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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Two ex-DA leaders on different paths

Maimane said his party would not contest the 2021 local government election, but would support independent candidates.

Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane put a stamp on the parting of ways of himself and ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba by officially launching his separate One South Africa (OSA) movement yesterday.

Maimane vowed not to associate with any political party, but to support independent candidates at next year’s local government election. This was a clear statement that he and his former Democratic Alliance colleague and former Johannesburg mayor had chosen to go separate ways.

This also contradicted the speculation that the two leaders, who were both disgruntled by leadership issues in the DA, were going to establish one party together. Mashaba announced the establishment of ActionSA on Zoom on 29 August and Maimane announced OSA and its policy positions on a live television broadcast and other platforms yesterday.

Maimane said his party would not contest the 2021 local government election, but would support independent candidates. A coalition of independents was the best form of governance, he added. However, he hinted at contesting the 2024 national elections, but was adamant the political party system has not worked and political leaders had failed the citizens of South Africa.

He said political parties were elitist, represented no one and were not in touch with the people on the ground. At least 50 political parties were registered at the last election, but there had been no change in the people’s lives, he pointed out.

“Political parties are captured and they, in turn, have captured the state. Leadership is not about political parties.”

He called for a mandatory 15-year sentence for all those found guilty of corruption and for special courts to be established to deal with it. He said private and public sector graft must be prosecuted. He expressed disgust at the looting of state resources and called for “stopping the leaking bucket of corruption” in the country.

He added that South African Airways should be sold as keeping a bankrupt and loss-making airline was of no benefit. His movement was in favour of the restoration of railway infrastructure. Turning to energy, he said he pinned his hopes on solar and wind systems. Maimane proposed the creation of a jobs and justice fund to deal with unemployment.

He also urged all South Africans to work together to fight crime and not allow themselves to be divided by crime and criminals, condemning this week’s incident in which farmers turned over a police vehicle in Senekal in protest against farm killings.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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