Herman Mashaba has announced that he will quit as a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Mayor of Johannesburg on 27 November.
Mashaba made the announcement at a press conference on Monday. He was accompanied by DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
He cited the election of Helen Zille as DA Federal Council chairperson over the weekend as one of the main reasons for his decision.
He said, “The election of Helen Zille as the chairperson of the Federal Council represents a victory for people in the DA who stand diametrically opposed to my beliefs and value system, and I believe those of South Africans of all backgrounds.”
DA ‘no longer a party of One South Africa for All’
In a hard-hitting statement, Mashaba slammed DA for no longer being a party “that can save South Africa, unseat the ANC and deliver One South Africa for All.”
He said this vision, which he attributed to Maimane, was partly the reason he agreed to become Johannesburg Mayor.
Mashaba also said this weekend’s Federal Council meeting resolved to “question” DA’s role in coalition arrangements in Johannesburg and Tshwane.
He said blaming these arrangements for DA’s 2019 electoral decline is “short-sighted thinking” and maintained that coalitions “are the future of South Africa’s politics.”
Mashaba added, “With these grouping of people succeeding in their effort to take over the DA, I have no doubt that they will move to collapse these governance arrangements.”
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.
“I cannot reconcile myself with people who do not see that South Africa is more unequal today than it was in 1994.”
For his part, Maimane thanked Mashaba for his leadership in Johannesburg, saying the City is better than when he took over.
He sought to assure DA members and supporters that the party will still pursue his vision of One South Africa for All.
Maimane further stated that the DA will not end its coalition arrangements in Johannesburg and Tshwane, adding that the search for Mashaba’s successor will start soon.