As Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane take different paths for now, Mashaba is working towards the establishment of a political party to participate in next year’s municipal elections, while Maimane is working on a movement to unite South Africans.
Mashaba resigned as a DA member and mayor of Johannesburg in October last year, a day after Helen Zille was elected federal council chairperson of the DA. Two days later Maimane, who hailed Mashaba as a hero, announced his resignation as party leader.
“Since our resignation from the Democratic Alliance (DA) in October last year, there has been a great deal of speculation about our individual and shared political futures. It is important that we clarify a number of points in this regard,” reads a joint statement released by Mashaba and Maimane.
“We both resigned from the DA after we independently came to the conclusion that it is no longer the vehicle that can fix and build an inclusive South Africa.”
After his resignation, Mashaba launched The People’s Dialogue on December 6, a registered non-profit company that seeks to give ordinary South Africans and civil society from across the country a voice in shaping a shared future for South Africa.
“Since its launch, over 13.7 million South Africans have been reached across various social media platforms, resulting in close to 1 million engagements with people who are expressing their views on the future of our country,” the statement reads.
“The message from the participants in the initiative has been clear. While dialogue is important, it must lead to action and a viable political alternative. As such, Herman has made the decision to move towards the formation of a new political party that could contest the Local Government Elections in 2021.”
Meanwhile, Maimane focused on the establishment of a Movement for One South Africa, “an initiative seeking to build a broad coalition of political parties and civil society formations around a shared set of values and principles that could collectively work to fix South Africa and realise our country’s potential”, according to the statement.
“Mmusi has spent the past three months traversing the country, engaging potential allies, and mobilising community support. Similarly to Herman, he has experienced the frustration felt by ordinary South Africans from all walks of life who believe that the current political system has failed them.”
They say both initiatives have the common goal of fixing the country and building a South Africa that works for all its people.
They also do not see their endeavours as competing initiatives, but rather complementary ones.
“While Herman is focused on building a political party that can contest Local Government elections in 2021, Mmusi is dedicated to the objective of building a national movement that can unite forces to fix our country.
“Given our shared objective, and the importance we both afford to the voices of ordinary South Africans and civil society, we have been sharing ideas and seeking areas for future co-operation. These constructive engagements have served to highlight various commonalities between our respective efforts, as well as areas for collaboration.”
The formation of the political party is “under discussion although these discussions are at a very early stage”.
“We would like to emphasise that we have the deepest respect for one another and continue to support each other’s respective, independent efforts to deliver real, transformational change in South Africa,” reads the joint statement.