South Africa: Johannesburg has its first Muslim mayor

A councillor from a small Muslim party, Thapelo Amad, was elected last Friday mayor of Johannesburg, making him the first Muslim to head South Africa’s economic capital.
The 41-year-old Amad, a member of the Al Jama-ah party, was elected by the city council to replace Mpho Phalatse of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the country’s largest opposition party.
I am “honoured” and ” humbled”, he reacted: “This is a historic day for South Africa, and particularly Johannesburg, with the first Muslim mayor of the country’s largest metropolis”.
Mr Amad was elected with the support of the national ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), which has the most seats on the city council but had failed to win an absolute majority in the 2021 election.
Mr Amad’s election, a surprise as his party holds only 3 of the 270 seats on the council, comes after months of political manoeuvring and legal battles.
His predecessor, Ms Phalatse, 45, was ousted in a vote of no confidence earlier last week. It was the third vote of no confidence the mayor had faced since September, but she had until then been reinstated by the courts.
In 2021, Phalatse herself became the first black woman to lead Johannesburg, after the ANC recorded its worst performance in a municipal election since the advent of democracy in 1994.

About Geraldine Boechat 2735 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia