ANC banks on EFF to remove Herman Mashaba

Herman Mashaba the first DA mayor in Johannesburg has been accused of being a puppet of the EFF, who are seen as kingmakers in the Joburg council./ Moeletsi Mabe
Herman Mashaba the first DA mayor in Johannesburg has been accused of being a puppet of the EFF, who are seen as kingmakers in the Joburg council./ Moeletsi Mabe
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The ANC is relying on the EFF not to vote with the DA in its latest attempt to remove
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba in two weeks time.

The party yesterday announced that its request for a motion of no confidence against Mashaba has been accepted and will be debated at a council meeting on August 22.

The motion comes just a month after EFF leader Julius Malema announced that his party would no longer vote with the DA in metros after the official opposition refused to hand over power in Tshwane to the red berets.

But when asked yesterday what his party's plans would be for August 22, Malema said: "I don't know."

Since it lost the crown jewel metro in 2016 during the local government elections, the ANC has been campaigning to gain lost ground with voters. ANC regional secretary Dada Morero said Mashaba had to be removed because he had brought the city to a financial crisis.

"City Power is sitting at an overdraft of over R2bn. That should raise serious alarm for any local government.

"These concerns are not just raised by the ANC, but councillors of the DA who sit in finance committees who are worried about the finances of the city," said Morero.

"Instead of addressing these things, Mashaba chooses to be arrogant and do anything that can keep him in power - and satisfy the needs of the EFF."

Morero said the ANC was not just banking on the EFF abstaining from the vote, but also on some DA councillors voting with the opposition.

"Even inside the DA, a huge number of people are dissatisfied with the way that Mashaba has run the city," said Morero.

"For the first time they experienced a decline [in the May general elections] in support and they attribute it to the arrogance and the way this man has been governing the city.

"We are not fighting the DA. We are fighting Mashaba. That is why we don't have a motion on the speaker, who is a DA person," he said.

Morero said on top of financial problems, the city was faced with serious issues of poor waste removal in townships such as Orange Farm, Soweto and Ivory Park.

"You can't run government like that and expect the ANC to fold its arms. That is why we are calling for him to leave."

Mashaba was unfazed by the ANC's latest move.

"In August 2016, the ANC voted against me and also voted against my budget and all the major items of my budget for the last three years . I was not put in government by the ANC.

"If I get removed in government, I will be removed by the parties that voted me into power. I don't think I can entertain the ANC's motion. If the parties that voted me into office are not happy with me, I'm happy to step aside," said Mashaba.

He declined to comment on the EFF's fallout with the DA over its failed bid to take over Tshwane.

In 2017, the ANC tried to remove Mashaba, but failed as the court said the motion could not be carried through a secret ballot.

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