The African National Congress (ANC) in Johannesburg says Herman Mashaba’s resignation as Johannesburg Mayor has little to do with Helen Zille’s election as Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Council chairperson.
In a statement on Monday, the party said Mashaba’s resignation is “informed by the dire financial crisis that he has plunged the City of Johannesburg into.”
It added, “Mashaba is running away from the soon-to-be-exposed truth that the City of Johannesburg is broke and may not be able to finance the day-to-day basic costs of providing water and electricity to Johannesburg residents including paying salaries to staff.”
The party further branded Mashaba “a sore loser” and “attention seeker” who needed Zille’s election as an excuse to step down.
The ANC tabled a motion of no confidence in Mashaba in August, but withdrew it on the morning of the council meeting. It promised to re-introduce it in September, but didn’t.
Mashaba announced earlier on Monday that he will quit the DA and as Johannesburg Mayor on 27 November.
In a hard-hitting statement, he slammed DA for no longer being a party “that can save South Africa, unseat the ANC and deliver One South Africa for All.”
He cited this weekend’s election of Helen Zille as DA Federal Council chairperson as one of the reasons for quitting.
Another one was the Council’s resolution to “question” DA’s role in coalition arrangements in Johannesburg and Tshwane, he added.
Mashaba suggested that pro-Zille supporters in the DA are working to undermine “the pro-poor agenda that this multiparty government has executed” in Johannesburg.
He said, “I cannot reconcile myself with a group of people who believe that race is irrelevant in the discussion of inequality and poverty in South Africa in 2019.”
DA to continue with coalition
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who accompanied Mashaba at the press conference, thanked his for his service.
He reiterated that the party will continue with its coalition arrangement in Johannesburg despite Mashaba’s resignation.
He also sought to assure DA members and supporters that the party will still pursue his vision of One South Africa for All.