City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has accused the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) of trying to capture the Democratic Alliance (DA).
In an article published on News24 on Thursday, Mashaba said this attempted capture is similar to what the infamous Gupta brothers allegedly did to the African National Congress (ANC).
He wrote, “Remember, party capture has to precede state capture. There can be little doubt that with the help of some within, the IRR is trying to capture the DA.”
Mashaba was reacting to a tweet posted on Tuesday by Hermann Pretorius, an analyst and writer for IRR.
The tweet contained a screenshot of a WhatsApp message Mashaba sent to a DA City of Johannesburg caucus WhatsApp group.
In the message, the Mayor lambasted DA councillor Tim Trulock for his alleged “open hatred for Black people.”
Mashaba said by posting this message from a “closed, private caucus WhatsApp group,” the IRR had proven that “it is involved in a conspiracy within the DA.”
He added, “They are conspiring with DA public representatives to stage a coup to remove our elected leader and place someone at the head who will be less offensive to those who wish to imagine privilege and disadvantage do not have shades in South Africa today.”
‘Conservative think thank’
Mashaba said DA leader Mmusi Maimane is under siege within the party because of his “One South Africa for All” vision.
He labelled IRR “a conservative think tank” and wondered whether it will soon be controlling DA policy or not.
DA’s internal spat comes ahead of its crucial Federal Council meeting slated for 20 October. The party will elect its Federal Council chairperson at this meeting.
The contenders are former DA leader Helen Zille, Athol Trollip, Mike Waters, and Thomas Walters.
Zille’s entry into the contest has reportedly dismayed Maimane’s supporters because of her perceived links with IRR.
She suspended her IRR senior fellowship soon after announcing her candidature. However, she defended Hermann Pretorius’ right to pen an article calling on Maimane to resign.