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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Thapelo Amad resigns as Joburg mayor

This follows a meeting with the political parties in Joburg.

Al Jama-ah councillor Thapelo Amad has resigned as mayor of Johannesburg. The announcement was made in a media briefing by several political parties in Johannesburg on Monday evening.

“We thank him for preserving the unity of political parties in Johannesburg above his personal interests,” Gauteng ANC chairperson Panyaza Lesufi said on Monday.

Lesufi said the coalition parties accepted Amad’s resignation with “reluctance”.

His resignation comes ahead of a motion of no confidence against him which was to be debated in council on Tuesday.

‘The coalition is standing’

“He didn’t resign because of the motion tomorrow, we’ve got the numbers. We were going to crush that motion against him. He’s not running away from the motion. We need to keep this coalition intact.

“There is no instability in Johannesburg, we have this government of local unity intact, just because a mayor is resigning does not mean there is instability. This coalition is standing, capable and will continue to do the work,” said Lesufi.

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“Thapelo Amad gave it his best shot. There is no leader who is perfect, we still had confidence in him but if he felt that he needed to step away to ensure this coalition stays together, then that’s it.”

Lesufi said the coalition partners will defend any motions of no confidence against speaker Colleen Makhubele.

They will be submitting a new candidate for the mayoral position.

No-motion confidence against Thapelo Amad

Amad was elected mayor of City of Johannesburg in January.

Things went south for him earlier this month following an interview with the SABC, in which he said he had secured a prospect for a R9.5-billion loan to fund “service delivery issues” and a “smart city”.

The interview received criticism from Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie and ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba.

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“This is really embarrassing, what is the mayor saying? What loan? Where and when was this discussed? Which company is giving this loan? We cannot continue defending such stupidity, we must admit that we played a part in this mess, we must fix our mistake soonest,” tweeted McKenzie following the interview.

Following the interview, ActionSA filed a motion of no confidence against Amad.

‘It was coming’

“It was coming, from our perspective. It’s been very clear that his mayorship has been an embarrassment,” said ActionSA Michael Beaumont.

Beaumont told Newzroom Afrika following the announcement that it was dishonest to say the motion of no confidence against Amad would not have succeeded when one of the coalition partners, Patriotic Alliance, had already called for his head.

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“ActionSA remains committed to supporting the motions on Tuesday,” he said.

He said his party would come together with the Democratic Alliance and other parties to decide on their potential candidate for the mayor position.