Duduzane Zuma, Action SA and One SA Movement: 3 unexpected political moves in 2020

30 December 2020 - 07:00
Herman Mashaba launched a new political party, Action SA.
Herman Mashaba launched a new political party, Action SA.
Image: File / Sowetan

The SA political scene has not been without surprises this year, as familiar faces in public service and business reinvented their careers as opposition politicians. 

Former DA leaders Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane launched a new political party and movement respectively, while businessman Duduzane Zuma, son of former president Jacob Zuma, said he would contest the elections in 2024.

Here are three political moves that took us all by surprise this year:

Mmusi Maimane - One SA Movement 

After resigning from the DA in October 2019, Maimane made it clear that he was not leaving politics. He did not immediately share what his next move would be, sparking speculation that he would jointly start a new political party with former Joburg mayor, Herman Mashaba.

In December, the pair announced that they would work together in launching “The People's Dialogue”, though they later split, leaving Mashaba as the founding member of the platform. 

In March, Maimane announced that he would not be launching a political party but a movement: One SA Movement. He said parties lacked accountability and deprived voters the freedom to choose their own leaders. 

“It's important to realise that all over the world more movements are starting. In fact, movements are a way to mobilise all of society together around a common goal. They remind each one of us of a deep sense of activism. They incorporate all of us to say, 'we don't have to agree on everything, but we can agree on a number of values'." 

Herman Mashaba - Action SA

Mashaba was among the DA leaders who left the party in October 2019 after the election of Helen Zille as the chairperson of the DA's federal council. He initially launched The People's Dialogue in December of the same year, which he said would be a platform to engage South Africans, before the launch of his political party.

In August this year he officially launched Action SA, which he said would contest the local government elections set to take place in August 2021. Shortly after the launch, Mashaba registered his party, though this was rejected by the IEC. The commission cited perceived similarities between Action SA and another political party, Party of Action SA. 

Mashaba has since decided to change Action SA's logo.

Duduzane Zuma enters the political arena

Businessman Duduzane Zuma revealed in October that there was a good chance that South Africans would see his face on the ballot paper, come the 2024 elections. He said he wanted to play his part in ensuring that the ANC regained the public's trust after “confusion” about the direction the party is taking.

“I want to talk about the next 10 years and what we need to do to get SA back to its credible state and being a global leader,” he said. 

“I am doing [this] via the people who have the hope and trust in me to do so. Whoever rides with me, I am going to ride with them. I am an ANC member. The ANC [brought] me up ... I think there is a gap in youth leadership and business gatekeeping.”