City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba announces his resignation from the Democratic Alliance at a briefing in Braamfontein. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA).

Johannesburg - With Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba sticking to his word and resigning following Helen Zille’s emergence as the chairperson of the DA’s Federal Council, Twitter has been abuzz with news of Mashaba stepping down trending.

Mashaba said that Zille’s election as federal chairperson represented a victory for people within the DA who stood “diametrically opposed” to his beliefs and values. 

“I cannot reconcile myself with a group of people who believe that race is irrelevant in the discussion of inequality and poverty in South Africa in 2019.I cannot reconcile myself with people who do not see that South Africa is more equal today than it was in 1994,” Mashaba said.

He said that his decision to stand as a mayoral candidate had not been motivated by a desire to hold political office but “out of a desire to serve the residents of Johannesburg” and to get the city working again.

He was praised by Twitterati for his tireless work in the three years that he was the City of Gold’s mayor, with over 20 000 tweets about him since he made his resignation announcement this morning. 

General Bantu Holomisa posted: “#HermanMashaba RESIGNS. Madam Zille should recommend Trollip to replace Mashaba. At least he has some experience.”  

Mashaba’s Planning and Policy Adviser Andre Coetzee (afcoezee) wrote: “Executive Mayor @HermanMashaba leaves not with his tail between his legs, but with his head held high. It has been a privilege to serve the residents of @CityofJoburgZA by his side. It is a sad day indeed.”

Ulrich Janse Van Janse Vuuren  (@UlrichJvV) Tweeted: “This is such a huge loss for the people and city of Johannesburg as Mayor Herman Mashaba resigns. But so much respect to Mashaba for being a principled leader!”

Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) posted: “Herman Mashaba has stood firm and true to his beliefs. This is true leadership. The DA has lost its best leader of the future - to appease a retired leader of the past.” 

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Political Bureau