The Economic Freedom Fighters have reacted to the resignation of outgoing Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba in a statement full of praise about his conduct and achievements during his tenure as mayor in their coalition government.
Mashaba officially announced his resignation from his position and the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday morning citing Helen Zille’s election as chairperson of the party’s Federal Council this past weekend.
However, his resignation will only take effect on November 27 in order to allow for a smooth transition for whoever takes over the reins.
In a statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters on Monday morning, the party noted Mashaba’s resignation “with disappointment”.
“Of all the mayors who presided over opposition coalition governments in hung municipalities, following the outcomes 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,” read part of the statement.
The party went on to tout Mashaba as someone who is “humble, consultative and willing to concede to superior logic”.
According to the EFF, Mashaba turned his back on the “white supremacy and anti-poor policies” that belong to the DA and he “became more social democratic than even the neoliberal ANC that his coalition government replaced.”
Among Mashaba’s many achievements in the eyes of the EFF were:
- Running the city with the poor and not profit at the centre of policy planning
- In-sourcing workers
- Taking electricity to informal settlements
- Expropriating factories around Alexandra for expansion of social housing
- Expanding the operating hours of clinics in poor communities
- And opening rehab centres in addiction-ridden areas
The party also attributed the “stabilisation” of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department to Mashaba’s rule.
The EFF had some choice words for Zille, who they said “represents a colour-blind white caucus that seeks to live life as if there is no racism and the brutal history of apartheid South Africa”.
They believe Mashaba’s resignation marks him as “a steward of much-needed transformation of the local state in an unapologetic and uncompromising favour of the poor, black and neglected masses.”
They concluded by attributing all these changes in Mashaba’s worldview to his “honest interactions with the EFF”, stating “as a result, he achieved in three years what the ANC could not in 24 years”.
The party vowed to enter into internal consultations before informing citizens what their proposed way forward for the City of Johannesburg would, giving themselves the deadline of 27 November – the same day Mashaba’s resignation takes effect.