Mashaba says ANC is copying his ideas, even the ones slammed for ‘xenophobia’

Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, councillor Herman Mashaba. Image: Adéle Bloem

Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, councillor Herman Mashaba. Image: Adéle Bloem

The Joburg mayor says the Gauteng Premier attacked him regarding his ideas on foreign nationals, only to adopt the same ideas.

Johannesburg’s executive mayor, the DA’s Herman Mashaba, has taken to Twitter to express his view that the ANC has “run out of ideas”. This comes after the ANC embarked on a cleanup campaign. Mashaba is well-known for his role in cleaning campaigns, with the city of Johannesburg having launched a monthly volunteer clean-up campaign called A Re Sebetseng in 2017.

It’s not just cleanup campaigns Mashaba feels show a lack of originality on the ANC’s part.

He took to Twitter hours before his tweet about the ANC’s cleanup to note that he has been in trouble for alleged “xenophobia” long before the Gauteng premier – the ANC’s David Makhura – was.

“When I initially raised this matter, in particular of undocumented foreign nationals, Premier David Makhura was one of the people who went on a tirade, insulting me, calling me xenophobic. What has now changed?” Mashaba tweeted.

This follows the backlash which followed Makhura saying, when speaking to the media after a budget discussion which took place on Wednesday, that foreign nationals in South Africa were responsible for crime.

The premier said that “in some specific crimes, specific nationalities are involved, adding that these allegedly include drugs, violent crimes, murders, and cash-in-transit heists.

READ MORE: Mashaba draws scorn and ridicule with ‘Ebolas’ tweet

The premier then added that his comments were  “not xenophobia”.

He said we should work with the countries whose people were involved and tell them their “citizens are free to come to South Africa but should also be aware that they contribute to problems”, saying these were usually linked to a “particular crime”.

Despite his assertion that they were not, Makhura’s comments were slammed on social media for xenophobia, something Mashaba has also been accused of several times.

These accusations are as a result of several comments, including him saying that “foreigners‚ whether legal or illegal‚ are not the responsibility of the city” and that his municipality “will only provide accommodation exclusively to South Africans”.

Mashaba also claimed that “undocumented foreigners make up 80% of Joburg inner city”, an assertion AfricaCheck debunked. Professor Loren Landau from the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of Witwatersrand called the mayor’s statement “an absurd and dangerous distortion of the truth”.

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