Former Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse opts for medical career as she steps down as DA councillor

Former Joburg Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse says she is going to focus on her medical career after stepping down as DA councillor. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Former Joburg Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse says she is going to focus on her medical career after stepping down as DA councillor. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 28, 2023


"I choose to save lives!" Former Joburg mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse has resigned as councillor of the Democratic Alliance in the City of Johannesburg, citing her medical career as a doctor as one of the reasons.

Phalatse said the decision was made after months of introspection, but she said she was not resigning as a member of the DA, nor was it an end to her political career.

She said there were too many council meetings, which made it impossible to move between healthcare and council activities without compromising one or the other".

"I have, throughout my career, never compromised on doing quality work, and I am concerned that faced with a choice between my council responsibilities and medical career, I am inclined to choose to save a life.

"It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation as a councillor with effect from 30 September 2023," she said.

Phalatse said coming to the decision had not been easy and that it had come after months "of in-depth reflection and consultation with my family".

"I have come to the conclusion that, as a qualified medical doctor with vast experience in healthcare and beyond, I could make a better, meaningful and invaluable contribution elsewhere.

"As you may be aware, the healthcare space is highly unpredictable, and medical emergencies are the order of the day," she said.

Phalatse said the past seven years as a councillor had been a fulfilling experience, having served as an ordinary councillor, an MMC for Health and Social Development, and becoming an Executive Mayor and Leader of the DA.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve. I am very proud of the achievements we have had during my tenure as an MMC, the Executive Mayor, and an ordinary Councillor. My record speaks for itself," she said.

Phalatse’s resignation comes after the DA reportedly failed to come to terms with ActionSA and the Patriotic Alliance over a deal to oust Joburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, who is backed by a coalition of the African National Congress (ANC), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and others.

The DA reportedly refused to give the PA two key positions in exchange for voting for a coalition of the DA, ActionSA, and others.

ActionSA withdrew a motion of no confidence it had lodged against Gwamanda after the parties failed to come to terms on Monday.

DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader Councillor Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku on Sunday slammed the PA after its Transport MMC Kenny Kunene was seen leading a toast with barrels of expensive French champagne worth over R1,600 while making misogynistic comments towards women.

“This disgusting behaviour vindicates the DA’s principled commitment to not partnering with the PA under any circumstances. The DA offers an alternative to the ANC. The PA is an alternative version of the ANC,” said Kayser-Echeozonjoku.

Phalatse was ousted as Joburg mayor when a coalition of the ANC, EFF, PA, Al Jama-ah and the NFP removed her from office in January.

The ANC and EFF-led coalition voted in Thapelo Amad, who did not last long in the position, resigning in April.