Every allegation Zille made about Mashaba is wrong: Free Market Foundation

22 October 2019 - 19:15
By Mpho Sibanyoni and Kgothatso Madisa
DA federal council chair Helen Zille has been called to order by the Free Market Foundation after allegations against City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Image: DONNA WATSON DA federal council chair Helen Zille has been called to order by the Free Market Foundation after allegations against City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba.

Helen Zille has been hectic on media platforms since her election as DA chair of federal council on Sunday and some of the comments she made about outgoing City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba did not sit well with one foundation that has called her to order.

But Godzille, as Zille is widely known on social media streets, has had none of it.

The spat started when Zille claimed in one of the media interviews that Mashaba was president of Free Market Foundation (FMF) when the foundation organised a seminar in the exclusively white town of Orania, in the Northern Cape.

In a press statement yesterday, the FMF stopped short of labelling the allegations by Zille as a comedy of errors.

Zille yesterday morning even went as far as trolling Mashaba, who founded hair product Black Like Me, on Twitter.

"Dear @HermanMashaba, was this held in Orania under your leadership of the Free Market Foundation?"

The event in reference related to the Libertarian Spring Seminar, which the document she attached to her tweet said it was held in Orania on October 8 to 11, 2015.

However,  yesterday the foundation joined the fray, and moved to give a little bit of clarity on  Zille's claims.

In fact, according to the FMF, Zille got everything wrong - from Mashaba's position at FMF to the date in which he left the organisation.

The foundation started by shooting down the allegation that Mashaba was ever FMF president.

"The most interesting thing about Helen Zille’s allegation that Herman Mashaba was FMF president when the FMF held a Libertarian Seminar in Orania under his watch, is that none of it is true," said FMF in the statement.

"Mashaba was never FMF president, the FMF has never held a Libertarian Seminar (LibSem), and the FMF has never held an event in Orania. We could leave it there, but for relevant elaboration. LibSems have been held annually for 40 years, often in obscure places. Since Zille agreed to speak at LibSem four days ago, she should not castigate Mashaba for a LibSem association, even if he had one.

"Although Mashaba was never FMF president – Dr Sam Motsuenyane has been for many years – he was chairman from 15 May 2012 to 17 June 2014, ie before the Orania LibSem in 2015.

Zille yesterday was, however, unfazed by FMF's clarity and  shifted the blame to her source.

"The principle stands. Explain the circular. I might have called him president when he was chairman. So what?" said an unrepentant Zille yesterday.

"I got that from someone who resigned from the FMF over the proposed meeting in Orania.  They must explain that invitation. Not me. And Herman was in a key leadership role. Chairman is more "hands on" and therefore more accountable than president which is normally ceremonial if both positions exist."