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WATCH | Herman Mashaba resigns as mayor of Johannesburg

Herman Mashaba resigns as City of Johannesburg and a DA councillor.
Herman Mashaba Herman Mashaba resigns as City of Johannesburg and a DA councillor.
Image: Thulani Mbele

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has announced his resignation from both the DA and his position as the executive mayor. Mashaba will step down as a DA councillor on November 27 which will effectively mean he relinquishes his position as mayor.

He said he was resigning because he could not work under a DA that has elected Helen Zille as the federal council chairperson at the weekend. According to Mashaba, Zille’s victory yesterday was a triumph of people who have been against a pro-black narrative that he has been fighting for.

“The election of Helen Zille as the chairperson of federal council represents a victory for the 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,” said Mashaba.

“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.”

Herman Mashaba has resigned as the mayor of Johannesburg on October 21 2019. His resignations comes after former DA leader Helen Zille was elected as the party's new federal council chairperson.

He said that he could not “reconcile with people who not do see that South Africa is more unequal today than it was in 1994” and that the grouping that supported Zille would definitely “move to collapse” the governance arrangements he has with the EFF.

“At the heart of the matter will be the pro-poor agenda that this multi-party government has executed,” said Mashaba. “From the very first day that I took office this coalition arrangement has been undermined, criticised and rendered nearly impossible, in every way. The DA has been the most difficult coalition partner in this arrangement.”

Mashaba said he was concerned about how, despite the DA only getting 38% of the votes in the 2016 local government, “elements in the party have expected me to govern arrogantly as if I have an outright majority”.

“Unfortunately, it is these individuals who have triumphed at yesterday’s federal council meeting.... it is not in my nature to wait for people to push me, I have lived on my terms. It is for this reason that I have called this press conference today to announce my resignation from the Democratic Alliance effective 27 November 2019.” 

According to Mashaba, he has been requested not to resign with immediate effect and give the DA a month to identify a new candidate.

“It is not in my nature to quit anything in life. I succeeded under the darkest days of apartheid when I was told that I could not be a businessman. However, I cannot be a willing participant, in good conscience, in a process that is placing narrow, internal interests of a political party ahead of the needs of the five million residents of Johannesburg,” said Mashaba.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said he respected the decision of Mashaba who was a friend and fellow comrade.