‘Thapelo Amad will be the first to go, but he won’t be the last’

The City of Johannesburg finds itself without a mayor again as Thapelo Amad resigned after less than 100 days in office.

The announcement was made by ANC provincial chairperson Panyaza Lesufi on Monday night, on the eve of a motion of no confidence tabled by ActionSA against the outgoing mayor.

The party had earlier stated that Amad had failed to articulate a coherent action plan and lacked a vision for the city.

Amad, a councillor of the Al-Jama-Ah, became the new Mayor with the support of the ANC and EFF, succeeding the DA’s Mpho Phalatse, who was removed through a vote of no confidence in January.

However, his reputation took a hit after he was seen mortifying himself during a recent TV interview where he admitted to arranging a loan worth R9.5 billion for the city.

Funzi Ngobeni, the ActionSA City of Johannesburg Caucus leader welcomed the resignation, calling Amad an “ANC and EFF puppet” and expressing hope that it would pave the way for a stable coalition to oust the ANC-EFF from power.

“Amad ran away at night to avoid imminent removal by a successful motion of no confidence, saving embarrassment for the ANC-EFF coalition. His resignation is due to the direct and ongoing pressure from ActionSA. He did not resign voluntarily as mentioned in his resignation address.

“ActionSA remains committed to working together with all opposition parties to find a pathway towards a sustainable coalition government in the City of Johannesburg. The people of the city deserve better,” said Ngobeni.

“The ANC-EFF ‘Coalition of Doom’ Mayor Thapelo – what Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi called their “best shot” during a press briefing – was an embarrassment, and has repeatedly proven to be woefully ill-equipped and unable to articulate a coherent plan of action and vision for the City of Johannesburg,” he added.

Ngobeni affirmed ActionSA’s commitment to working with opposition parties to establish a sustainable coalition government in the city.

“He’s gone! But he ran away in the dark of night to avoid imminent removal by a motion of no confidence, saving the embarrassment for the ANC-EFF coalition. Thapelo Amad will be the first to go, but he won’t be the last. The work of fixing Johannesburg has just begun,” wrote the party on Twitter.

While it is unclear who will replace Amad, Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie previously expressed interest in the position.

However, his candidacy would be determined by the DA, which recently asked him to ease his stance on illegal immigration.

McKenzie refused, choosing to continue his fight against illegal immigration and forfeit his candidacy for mayor.

“They [the DA] indeed told me that, hence I withdrew my candidacy. I unfortunately cannot become mayor without DA support,” said McKenzie.

“I had to choose [between] a mayoral position and fighting illegal immigration and I decided to continue my stance on illegal immigration and forget about being a mayor.”

The city council now faces the task of electing a new mayor at next week’s council meeting. ActionSA has vowed to continue fighting for the city’s freedom from the ANC-EFF coalition, noting that Amad is just the first of many councillors who will be removed.

Meanwhile, On Tuesday, there was another motion of no confidence scheduled for the Speaker of the council, Colleen Makhubele.

The motion was put forward by Action SA along with the one for the Mayor. However, Makhubele stated that the council would reconvene on May 2 to elect a new mayor and that the meeting scheduled for Tuesday had been cancelled following Amad’s resignation.

Makhubele also took to Twitter to call out the Multiparty coalition leaders, for their constant motions of no confidence and interrupting the city’s work. She urged them to stop their “cheap politicking” and leave the council to work.

“We are calling on idle political leaders overdosed on motions of no confidence and self-importance Herman Mashaba, [Micheal Beaumont] and the [Multi Coalition] to stop embarrassing themselves with cheap politicking and gambling with the CoJ! [City of Johannesburg] Enough with the foolish interruptions! Leave us to work,” she wrote.

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