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Herman Mashaba: 'Far right-wing' IRR has done 'too much damage' to the DA

08 October 2019 - 18:40 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has slammed the IRR for its continued interference in the DA's internal politics.
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has slammed the IRR for its continued interference in the DA's internal politics.
Image: Supplied

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has slammed the Institute for Race Relations (IRR), saying it has a "racist strategy" and it admires "the evil apartheid past".

This after the institute called for South Africans to pressure the DA to "expel racist leaders, stamp out corruption, stop race-based policies, break off its alliance with the EFF, and appoint good leaders".

In a series of tweets, Mashaba said the "DA has been hijacked by a far right-wing organisation".

He said the IRR statement was "extremely concerning" and it suggested that the DA "should not associate with other blacks organisations".

Mashaba also accused the IRR of damaging the party and DA leader Mmusi Maimane's leadership.

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In response to Mashaba tweets, IRR's spokesperson Michael Morris said Mashaba was "misguided". 

"Herman Mashaba is misguided in thinking that the IRR's long-standing argument for non-racialism is motivated by racist impulses.

"On the contrary, the IRR has invested considerable resources over a long period in crafting alternative measures to replace existing ineffective (race-based) empowerment policy," Morris told TimesLIVE.

Morris said the resources were crafted with a view to "overcome the disadvantages millions of poor South Africans are still burdened". 

"Our view is that SA's success hinges on the freedom and prosperity of all South Africans, but will elude us so long as lingering disadvantage remains unaddressed.

"Our proposals focus directly on disadvantage wherever it occurs, rather than on race," he said.

The party that promises 'One South Africa for All' has been accused of all talk and no action. The DA has found itself in multiple sticky situations, garnering criticism from all sides. Herman Mashaba, Mmusi Maimane and Solly Msimanga are some of the DA leaders who have found themselves in hot water. From illegal tender claims to an alleged Steinhoff-sponsored SUV. Many have questioned the DA's leadership and DA-led municipalities as they shift from one controversy to another.

"Poor black South Africans are not poor because they are black, but because their disadvantage has been so ineffectively and inadequately addressed by policy-making since 1994. Effective governance has no skin colour, and its benefits to all South Africans are indiscriminate," he said.

Mashaba's response comes after the IRR suggested last week that the DA should replace Maimane with a white candidate.

TimesLIVE reported that DA members, including John Steenhuisen to Phumzile van Damme, lashed out at the institute, saying it should consider forming its own political party or join the DA.

"The DA has noted the obsessive preoccupation that the IRR seems to have with the DA's internal political and ideological conversations.

"This preoccupation has been increasing over the course of the past year or two."