DA mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba (Genevieve Quintal, News24)
Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance claims that Gauteng Premier David Makhura's "attack" on its Johannesburg mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba is a sign that the ruling party is panicking.
"Makhura's attack on Mashaba shows that the ANC in Gauteng is panicking about losing Johannesburg to the DA," the opposition party's Gauteng leader John Moodey said in a statement on Tuesday.
"According to the ANC's own research, the party's support in Johannesburg has dropped to 37%. As one ANC leader said: 'We looked at those figures and said what do we need to do ... it is worrying'."
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He was referring to a Sunday Times article that an internal report showed that the ANC's support in Johannesburg had dropped as low as 37%.
It reportedly showed that the approval rating in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni stood at below 50%.
However, at the time the ANC in Gauteng said this was "untrue".
Not the same as Black Like Me
"We remain confident... that we will not only retain our municipalities where we currently govern, but also reclaim Midvaal," ANC Gauteng spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said.
On Monday night Makhura, addressing an ANC Gauteng dialogue in Johannesburg, said DA members had told him they lacked confidence in Mashaba.
He claimed that opposition members had told him it would be hard for the DA to win Johannesburg in the August 3 local government elections because the ANC and Mayor Parks Tau were doing a good job.
Makhura told ANC supporters that some DA leaders had told him Mashaba could not run the DA caucus.
"The DA caucus is very difficult to run. You must ask Mmusi Maimane. It's not the same as running Black Like Me. I think Mashaba's biggest problem is not the ANC, it's running a DA caucus," he said.
Man with a plan
Mashaba, an entrepreneur, started the Black Like Me range of haircare products in 1985.
Moodey said Makhura had resorted to a personal attack on Mashaba because of his "desperation".
"The ANC is full of career politicians who only know how to put themselves first. Herman Mashaba, on the other hand, is a self-made entrepreneur who knows how to run and manage a successful organisation," he said.
Moodey said Mashaba had a plan for Johannesburg.