ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has pulled out of the Johannesburg mayoral race, giving the DA the upper hand against the ANC.
After the DA scooped the position of council speaker with the help of ActionSA, among others, Mashaba pulled out of the race for the mayoral chain. As a result, only two candidates were nominated for the city's top political office — the DA's Mpho Phalatse and ANC's Mpho Moerane.
If the results for the position of speaker are anything to go by, Phalatse appears set to triumph against Moerane.
The EFF was the deciding vote in the speaker contest, with the DA's Vasco da Gama winning by 29 votes — the exact number of seats the red berets have in the council.
Should the EFF go the same way by voting with the DA, Phalatse is almost guaranteed victory.
Voting for the mayorship was to continue at the Brixton Multi-purpose Centre in Johannesburg after a brief recess.
Mashaba said he withdrew from the race because 16% of the vote was not enough to make one a mayor.
According to him, it was this realisation that forced him into hatching a plan with the EFF to support the DA forcefully, even though it didn't want them. They did this because their mission was to keep the ANC put of power by all means necessary.
Mashaba said ActionSA and the EFF stopped the DA from giving power to the ANC.
As for him, he is now ready to be an ordinary councillor in the city and help when the DA needs it. He said it was never about the mayorship and the fact that his party got 16% was a sign the city was not ready for an ActionSA mayor.
“You cannot be government and become a mayor with 16%. We wanted to form a multiparty government with the DA but unfortunately the DA dropped us at the last minute,” said Mashaba. “So there was no point for us to contest but we said, 'OK, you DA want to give this municipality to the ANC and we are not going to allow that'," he said.
Mashaba said that though his party and the EFF had given the DA power, they were not in a coalition with them.
“With the DA, we are willing to talk but they must not call us coalition partners because we are not. The DA is running a minority government.
“We are willing to talk to them but they must talk to us in total good faith, running a stable government. We will wait for them, our door is open,” he said.