Former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said in an interview on SABC’s Morning Live on Monday that a new party is “likely to emerge” from The People’s Dialogue, a new civil society platform he recently launched with former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane.
“So far the indications are overwhelming to indicate that we need a new political formation. With millions of contributions or submissions already received, South Africans and I have the same fears. But in the middle to end of February 2020, we will release a public document and form a political party. If I have to close the submissions today, it is enough to form a political party, however, I have committed to run this process until the end of February,” he said.
Maimane has previously suggested that the People’s Dialogue would not be a political party. He said in an interview with eNCA last year that South Africa needs a “new vehicle” but was vague on what this would mean.
While he said he would stay in politics, he also said that he was not sure a new political party was needed.
“A new political party may simply be saying let’s add another colour to the many colours of political parties that exist, we need a new coalition, a new vehicle,” he said.
He described this “new vehicle” as a “movement that is led by people for the people, that will challenge the status quo”. He added that he thought his “contribution to society is to get back to that discussion”.
However, Mashaba seems to have now indicated that the pair would indeed be launching a new political party.
The former Johannesburg mayor also reiterated claims made before he left the DA, that the party has been captured by think tank the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille resigned as a senior research fellow at the IRR to return to the DA.
The IRR also launched a “save the opposition” campaign, which focused solely on the DA. The institute reacted to claims that it was trying to influence politics by saying it saw doing so as part of its job as a think tank.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)