Mashaba walks out, pleads for the poor

2019-Nov-28   02:00

Mashaba walks out, pleads for the poor
Outgoing City of Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba

- Larson Thebe

Outgoing City of Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, says he is prepared to work with former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane in future. Mashaba was speaking on Wednesday, his last day in office, after resigning last month as mayor and from the DA.

“I am happy to engage Mr Maimane. He has not spoken to me, but we go a long way. I am happy to listen to anyone who is committed to building one South Africa for all.

 Secondly [listen] to a government that is prepared to look after the interests of our poor residents, particularly black South Africans. Because we were subjected to 300 years of colonialism, 70 odd years of apartheid government under the National Party and 25 years of African National Congress abuse. So I’m happy to work with anyone who wants to correct the wrongs of the past,” said Mashaba.

In a recent interview on eNCA, Maimane said he had no intention of leaving politics, but is seeking a new coalition, vehicle or movement to make his mark.

Mashaba says for now he only wants to go on leave, recuperate and ponder his next move. He says despite not finishing his term in 2021, he is not regretful and hopes that the next Mayor will fulfill promises that were made to the people.

The 60-year-old Mashaba says his tenure as mayor was largely made difficult by his then political party, the DA.

“The party I represent made it impossible for me to fulfill some of my responsibilities, I had to resign. There were people who were blocking my programmes,” he said.

Mashaba added: “When I volunteered my services to be the mayoral candidate for the DA, I thought that the party believed in one South Africa for all, only to find that I’m wrong. Right now I feel that the DA is not the vehicle to create one South Africa for all. This is the project that I’m committed to,” he said.

The businessman said the last three years of him being a mayor had been a privilege and also rewarding. He had these wise words for anyone who would be an incoming mayor.

“Please look after our people, particularly our poor residents. Don’t be like a normal politician where in the past political parties were more important than the country. Let the country be the most important factor in your life. Serve the people instead of serving political parties. Be available to all, not only your constituency, but to all residents,” advised Mashaba.

Councillors in Johannesburg are expected to elect a new mayor soon.


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