Vasco da Gama elected speaker in Johannesburg

African News Agency (ANA)

Vasco da Gama elected speaker in Johannesburg
City of Johannesburg metro. Photo:

Councillors from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) rejoiced at the Johannesburg council sitting after the DA’s Vasco da Gama was elected Speaker on Monday.

Da Gama received 145 votes against the 126 for Constance Bapela of the African National Congress (ANC). Bapela previously held the position of Speaker.

The city hall roared as EFF and DA councillors and supporters rose to their feet, cheering loudly. City Manager Trevor Fowler handed over the proceedings to Da Gama, who will now oversee the votes for executive mayor and chief whip.

The voting process took four hours as complaints were raised by various parties. Voting was disrupted twice after a complaint was lodged with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) that some voters flashed their ballots after casting their votes, revealing who they voted for.

The IEC ruled that flashing of ballots was not prohibited, although the EFF objected. An EFF party agent argued that people should be allowed to decide whether to show their ballots or not. The voting eventually got under way.

After the completion of vote counting, Gauteng election officer Masego Shiburi announced that there had been an irregularity during the casting of votes.

“There has been an additional vote cast. There are 271 votes cast instead of 270. Allocating the vote either way will not make any material difference…the counting and voting process were free and fair,” Shiburi said.

The highly charged council sitting, the first following the local government elections, would then elect a chief whip and mayor.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)