Maimane, Mashaba need senior political figures to start party - analyst
Johannesburg - As former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and former City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba join forces in the process of forming a new political party, they have been warned that they will be unsuccessful without the help of senior political figures.
Both Maimane and Mashaba, who resigned unceremoniously from the DA soon after Helen Zille’s election as Federal Council chairperson in October, announced this week that they would work together to drive what they called the People’s Dialogue.
Through Mashaba’s explanation, it was understood that the People’s Dialogue would test whether members of the public would accept a new political party, which they intend to form.
Political analyst Daile Silke said Mashaba had started the People’s Dialogue.
“This is an initial phase, and if he feels that the response to the dialogue is sufficiently strong for him to launch a political party, he will go ahead.”
However, Silke warned that Mashaba and Maimane were a long way away from forming a party. He said the two would have to be prepared to part with a lot of money and recruit a substantial number of popular political figures in order to gain traction.
“It is not good enough just to have two individuals from the DA who were disgruntled. This kind of movement really needs high-profile supporters to come on board over the course of the next six months. But if it is just because Mashaba and Maimane are disgruntled, I don’t think it is really going to get that far,” said Silke.
Maimane told SAFM radio on Thursday morning he was beginning a journey of engagement across the country.
“I will be speaking to different role-players, and I think we will in due course make that decision on whether we contest elections or not,” he said.
He added that he was confident that, as a result of the many challenges South Africans were facing, people would see a reason for engagement.
“All of us are affected by Eskom, all of us are affected by the economy - that leaves lots of people outside (sic). All of us are affected by education outcomes that are unequal,” he told radio listeners.
On Twitter, Mashaba said he would also engage South Africans through social media, adding he had witnessed corrupt and rotten politics.