Herman Mashaba to resign as Joburg mayor, DA insiders confirm

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Image: Sunday Times.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba is expected to announce his resignation from the DA and his job as head of the municipality on Monday.

The expected resignation comes after former DA leader Helen Zille on Sunday won the vote for the powerful federal council chairperson position.

TimesLIVE understands that Mashaba told a number of Gauteng leaders on Saturday night that he would quit his job should Zille win the hotly contested battle, which is second to the party leader position.

Zille was up against Athol Trollip, Mike Waters and Thomas Walters for the job.

It is understood that some DA leaders were trying to convince Mashaba to reconsider his position.

However, about two hours after the announcement of Zille's victory, the City of Johannesburg issued a statement stating that Mashaba would be hosting a press conference on Monday morning. Further details were not provided.

A party insider confirmed that he had informed a group of the party’s Gauteng leaders, whose names are known to TimesLIVE, of his decision.

“He is resigning tomorrow [Monday] ... He told us yesterday [Saturday] that if these are the results, he is not prepared to work with Helen. He views her as a racist and someone who is anti change.”

The insider said Mashaba had never had a relationship with Zille, but was unhappy with her for not supporting DA leader Mmusi Maimane, as well as and her relationship with the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).

Before this weekend’s election, Mashaba had publicly stated that he would quit if the DA was “taken over by right-wing elements”.

He is understood to have been referring to the IRR and those associated with it, including Zille.

“He said we can’t have a party which is led by an institution like IRR ... it’s like being captured,” said the insider.

“He said he will outline [his next steps] tomorrow. We are just trying to see if we can convince him. As much as she [Zille] has won, it’s not a one-person show,” added the insider.

Another insider confirmed Mashaba’s impending departure.

Mashaba’s rumoured resignation has raised fears among some in the DA that the party will lose the vital Johannesburg municipality, given the EFF’s positive relationship with him.

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: “I don’t know what [Monday's] presser by the mayor is about. So I am as curious as you are.”

Attempts to reach Mashaba failed.

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