Herman Mashaba: Why I am resigning from the DA
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Johannesburg - Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has finally announced his resignation from both the city and the DA.
This comes after the election of former DA leader Helen Zille as federal council chairperson at the weekend.
Zille's election into the powerful post, which was previously held by James Selfe for 19 years, comes as an internal push to push DA leader Mmusi Maimane was intensifying by conservatives who were opposed to his views on redress.
Mashaba, who is set to leave his post on November 27, said he had accepted the invite to join the party and serve the city because of his belief in Maimane's vision.
"The DA no longer represents a party that is able to achieve what I desire most, a movement that can save South Africa, unseat the ANC and deliver one South Africa for all," he said.
Zille has been one of those who openly questioned the DA's direction under Maimane as she viewed it as "going south" and moving away from its classical liberal values.
The Institute of Race Relations, where Zille has worked as a senior fellow before her dramatic return, has also expressed concerns about the party's policy posture and called for the removal of Maimane and his replacement with a white leader.
📣 PART ONE: I am gravely concerned that the DA I signed up to, is no longer the DA that has emerged out of this weekend’s Federal Council. pic.twitter.com/ybjU26Byp6— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) October 21, 2019
📣PART TWO: I have had to deal with individuals who would rather I spent more time on cutting grass than on fixing our broken and aged infrastructure which threatens disaster in our City. https://t.co/YnZGNpaBaC pic.twitter.com/RUtKabuvwN— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) October 21, 2019
Mashaba has been one of Maimane's most vocal supporters and threatened to resign if the DA was hijacked by "right wing elements".
He had specifically took a swipe at the IRR and and accused it of attempting to capture the DA.
Announcing his resignation, said he could not associate himself with a group of people who believed race was irrelevant in the discussion of inequality and poverty in the country.
"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 most South Africans of all backgrounds," Mashaba said.
He also slammed the federal council's questioning of the role of the DA in Mashaba's coalition administration and how the metro communicated its relationship with the EFF positively.
"This follows the expression of views by a number of DA public representatives that these arrangements are undermining the DA's message and contributed to its electoral decline," he said.
He said the council was shortsighted, adding that EFF's pro-poor policies had changed the lives of Johannesburg residents and that the DA should have adopted them and made them theirs.