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ActionSA’s Mashaba resigns from Joburg Metro to start preparing for 2024 elections

  • ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba resigned as a Johannesburg city councillor on Sunday.
  • Mashaba’s resignation follows the party’s recent violent incident at a Tshwane party meeting.
  • ActionSA chairperson Michael Beaumont said Mashaba will now focus on growing the party’s presence in all nine provinces.

After losing out on the mayoral seat for Johannesburg, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has chosen to abandon his Johannesburg council seat, setting his sights on campaigning for the 2024 general elections. 

Mashaba resigned as a councillor for Johannesburg at the weekend. 

The former Johannesburg mayor had faced the prospect of returning to the mayoral seat ahead of the municipal elections in 2021. 

However, the DA-led coalition partnership saw DA member Mpho Phalataste elected as mayor instead. 

ActionSA’s national chairperson Michael Beaumont explained Mashaba’s departure from local politics as part of the party’s more significant 2024 election strategy. 

Mashaba will now be crisscrossing the country as he hopes to grow ActionSA’s presence in all nine provinces. 

“There is no controversy that a leader of a council seeking national leadership cannot sit in council meetings until 2am. It would be unjustifiable to Johannesburg residents for Herman to be travelling the country while earning a salary as a councillor,” Beaumont said. 

ActionSA, founded in 2020, had an excellent first election run last year, picking up seats in Gauteng’s big metros and playing a pivotal role in all the municipalities it contested. 

Internal turmoil?

Mashaba’s resignation comes as ActionSA faces spats from within its structures and a shaky coalition relationship with the DA in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, and Tshwane. 

A video showing a group of ActionSA members disrupting a Tshwane regional meeting surfaced at the weekend.

The party has condemned the incident. 

Beaumont told News24 on Monday that the party had identified those members who were involved in the altercation, and that an investigation was under way. 

Those who have been identified will now face the party’s disciplinary structures. 

Beaumont cautioned against calling the situation “chaos”, saying it in no way represented the majority of members’ demeanour.

“I would not define the situation as chaos, and ActionSA has a vast majority of members who do not behave in the manner we saw in the videos. The behaviour is reprehensible, and it does not define our values as a political party. We condemn it,” he said. 

This is the second incident to affect the party in recent months. A group of disgruntled former members from Soweto were expelled from the party last year after raising unhappiness with ActionSA’s Johannesburg PR list. 

The party has also had to contend with its former KwaZulu-Natal leader Makhosi Khoza who faces disciplinary action. 

Khoza was elected as chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) in the eThekwini council. 

She was elected with the support of ANC members and accepted the position without consulting her political home, according to Mashaba. 

She then accused the party’s leaders of pushing her out, which prompted Mashaba to file a complaint against her. 

Coalition instability

ActionSA has had a challenging coalition partnership with the DA-led government, Beaumont told News24. 

He said the party was unhappy with some of the internal issues in Ekurhuleni. 

ActionSA had planned to go public about its unhappiness, but cancelled the press conference following consultations with coalition partners on Monday. 

“There are frequently issues within coalitions because coalition governments are a complex space. There has been a difference of opinion that has been developing in Ekurhuleni. The coalition has reached out to ActionSA and has proposed solutions,” Beaumont said. 

Beaumont said the party had no plans to leave the coalition government because that would leave the doors open for the return of the ANC. He said the coalition partners would attempt to find common ground. 

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