JOHANNESBURG, June 29– Former Mogale City African National Congress (ANC) speaker Patrick Lipudi was elected mayor after beating the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Michael Holenstein.
Lipudi received 39 votes while Holenstein got 36 at the Tuesday night council sitting. Two votes were spoilt.
The ANC’s Noluthando Mangole was elected speaker.
The troubled coalition council in the West Rand has been marred by spats after last year’s local government elections. The ANC lost control of the municipality after the polls, paving the way for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to form a coalition and take control of the council.
The rift between the political parties at the municipality saw Holenstein axe two ANC officials, the then Speaker Lipudi and chief whip Sipho Dube, in January. A no confidence vote was passed against the two who were replaced by Enerst Modise and Jacque Hoon, both DA officials.
The ANC was up in arms and branded that council meeting illegal, prompting Cooperative Governance MEC Paul Mashatile to intervene and reinstate Lipudi and Dube as Speaker and chief whip respectively. Earlier this month, a motion of no confidence was passed against Holenstein through a secret ballot, leaving the West Rand council without a mayor for weeks.
Lipudi is the third mayor elected at the council after the local elections.
Holenstein was elected mayor in December last year, following the resignation of the DA’s Lynn Pannall due to ill health.
Holenstein took the mayoral position after beating Lipudi with 39 votes against 38.
Pannall had also beaten the ANC’s Peace Mabe by a single vote to take over as mayor after the local polls.
The political turmoil has resulted in the council being unable to take decisions such as passing a budget, due to lack of quorum.