This is the response by ActionSA to The Citizen columnist Martin Williams’ latest column, which can be read here.
Witless and Unwittingly, Williams’ Whines are DA’s Woes
Martin Williams’ latest use of his column in The Citizen to attack Herman Mashaba is just another tirade in a long line of unwitting (and witless), distress signals sent out by the DA.
The behaviour of DA councillors, which Williams defends because he was and is one of them, was atrocious. In his listless diatribe, he is at pains to defend a caucus more interested in its interests in “staying small” and not what the people of Johannesburg need. They never wanted to be in government, proven by a poll taken at a DA councillor breakaway session in which 43% of the Joburg DA caucus preferred to stay in opposition.
Can you imagine a political party, with an opportunity to finally deliver quality basic services, fight corruption, create jobs and build voter trust, that does not want to be in government?
Williams and his posse were determined to fight their way back into the opposition benches, opposing their own government at every turn. Their favourite pastime was to not so subtly suggest too much time was being spent on addressing the service delivery needs of “non-ratepayers”.
These same councillors did not want to engage with the budgeting of their government and preferred playing team building games instead. Now that very same party wants to appropriate Mashaba’s achievements as their own?
Consider this. Williams criticises the choice of David Tembe as the chief of JMPD – the most celebrated chief of police in the history of Johannesburg. This is the same chief of police who lifted public approval of the JMPD from 59% to 75% (a record increase).
I hope that the residents of Joburg now have a better idea of why Mashaba had a problem with the DA caucus. Perhaps residents will now better understand why the individual issues that Williams raises should not be dignified with responses. Residents can now see the origins of how the once-mighty official opposition has fallen.
Also Read: Mashaba the wild card in city polls
Williams, like everyone else in the DA, is undeterred by the collapse of the party. They do not bother about the mass resignations of their branches in townships. They defend their catastrophic losses in by-elections – blaming Mashaba and Maimane who left two years ago.
Rather than being seized by what should be a pressing need to slow the decimation of his political party, Williams elects to talk about Mashaba and ActionSA.
My advice to Williams and the rest of the DA is to move on. Stop embarrassing yourselves. Focus on your own house (Seriously, it’s not going well at the moment) and give people a reason to vote for you, not against others.
- Michael Beaumont, ActionSA national chairperson