CAPE TOWN,South Africa – The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) newly appointed federal chair Helen Zille said Herman Mashaba’s resignation was regrettable.
The Johannesburg mayor will leave office on 27 November.
Mashaba said the DA he signed up for was not the one that came out of the weekend Federal Council meeting where former leader Zille was elected. Zille was elected after James Selfe stepped down. He held the position for 19 years.
“I am gravely concerned that the DA I signed up to is no longer the DA that has emerged out of this weekend’s federal council,” said Mashaba.
Zille said she was not sure why Mashaba decided to resign.
“I don’t know why he’s resigned. My understanding from some people was that he thought that I would bring to an end his mayoralty in Johannesburg. So, I am told. I am not sure if this is true that he wanted to resign before his government was taken out.”
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Last week, in an interview on 702 with Aubrey Masango, ahead of the FedCo meeting, Mashaba said he would resign if the party was to be taken over by what he called right-wing elements.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said he wanted Mashaba to stay on.
Mashaba said it was a tough decision.
“I’ve given this decision considerable thought. I’ve been tortured by the circumstances that led me to this moment. It’s not in my nature to quit anything in life.”