Johannesburg - Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has resigned as a member of the Democratic Alliance and will no longer serve as the mayor of Joburg.
Mashaba announced his resignation on Monday at a wide-ranging press conference where he spoke of the difficulty of deciding to resign from the DA.
His decision follows the DA's federal council conference which saw the election of former Western Cape premier Helen Zille as the DA's federal council chair.
Mashaba has pointed to Zille's win as the reason behind his decision to step down, specifically what he calls a "win" by those within the DA who have broadly stood against his pro-poor policies.
He said it was not in his nature to quit especially as a businessman whose business ventures thrived during the apartheid.
Even with this history, Mashaba said he had no choice, even as a liberal. He said that there was a faction within the DA that has been against his policies and has cost his him support for his work as mayor of Joburg for the past three years.
Mashaba believes that his role as mayor could have been at risk, especially the coalition partnership with smaller opposition parties such as the EFF.
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It has been reported that some within the DA believe it was a mistake for the party to get into partnership with EFF in Joburg.
Mashaba disagreed and said these partnerships are part of South Africa's future.
He said some within the DA was against insourcing policies, those who believed race mattered less and those who did not believe in ending equality.
"It is for this reason that I have called this conference to announce my resignation from the DA. I will no longer serve as a counsellor and as such cannot be mayor. It is not in my nature to quit anything in life. I cannot be a willing participant in a process that is against the needs of the people of this city. I have had to choose between my party and my country," Mashaba said.
"I am forced to choose between my party and country, I will always choose my country first."
Mashaba ended his speech by boasting about his mayorship and the achievements which included the insourcing of workers in the city.
"Our multi-party partnership has achieved a lot".
Mashaba is likely to serve as mayor until end of November to allow for a successor to be found.