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South Africa

Newsflash: DA supporters rally behind controversial mayor Mashaba

Newsflash: DA supporters rally behind controversial mayor Mashaba

Ahead of the vote of no confidence in Johannesburg, Mayor Herman Mashaba, DA leader Mmusi Maimane sent out a message that coalitions are the future of government in South Africa. By NKATEKO MABASA.

The Democratic Alliance held a #HandsOffMashaba march this morning from Pieter Roos Park in Parktown to the Johannesburg Council Chambers in support of Herman Mashaba. In his address, Maimane emphasised the value of coalitions in fighting corruption and instilling good governance.

This comes after the EFF’s lack of comment with regards to who they will vote with in the no confidence vote tabled by the ANC. EFF Joburg Spokesperson Musa Novela has refused to answer questions on the vote. “The vote is not a priority to us,” said Novela.

The EFF says they are more concerned about the other discussions scheduled at today’s council meeting. This includes the Financial Report presented by MMC of Finance Rabelani Dagada, which will be debated.

The ANC tabled a motion of no confidence against the Johannesburg Mayor and also the Speaker of Council, Vasco da Gama.

The ANC has accused Mashaba of poor leadership and his mishandling finances in the city. According to the ANC, the city has been underspending due to lack of funds. The city has been facing challenges in revenue collection in the city. Also the Mayor, in his inaugural speech, had promised to resign if the billing crisis was not resolved in November. The ANC is now demanding that he sticks to his pledge.

The DA has dismissed the move as an attempt by the ANC to conceal earlier corruption in the Joburg Metro.

Cape Town Mayor, the DA’s Patricia de Lille, also faces a motion of no confidence from the ANC. A similar case of voting out the mayor is also happening at Nelson Mandela Bay. This has been sparked by the successful win by the ANC in the no confidence vote in Mogale City which was done by secret ballot.

The #Handsoff Mashaba March had residents coming out with blue T-shirts in their numbers. DA Johanesburg Regional Chairperson, Hendrick Cornelus Schimdt, said: “The ANC is too focused on getting power and taking us back to corruption.”

Mashaba spoke to supporters from the stage before rushing to the council meeting. “The DA for the first time will release a document entailing the R16.2-billion of corruption at the council meeting” said Mashaba. He accused the ANC of having seen the report before. Head of Johannesburg City Council’s Forensic department General Shadrack Sibiya had uncovered these irregularities and brought them to the attention of the mayor. “We will be presenting this report and want (former mayor) Parks Tau to tell the people why he didn’t do anything about it,” claimed Mashaba.

Mmusi Maimane addressed the crowd after it had reached the city council chambers. He praised Mashaba for his good work in the city and commended him for fighting corruption in Joburg. “Mashaba says if Jozi works, South Africa works”, he said. And about the ANC, Maimane said: “They have lost Gauteng. Which means they have lost South Africa.”

Johannesburg Council is due to debate the vote of no confidence against Mashaba later this afternoon. Both the ANC and DA are looking to the EFF for support for or against the motion.

In the 2016 local elections, the ANC won a majority of 124 seats in Johannesburg but did not win the election. The DA, with 104 seats, went into a partnershi with the EFF, which has 30 seats in council. Similar pacts were made by the DA and EFF, as well as other opposition parties, to group together and form a local government without the ANC. In Tswane, Solly Msimang of the DA became mayor through a partnership, as well as in Nelson Mandela Bay. DM

Photo: #HandsoffMashaba supporters march ahead of a vote of no confidence in the mayor late which was to take place later on Thursday, 30 November 2017. Photo: Nkateko Mabasa

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