scale".

Former Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse gave her final farewell on Friday afternoon as she returned to her role as a councillor.

In an open letter, she said she was fearful that the City would “once again be looted on a grand scale, and service delivery will come to a halt”.

She likened the takeover of the metro to a "cash-in-transit heist", adding that the City's six million residents would be the ultimate victims.

“Our manner of governance never considered who voted for which party in which ward, but it was about ensuring equitable service delivery."

She vowed to "continue to push for service delivery" from the opposition benches, holding the new leadership "accountable for what they do and do not do".

READ | Inside the collapse of Joburg coalition talks that led to Mpho Phalatse's ousting

She acknowledged that "this time round, we were legally removed from office".

Phalatse also used her letter to praise the work of the DA-led government, saying the coalition had identified 38 areas of priority in the city in the 2021/2022 financial year.

“Of the 38 interventions we set for ourselves, we achieved 66%, or 25, of them. “We were making progress, which was not often seen or felt, but we were working towards sustainable programmes that would be seen and felt by generations of residents to come."

She said her illegal ousting last year set these plans back.

Phalatse added that her return to office was met with "resistance from political forces within the city administration".

She said: "In corners, some would utter, 'They will not be around for much longer, so why should we do the work?"

She ended with thanks. 

“I would like to thank the residents for their support and patience and the members of the mayoral committee for their dedication and honesty.

“I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the women and men of the city who are on the frontline of service delivery. It has been a privilege to serve the City of Johannesburg and its 6 million residents as the executive mayor."

Meanwhile, Al Jama-ah councillor Thapelo Amad was elected to replace Phalatse with the backing of an ANC-led coalition during Friday's sitting of council.

He will be sworn in on Monday.

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