ActionSA hits back after Mpho Phalatse's criticism of Herman Mashaba

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Herman Mashaba.
Herman Mashaba.
Luba Lesolle/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • ActionSA responded to Mpho Phalatse, who is the DA's mayoral candidate for Johannesburg.
  • Phalatse said Herman Mashaba pandered to the EFF when he was the mayor of Johannesburg.
  • ActionSA, in turn, said Phalatse "sought to misappropriate the successes achieved under Mashaba's mayoralty".

ActionSA hit out at the DA's mayoral candidate for Johannesburg, Mpho Phalatse, after she criticised ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba for "pandering to the EFF".

Mashaba was the former DA mayor of Johannesburg. 

When Phalatse was elected as a councillor in 2016, Mashaba appointed her to his mayoral committee for health and social services. The DA governed the city in a coalition with other parties as well as a voting arrangement with the EFF.

In late 2019, Mashaba departed acrimoniously from the DA and resigned as mayor in the fall-out of the DA's internal ructions after the 2019 general elections. This left the door open for the ANC to return to power in the city.

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Mashaba subsequently formed ActionSA and is the party's mayoral candidate for Johannesburg.

At her campaign launch on Saturday, Phalatse said that, despite making significant achievements in her portfolio, she encountered obstacles from leadership that had no interest in fixing the city.

"Sometimes, leadership fight you in your fight for the residents...instead of a leadership dedicated to service delivery. Sometimes, it strives to please those who have no interest in fixing the city and are making demands through the back door, compromising our values and principles."

Mpho Phalatse.

In an interview with News24, published on Tuesday, she apportioned blame to the DA's decline in Johannesburg to Mashaba, who, according to her, "pandered too much to the EFF".

READ | Elections 2021: IEC, DA in court battle over reopening of candidate registration process

She said this alienated many middle-class voters, who felt their needs weren't met.

In a statement, ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont said Phalatse and her campaign "sought to misappropriate the successes achieved under Mashaba's mayoralty".

"It was the DA's Federal Executive that made the decision to enter the coalition in Johannesburg. That coalition would rely on the Economic Freedom Fighter's (EFF) support on an issue-by-issue basis. Mashaba was not part of the DA's Federal Executive at the time; the DA's current national leadership was - and they supported the coalition arrangement," said Beaumont, who was Mashaba's chief of staff when he was mayor.

"Mashaba had the unenviable task of making the difficult arrangement work (which he did) – committing the coalition to a common service delivery orientated agenda and combating corruption. Sadly, he received more opposition from his former caucus and party leadership than he received in support of the significant achievements which were rolled out in Johannesburg."

He said Phalatse was willing to "misappropriate" the service delivery successes that took place under Mashaba's mayoralty, but then "mischaracterise" the coalition, which produced the votes and the budgets that delivered these very same successes, as compromised.  

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