Funzela Ngobeni on the right of this picture / Image via: Joburg Finance

Who is Funzela Ngobeni? The man tipped to replace Mashaba as JHB mayor

This could prove to be a very interesting substitution. Funzela Ngobeni, formerly of Herman Mashaba’s inner-circle, is likely to become Joburg’s new mayor.


Funzela Ngobeni on the right of this picture / Image via: Joburg Finance

After shooting themselves in the foot last week, the DA have finally got around to applying the bandage. The party have already made a number of interim replacements, with John Steenhuisen emerging as the front-runner to become Mmusi Maimane’s replacement as leader. Meanwhile, Funzela Ngobeni is also making his move.

The Johannesburg Councillor has become the primary contender to replace Herman Mashaba as mayor once he leaves office in November. The outgoing politician stepped down from his role last week, blaming the influence of Helen Zille and “right-wing figures” for pushing him towards the exit door.

Who will replace Herman Mashaba as mayor?

His exit saw five other senior DA figures join him, with Maimane being the highest-profile casualty. However, Mashaba was very much “patient zero” – but it seems the DA are confident they’ve found a cure for their ailments. Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club meeting, Steenhuisen himself let the cat out of the bag:

In brief – Who is Funzela Ngobeni?

More parties than Hugh Hefner

Before finding his home in the DA, Ngobeni had previously served for the ANC. He completed the cross-party transition through another stepping stone, though – the man tipped to rule Johannesburg was once with Congress of the People (Cope), too. He may be just the kind of guy who can work in a government dependent on a coalition with a rival party… or run off and join them, if he fancies it.

Most recent positions and political roles

He started life under Mashaba as the MMC for Development and Planning. But when a scandal forced his colleague Rabelani Dagada to leave office, Funzela Ngobeni showed his transitional skills again – he became the MMC of Finance in the metro, and you may have heard his name in the news recently…

It’s his department that are trying to fight-off the hackers who have taken the City of Joburg’s website down this week. He’s confident that all systems will be restored before the end of Monday. Meanwhile, he became Johannesburg’s regional DA chairman just 10 days ago, playing himself into a position of power.

Why Funzela Ngobeni left Botswana Airways

Outside of the political arena, Ngobeni was was a senior sales executive for Botswana Airways. With Herman Mashaba being a businessman himself, these two clicked when it came to talking shop. However, the mayoral candidate left the company in acrimonious circumstances nearly five years ago, after a labour dispute with his employer.