By Alec Hogg
The DA’s Johannesburg Mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba tells me he’s expecting to be inaugurated on Monday. And that despite demands by EFF leader Julius Malema for a different mayor, he won’t be going back into his business.
That puts to rest concerns after Mashaba was quoted yesterday saying if the party wanted him to, he would go back to his business. He tells me that was a direct response to a question about his loyalty to a bigger cause – and shouldn’t be misconstrued on a lack of commitment. But from what I know of it, the DA is an honourable lot and wouldn’t have accepted his resignation even if he’d offered.
A staunch family man, a from-the-bootstraps entrepreneur, a rational thinker with the courage such thought processes provide, Mashaba is an example of how focus, resilience and hard work can overcome the odds.
He is also a former chairperson of the Free Market Foundation, an organisation which promotes nation building by unleashing human potential through minimal State interference. His persecutor Malema, on the other hand, calls for revolution and models himself on socialist icons Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.
Mashaba, and indeed the DA, promotes the individual. Malema the collective.
Despite their differences, the EFF yesterday agreed to supportive arrangements with the DA on a premise the “white racist” party is less of a devil than the ANC.
The last minute flutters over the Johannesburg mayor-in-waiting came after Malema singled out his unhappiness with Mashaba’s nomination, an obvious attempt to isolate the entrepreneur.
Mashaba should wear that as a badge of honour. Now that he has helped oust the ANC from the country’s commercial centre, he must draw on an expansive network to show how powerful an ally a supportive business community can be.