Outgoing Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA).

Johannesburg - ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has accused outgoing Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba of running away after trashing the country’s economic hub.

She was delivering the Albertina Sisulu Memorial Lecture in Naledi, Soweto, on Thursday night. Duarte said the ANC in the inner city, where the governing party’s headquarters are situated, had a petition to be given to the city council, and there was a new complaint daily.

“In the inner city of Joburg, we are not prepared to compromise on anything. We are not prepared to compromise on dirtiness, we are not prepared to compromise on the rats that are bigger than our cats, we are not prepared to compromise on anything,” said Duarte. She continued: “We need to make them tired so they run away like Mashaba is running away because he made a mess. He made a mess so he says I can’t handle this mess, I must go. We have lost the City of Joburg to a fascist regime.”

Duarte admitted that the ANC was not in a good space after being ousted from power in the City of Joburg.

Mashaba is set to step down as mayor next week after resigning from the DA, and as a councillor after Helen Zille was elected federal council chairperson, which also saw party leader Mmusi Maimane leaving the official opposition.

“The people are the ones who must dictate the pace of the municipality, not the other way around. It should not be Herman Mashaba who speaks in Joburg; it should be the chairman of this branch who tells us what is happening here,” Duarte added.

She thanked the DA for returning to its roots and ousting Maimane, paving the way for the spectacular return of his predecessor, Helen Zille.

Duarte described Zille as a gift to the ANC.

“That woman is a gift to us because she went and she said we must go back to the white community, we can’t be having all these black people leading us.

“We are losing our constituency. Thank goodness, you must always welcome a gift when your enemy gives it to you like that,” she said.

“But what are we going to do with that gift?

“That’s perhaps the question we must debate,” she said.

Political Bureau