Eric Naki
Political Editor
4 minute read
28 Nov 2021
10:35 pm

‘We didn’t vote for DA to get positions, we wanted ANC out’ – Mashaba

Eric Naki

The Democratic Alliance has approached the ActionSA in Gauteng requesting an urgent meeting on Monday afternoon in what some see as a new move by the DA to open fresh talks with parties that helped it attain power in the Gauteng metros.

Action SA leader Herman Mashaba addressing media at the IEC ROC in Pretoria, 3 Novemeber 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The meeting came days before Phalatse announced her members of the mayoral committee (MMC). The gathering hinted to a possible appointment of ActionSA members including party leader, Herman Mashaba into Phalatse’s executive.

It could not be established if the EFF had also been approached by the DA or not. EFF did not respond to a question about whether it would accept an executive post offer from the DA at the time of publishing.

The DA took over the reins in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni with the help of ActionSA and the Economic Freedom Fighters that voluntarily decided to vote for the DA mayors and speakers. The DA itself was opposed to forming any coalition with the EFF and refused to support Mashaba becoming Johannesburg mayor.

But last night Mashaba confirmed that the DA had contacted the party’s Gauteng provincial chairperson, John Moodey, requesting a meeting for tomorrow (Monday) afternoon. We have mandated John to attend the meeting to listen to what DA has in mind. We shall await John’s feedback after the meeting,” Mashaba said.

Moodey, who was a lead negotiator for ActionSA during the coalition talks among political parties prior to the establishment of municipal councils, was previously informed by the DA negotiating team that they wouldn’t mind supporting Mashaba as mayor but they objected to his alliance with the EFF. This shocked Moodey and his team members because  they never raised the question of Mashaba to be mayor.

The Citizen earlier had asked whether ActionSA would accept a position in the mayoral committee if offered by the DA in the three metros, Mashaba said  they did not vote for the DA in order to get positions in return but merely to ensure the ANC was out.

“Let me be clear about ActionSA’ position. We didn’t vote for the DA to put them in a corner to negotiate with us, we voted for them to stop the ANC from taking over these municipalities. DA is under no obligation whatsoever to negotiate with us,” Mashaba said.

He said the DA had “not made any contact up to now” about what it planned to do  regarding the appointment of members of the mayoral committee nor whether it would include ActionSA in the appointments. “ActionSA is comfortable with our current position of being in the opposition,” Mashaba said.

Earlier Mashaba opposed the planned maiden and acceptance speech to be delivered by Phalatse scheduled for Thursday. Council speaker, Da Gama has called a special council meeting for Thursday 2 December for Phalatse to render her the speech following her election to the hot on Monday to which Mashaba objected.

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“It is imprudent and fiscally irresponsible to hold what is clearly a Special Council Meeting, at great expense to the resident, for the sole of purpose of the delivery of a speech. This is especially so in light of the fact that there is another Council meeting scheduled for 09 December 2021, exactly one week later,” Mashaba.

He had written to Da Gama complaining about the waste of scarce public resources and that “it is us political leaders who must model proper financial management. “We must ensure that we utilise the limited public funds available in the most efficient manner. The era of wastage is over,” Mashaba said

“As public leaders, we cannot expect residents to bear with government as it struggles to deliver services due to limited funds, but then turn around and waste those same limited funds at the first opportunity. ActionSA will not allow it,” he said.

According to Mashaba, the council agreed at its inaugural meeting to hold over the speech to its next meeting. This was due to councillors needing to leave the inaugural meeting venue timeously so as to not fall foul of the looming curfew on the night of the Mayor’s election.

“No reasonable person would have interpreted that agreement to suggest that a Special Meeting ought to be called. There is no pressing need for the speech to be delivered at an expensive special meeting.,” Mashaba said.

This is the first oversight duty for the new party, which Mashaba formed after he resigned from the DA late last year in protest at the election for Helen Zille as party federal council chair. Mashaba also fell out of favour with the party which objected to his close relationship with the EFF during his mayoral term accusing him of being manipulated by the Red Berets. The DA and EFF were ideologically poles apart with the former pursuing free market capitalism and the latter a socialist party working for the dictatorship of the proletariat.