‘Please don’t insult us, there’s no big party here’: Mashaba accuses DA of undermining other parties

18 November 2021 - 10:00
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says parties still have a long way to go in the coalition talks.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says parties still have a long way to go in the coalition talks.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

With the coalition negotiations deadline looming, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has accused the DA of undermining other political parties.

Over the past few weeks, parties in hung municipalities have been meeting to discuss coalition strategies before councils are dissolved. 

Parties in hung municipalities have until November 23 to form coalitions. That’s in 66 municipalities, including five of the metros.

Speaking on the SABC’s The Watchdog, Mashaba said several opposition parties rejected the DA’s proposal to have its mayoral candidates appointed to run Johannesburg and Tshwane. 

This was after a meeting attended by Mashaba, DA leader John Steenhuisen, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and representatives from COPE, FF+, the PA and ACDP.

He said the meeting was not fruitful and parties would continue the negotiations on Thursday.

“I am getting a sense that we are not negotiating in good faith ... So far, we’ve heard the DA talking about their own values and it looks like their values are superior than anyone else, as if other people don’t have values,” he said. 

Mashaba said all the parties rejected the DA’s proposal after it said it wanted its mayoral teams to run both Johannesburg and Tshwane, allegedly, because it was the bigger party.

“All the parties, without exception, said: ‘Please don’t insult us, there’s no big party here. We are all equal and there’s no-one who got an outright majority.’

“We told them to go back to their principles but whatever it is, come back to us and tell us which municipality you want between Johannesburg and Tshwane. But you can’t have them both.”

This is not the first time Mashaba has expressed dismay with the DA during the coalition talks. 

Last week, he complained about the DA’s “arrogance” after it allegedly failed to live up to its promise of giving ActionSA time to gather its senior party members for coalition talks. 

This seemed to irritate Mashaba, who told eNCA that the DA’s arrogance “is very dangerous for this country”.

“I think the DA’s arrogance is very dangerous for this country. It polarises the nation and I think if the DA is prepared to come down to the reality of democratic dispensation of this country, as long as the DA can recognise the fact that we live in the most unequal society in the world, we are happy to talk to them,” he said.

Mashaba also publicly announced his party would not work with the EFF. However, the party’s leader Julius Malema said the door remained open for the former Johannesburg mayor, saying they are willing to be patient with him. 

“We have not moved away from ActionSA. They left us at the table. We are still there and they know where to find us. We have not shut the door for ActionSA. If the man wants to come, let him come and talk to us. We have no problem,” said Malema.

“We have taken a conscious decision to be extremely patient with Mashaba because he is a political illiterate. He is still new in politics.”


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