Defend Truth


Joburg coalition partners angry with Al Jama-ah for defending mayor’s R9.5-billion loan comments

Joburg coalition partners angry with Al Jama-ah for defending mayor’s R9.5-billion loan comments
Al Jama-ah's Thapelo Amad was officially sworn in as the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg on 30 January, 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Papi Morake)

Al Jama-ah has backed its councillor Thapelo Amad after growing calls for him to be booted out as City of Joburg Executive Mayor.

Al Jama-ah leader Ganief Hendricks has defended City of Joburg Executive Mayor Thapelo Amad’s statements about the prospect of a R9.5-billion loan to boost the cash flow of the cash-strapped city. He alleged there have been deliberate attempts to smear Amad.

Hendricks said the purported R9.5-billion deal had not yet been finalised, which makes it unacceptable that Amad is receiving flak.

Read more in Daily Maverick: A man with a past – Joburgers should be ‘grateful to have me’, says new transport MMC Kenny Kunene

Hendricks particularly singled out SABC News journalist Sakina Kamwendo, who he alleges has tried to make Amad look incompetent, an allegation that was labelled “preposterous” by the SABC’s Moshoeshoe Monare. 

In an interview on SABC’s MorningLive, which is hosted by Kamwendo, Amad said he had attended a meeting last week in which he secured a prospect for a R9.5-billion loan to be used to improve service delivery and build a smart city.

There has since been a backlash against his statement, with the city’s Finance MMC Dada Morero stating that he has no knowledge of this deal.

Hendricks claimed that “Sakina and the influencer who complained about the potholes — are hell-bent on him (Amad) not making a success of the position.”

The public broadcaster’s Group Executive for News and Current Affairs Moshoeshoe Monare, hit back at Hendricks’ “preposterous” allegations. 

“Such preposterous insinuations are levelled against every journalist probing the powerful. Sakina is doing her job as a journalist to hold the powerful accountable,” he said. 

Explaining Amad’s comments Hendricks said: “Quite a number of investors have approached the administration and offered financial assistance and short-term loans. One of these offers was R9-billion to assist the city. He was just mentioning it. But obviously, the person in charge of finances was not in on the discussions. However, there is no loan, just a number of offers coming in,” according to Hendricks. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: After the Bell: The new Joburg council goes nuts

On Monday, Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie took to social media to express his disappointment in Amad. The PA is one of the parties which partnered with the ANC and EFF to remove the DA’s Mpho Phalatse, and then vote in Amad to lead Joburg.

Responding to a video of Amad’s interview with the SABC, McKenzie tweeted “This is really embarrassing, what is the Mayor saying? What loan? Where & 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.

“We must put the citizens of Joburg first and admit we have backed the wrong horse. Thapelo Amad has been asked to climb a mountain too high for him. It’s not just harming Joburg, it’s destroying him too. We will rectify this blunder. Amad should resign now. We apologise profusely.”

ANC Gauteng Secretary Thembinkosi “TK” Nciza told Daily Maverick that if there are any challenges in the City of Johannesburg it would be better for them to be resolved between the coalition partners instead of running to the media. 

“The minority parties have the right to have an opinion on the matter. Whether it is an individual or collective, there will always be challenges in government. It should not be so easy to wake up and call for the removal of a person, but if there are challenges, the first step would be to meet and see if we cannot resolve the issue,” Nciza said.

ActionSA on Tuesday 11 April submitted a motion of no confidence against Amad, Speaker Colleen Makhubele of COPE, and the GOOD party’s Lloyd Phillips.

ActionSA Joburg caucus spokesperson Sthembile Majola believes that it is worrying that after three months in office, Amad is still not able to articulate his plans for the city. He said that while Amad’s ousting would disrupt work done in the city, residents deserve better leadership.

“The people who are pulling strings are the EFF and ANC. He became the mayor as a result of them not being able to decide who will get the position,” he said. 

The programming meeting which will decide whether the motion will be debated is scheduled for next week. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Kids playing in sandboxes have more sense than these incompetent morons. Three months on the job and no plan for the future disqualifies Amad of being the mayor of the countries biggest city.

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more!
      And yes…who offered a R9billion short term loan and on what conditions? The answer to this question will tell you everything!
      Just another opportunity for the politically connected to make themselves some money somewhere ( probably being paid in Dubai lol!)

    • William Kelly says:

      Its outrageous how badly the citizens of Joburg are being treated by these arrogant politicians dividing the cake between them, appointing whatever muppets they think will solve their problems as opposed to doing any actual work whatsoever. What annoys me is that it’s working and we, the people are paying for it, powerless to stop the rot.

      • Paddy Ross says:

        You are not powerless. Get enough voters to give the DA an overall majority in Jo’burg and you will be amazed how municipality governance will improve.

  • Rory Short says:

    Politicians soon lose sight of the people whilst they just concentrate on themselves.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

[%% img-description %%]

The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options