Outgoing Joburg mayor Mashaba wants to continue serving SA but first, a holiday

2019-11-27 16:06

While outgoing City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba hangs up his chain on Wednesday, he has already set his sights on a way to continue to serve South Africans.

Mashaba resigned in October, just a day after the DA's federal council elected former leader Helen Zille as federal council chairperson.

Mashaba previously warned that he would not stick around if the party elected "right-wing" elements to leadership positions.

"I was saying to myself it would have been ideal for me to finish this, but at the same time it was politically impossible. It has been three brutal years, but it has been rewarding," Mashaba said, reflecting on his tenure.

He expressed concern about the future of the City, saying he sought to make a difference in the "troubled city" when he took up office.

He added that he would be "praying" before going to bed that the 270 members of council would put the citizens of the city ahead of themselves.

The council is expected to elect a new mayor on Thursday and the three biggest parties will each field their own candidates.

eNCA reports that the ANC has opted to elect Lindiwe Maseko as a candidate, while the DA has nominated finance MMC Funzi Ngobeni and the EFF, which helped Mashaba ascend to power, picked its regional chairperson, Musa Novela.

READ: EFF names candidate for Johannesburg mayor

"Please, the new mayor, once elected, focus on serving society instead of serving their hungry stomachs and not serving their political masters because unfortunately right now, our political system is fraught with hungry stomachs and political patronage," Mashaba said.

He added that these were the main reasons South Africa was in a dire economic state.

ANC only wants access to finances

Mashaba, who agreed to get into politics after years as a successful businessman selling hair products, said it would be a disaster if the ANC found its way back in the driving seat.

The ANC has been in charge of the City since the dawn of democracy but lost control when it failed to win an absolute majority during the 2016 local government elections.

READ: DA picks City of Joburg's Finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni to replace Mashaba as mayor

"It will be a disaster; the ANC are hungry. I can imagine, the only thing they are interested in is getting access to the finances," said Mashaba.

He said ratings agency Moody's and the Auditor General's office were all happy with the City's finances, which he described as "healthy".

Mashaba, who has been criticised for his stance on undocumented foreigners in the region, says he has no regrets about his tenure, once again defending his position on why he believed in tighter border controls.

"I will not apologise to anyone, [that's] an issue which remains top of my agenda," said Mashaba.

"Anyone who thinks they can challenge me. I am telling you they are fooling themselves," he continued.

Mashaba said those who critique his views on the matter strengthen his resolve to make sure South Africa is not a borderless country.

The outgoing mayor also seemed to brush off claims that he had lied about his fight against corruption and linking the ANC to missing funds for the Alexandra renewal project. He said the party was lucky the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) did not seem prepared to pursue its members.

South Africans must look in the mirror

While he told News24 he would be taking a two-month break, he said he was working with different marketing companies to gauge how South Africans feel about the state of the country and how they see its future.

"I want them to look at themselves in the mirror to say, did Codesa achieve the type of South Africa we envisaged," he said referring to the convention for a democratic South Africa, which paved the way towards the country's first democratic elections.

"My personal view as Herman Mashaba is that the current dispensation works for politicians. I think politicians negotiated a good deal for themselves, because they are the biggest beneficiaries of the new dispensation," he said.

While he said he was yet to meet with former DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who also resigned from the party last month, Mashaba said he wanted to discuss his vision of creating a platform for South Africans to take a look at themselves and the state of the country.

Read more on:    da  |  herman mashaba  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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