South Africa’s militant opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has expressed disappointment over the resignation of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba from office, saying his departure is a victory for a “colour-blind white caucus”.
Mashaba, who announced his departure from office on Monday, 21 October 2019, said his former party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), was the “most difficult partner” in the city’s coalition arrangement.
Mashaba blamed the ascendancy of veteran politician, Helen Zille, to the DA’s chairperson portfolio as his main reason for leaving office and the DA, describing the move as “emblematic of the party’s return to white domination.”
In a statement release on Tuesday, 22 October 2019, the EFF said the party was “deeply disappointed by the resignation of Mashaba as Executive Mayor of Johannesburg effective on 27 November 2019.”
“Of all the mayors who presided over opposition coalition governments in hung municipalities, following the outcome of the 2016 local government elections, Herman Mashaba is the only one who never arrogated himself into a leadership style as if the DA had won with an outright majority,” the party said.
Prior to his resignation, Mashaba indicated that he would call it quits, should what he called the “right wing aligned DA faction” won the party’s chairpersonship at the weekend polls.
The EFF, however, hailed Mashaba’s decision to leave the DA.
“We congratulate him for the decisiveness of abounding a DA that has clearly turned right-wing.
“There is absolutely no doubt that the election of Helen Zille as Federal Chairperson is a turn to the right in the DA which should necessitate all social democrats to abandon it once and for all,” the EFF said.
It said Zille represented “a colour-blind white caucus that seeks to live life as if there is no racism and the brutal history of apartheid in South Africa.”
“This worldview will result in policies that only entrench white privileges and power in the economy and social life,” the EFF said.