Executive mayor of the City of Joburg, Herman Mashaba. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - As the battle for the soul of the Democratic Alliance (DA) rages on unabated, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba who is a senior member of the party, has accused the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) of being “against redress”.

Although not specific in his tweet which "redress" he was talking about, on Tuesday morning Mashaba took to Twitter to challenge the IRR’s call for it to break the alliance it currently have with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The EFF has been, since August 2016, the DA’s key alliance partner in the city of Johannesburg and Tshwane where they toppled the ANC. 

In a tweet lobbying for the alliance to be broken, the IRR said: “SA must pressure the DA to expel racist leaders, stamp out corruption, stop race-based policies, break off its alliance with the EFF, and appoint good leaders. SA needs a strong & principled opposition. #JoinTheIRR #SaveTheOpposition.” 

Quoting the tweet which was posted on Monday and providing a response, Mashaba responded: “The IRR, on behalf of the DA, is accusing me of calling to order a colleague for objecting to my agenda of spending our budget in areas where residents are not contributing to the city’s Tax Base. IRR is officially part of the group against redress. Insult to our poor residents.” 

Mashaba later fired another volley and thanked the DA’s coalition partners for supporting his pro-poor agenda in the city of Johannesburg. 

“My deepest appreciation to my @Our_DA colleagues & caucus, our coalition partners: IFP, COPE, UDM, FF+, ACDP for supporting our government’s Pro-poor Agenda. Without the full support of the EFF, who votes with us on an issue by issue basis, this would not have been possible,” Mashaba tweeted. 

IRR head of media Michael Morris, in response to Mashaba, told Independent Media that the mayor is incorrect on two counts.

"First, the IRR has made no such accusation; second, the IRR has invested considerable resources in crafting workable proposals to replace existing ineffective (race-based) empowerment measures, precisely with a view to overcoming the disadvantages millions of poor South Africans are still burdened with a quarter of a century into the democratic dispensation," Moris said. 

Mashaba has become a darling mayor to many in the city of Johannesburg and nationwide for his Donald Trump like stance on illegal immigration, rampant crime, hijacking of buildings, drug dealing on the streets of the city and illegal street trading which allegedly brought counterfeit goods into the city. 

It’s not the first time the IRR has found itself in the middle of the DA’s internal issues. A few days ago, an analyst from the liberal think tank, Herman Pretorius, penned an opinion piece calling for DA national leader, Mmusi Maimane, to step down.

He was lynched and accused of trying to dictate terms to the party.

Defending their perceived obsession and interference in the party, Morris last week said it was because they were worried the party was deviating from liberalism, an ideology they believe the country needs.

Political Bureau