Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Ghaleb Cachalia on Wednesday accused outgoing Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba of being in “service” of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Mashaba retweeted a tweet from EFF second-in-command Floyd Shivambu, in which he says party leader Julius Malema “perfectly humbled the DA’s political minion, who’s got no credentials of his own but wants to act like a struggle icon”.
Cachalia took the retweet as Mashaba agreeing with the EFF leader, issuing an angry response.
“So Herman. You agree [with] your [commander-in-chief Julius Malema] that [former Zimbabwean leader Robert] Mugabe who butchered 20 thousand Matabele, who devastated the economy and expropriated land on a racial basis, is a hero?
“You had best leave office now. No point in waiting to the 27th, unless you’ve got EFF business to service.”
Mashaba clapped back in a tweet he has since deleted: “In case you’ve forgotten, I no longer belong to a political party. You have no standing to tell me what to do. And agreeing with a sentiment does not mean adoption of a whole movement. Calm down.”
Mashaba announced his resignation from both the DA and as Joburg mayor in October, effective as of November 27.
While a retweet is not necessarily an endorsement, it made sense for Cachalia to take it as one considering Mashaba’s acrimonious split with the DA at a press briefing where he slammed the direction the party has taken and said the election of Helen Zille as federal council chair “stands in opposition with the people I represent and the majority of the South Africans”.
Mashaba has also been accused of serving the EFF as opposed to his own party, due to the rare and close cooperation between his DA-led City of Johannesburg government and the red berets, which some have suggested is linked to tender irregularities, although this hasn’t been proven.
The parliamentary altercation that led to the exchange involved Malema lashing out at Cachalia, accusing him of being an “ageist” who trades off his past – his parents being late anti-apartheid activists Amina and Yusuf Cachalia.
Cachalia had reacted to a draft resolution proposed by Malema to honour late Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe by highlighting the negative aspects of his legacy, including his role in the Gukurahundi massacres, which saw an estimated 20,000 Ndebele people killed.
The content of the draft resolution Malema proposed on Robert Mugabe can be read about in detail here.
Cachalia’s speech reacting to it can be read about here.