Johannesburg – South Africa’s ruling party wrestled back control of Johannesburg from the opposition on Friday, as the city’s mayor was ousted after her coalition crumbled.
The change at the helm represents a major victory for the ANC, which has ruled the country since the end of apartheid but has seen its support dwindle amid high unemployment, corruption scandals and a prolonged power crisis.
Dada Morero is the new Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg. pic.twitter.com/z8DofFfOt9
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Phalatse became the first black woman to lead South Africa’s main economic hub last year, after the ANC lost local elections in November in its worst showing at the ballot since the advent of democracy in 1994.
But she was booted out of office on Friday after some of the smaller parties backing her pulled support in a vote of no confidence.
The DA described the move as “illegal” saying it would soon announce its next steps after a first legal bid to stop the vote proved unsuccessful.
The swap in power is telling of the challenges that a divided opposition faces in presenting a viable alternative to the ANC ahead of national elections in 2024 – where some polls suggest the party of Nelson Mandela could lose its majority.
“Coalitions by nature are a very fragile thing – it doesn’t surprise me that it has collapsed,” Lawrence Hamilton, a politics professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, told AFP.