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Thapelo Amad Elected the First Muslim Mayor of Johannesburg



Thapelo Amad Elected the First Muslim Mayor of Johannesburg

(CTN News) – After months of political maneuvering and court fights for control of South Africa’s corporate hub, a councilor from a minor Muslim party was chosen as mayor of Johannesburg on Friday.

The municipal council elected Thapelo Amad of the Al Jama-ah party to succeed Mayor Mpho Phalatse, who belonged to South Africa’s biggest opposition group, the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Thapelo Amad, 41, expressed his “humbleness” and “overwhelmingness” at being the first Muslim to lead the largest city in the nation.

After the vote, he informed the council, “It makes South African history.”

He committed to prioritizing the battle against corruption above anything else.

The African National Congress (ANC), which now controls the majority of council members but came short of winning an absolute majority in the municipal elections in 2021, supported Thapelo Amad’s election.

Given that Al Jamaah only has three of the council’s 270 members, Thapelo Amad’s selection came as a surprise after months of coalition horsetrading.

Phalatse, his 45-year-old predecessor, was dismissed earlier this week in a no-confidence vote.

The departing mayor has faced three no-confidence votes since her coalition’s collapse in September when she was initially forced from office and subsequently restored by the courts.

In 2021, after the ANC suffered its worst electoral defeat since the inauguration of democracy in 1994, Phalatse became the first black woman to serve as the head of South Africa’s largest economic hub.

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