Johannesburg Council DA speaker

Photo: DA Gauteng / Twitter

Johannesburg Mayor: How three “missing” councillors changed the vote

The numbers were a little off on Wednesday, as the vote for the Johannesburg mayor encountered some technical difficulties. Allow us to explain.

Johannesburg Council DA speaker

Photo: DA Gauteng / Twitter

We are expecting the results of the Johannesburg Mayor vote by 14:30 on Wednesday afternoon. The ANC, the DA and the EFF all have a candidate on the ballot paper, but the nature of the vote was skewered slightly, due to three “missing” councillors in the chambers.

JHB mayor latest – who are the three “missing” councillors”

Following a complicated legal to-and-fro in the Johannesburg Council, speaker Vasco Da Gama confirmed that the vote would be decided by a majority result. That means that any candidate who has 136 votes from the 270 seats available would get the opportunity to take control of the municipality.

The majority is generally characterised as “50% +1”. However, the numbers simply didn’t add up on Wednesday. Only 267 councillors turned up at the session, chalking three votes off the possible totals. That means a winning party only needs 135 votes to secure a majority, as the “50% + 1 rule” takes us to 134.5 votes, and any “half-numbers” need to be rounded up.

We’ve been told that the no-shows have, at least, all been accounted for:

  • Two ANC members will not be in the chamber for the vote. Sadly, one has passed away and the vote for a replacement is yet to take place. Another, registered absent, is believed to be “heavily pregnant”.
  • One DA councillor has been taken ill, and also won’t be in attendance.
  • In chasing that magic 135-mark, the ANC now have only 119 members available to vote, and the DA are down to 103.

Who is running for mayor in Johannesburg?

The ANC are represented by Geoff Makhubo, The DA put Funzela Ngobeni forward and the EFF nominated Musa Novela as their candidate for mayor. Johannesburg has gone a week without a leader, after Herman Mashaba officially left office at the end of November. We bet he isn’t missing these shenanigans one bit.