In a video released on Wednesday, Maimane started his announcement with the familiar words: “One South Africa for all.”
This was also the DA’s campaign slogan for the May 2019 election.
“Over the last few weeks, I had to opportunity to reflect on that vision. As I reflect, I think of the mother I met in Alex with hope of a better tomorrow for her child. She wanted her child to grow up in a safe community, with educational opportunities and access to a good-paying job and affordable healthcare,” he said.
“This is the same vision that a mom I met from Rondebosch had for her child.
“South Africans have a lot in common when it comes to the kind of country they want to see being built. When I look at South Africa, I see a country brimming with potential, but plagued by leadership that divides us, black against white, against coloured, against Indian. They keep us divided so that they can distract us from how they are in fact failing us.
“And I’m joining the People’s Dialogue to offer this: If we break down what divides us and work together, we can build a united country that puts South Africans first.
“We can reconcile our past and build a country that is prosperous.
“Together, we can get to the day where that child from Alex and the child from Rondebosch have the same chances of achieving their dreams by working hard. This is my submission to the People’s Dialogue. What is yours?” Maimane said.
On Friday, Mashaba announced the launch of a new platform “to engage South Africans from all walks of life about how we can build a South Africa that we can all be proud of”.
Mashaba said he decided to launch the People’s Dialogue after he resigned from the DA and gave up his seat as mayor.
“Like many South Africans, I have lost faith in our political system. Nothing could demonstrate this more than the events that have taken place over the past 48 hours across major metros in South Africa,” Mashaba said, referring to the tumult around the mayoral positions in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay.
At the press conference in October where Mashaba announced his resignation the day after Helen Zille was elected the DA’s federal council chairperson, Maimane hailed him as a hero.
This rankled some DA members, who took issue with what Mashaba said about the party. A few days later, Maimane also resigned.