I am willing to walk away – Herman Mashaba

Black Like Me founder and DA Joburg mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba, who grew up in Hammanskraal. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)
Black Like Me founder and DA Joburg mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba, who grew up in Hammanskraal. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Johannesburg - Democratic Alliance mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba says he is willing to go back to business if the party asks him to walk away from his position as leader of its caucus in the City of Johannesburg.

"If they ask me to step down, I will do it yesterday, not even today. If the party engages me and says it’s for the good of the DA, I will leave. Go back to my ways of capitalism," said Mashaba.

Speaking to News24 just hours after Economic Freedom Fighter leader Julius Malema told journalists that his party would vote for the DA in the Johannesburg council if it met one condition - that Mashaba step down as mayoral candidate - Mashaba said he found the condition very strange and awkward.

"How did they expect the DA to respond to something like this? I have been put through very rigorous processes and campaigned for more than 18 months. Maybe they know something we don’t know. Maybe the EFF has a valid reason for setting this condition. It’s just very awkward."

In response to Malema’s comments, the DA - at its own media briefing - said it would not get rid of Mashaba, explaining that voters had put their faith in him.

Mashaba said he had joined the DA for noble reasons: "Sitting on the side lines was no longer an option. I wanted to dislodge the ANC’s power and arrogance. The country is definitely safer now that it was two weeks ago."

Mashaba said he felt the DA had managed to cause an upset for the ruling party in the 2016 local government elections and that if the party felt it could achieve more without him, then he would accept this.

"I take instruction from the party. If they feel, without me, they can bury the ANC, then it’s okay. If anyone takes over from where I left off, I will welcome it. It was never about being mayor in the first place," he said.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

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