Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane is expected to take his first step back into politics, but has stopped shy of creating his own political party. He has made several media appearances at the start of this week to further explain his plans, and he’s received support from a very familiar face.
Will Mmusi Maimane and Herman Mashaba work together for a new political party?
Maimane spent Tuesday morning with SABC. He told the Morning Live programme that he is more focused on engaging the disenfranchised parts of South African society. After recently launching the People’s Dialogue with Herman Mashaba, it seemed the pair would go after their objectives through this vehicle.
However, Mashaba – the ex-mayor of Johannesburg – has since swerved in a different direction, and recently confirmed he’d be launching a new political party in June. That’s something which has driven a wedge between the two politicians, and Mmusi Maimane is likely to go his own way. Well, for now anyway…
I can also confirm our willingness and readiness to work with @MmusiMaimane and other like-minded South Africans when the new political party is formed to serve people of our country https://t.co/u6L6NHvnPj
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 21, 2020
What Mmusi Maimane did next – his “movement” explained:
Whatever path these former DA leaders end up taking, it does seem like there will be some convergence. Maimane has further explained the difference between the two, and what each of them hope to achieve.
“So Herman Mashaba has moved towards a political party. But what I’m proposing is a broader movement. The door is open to work together. But it’s time to build a moment. The People’s Dialogue must continue, but when it comes to a party, it’s different. I want different political formations to join me.”
“Mashaba is focused on a new party. But I’m looking forward to working together as a collective. The big distinction here is about active citizenship. I am not desperate to contest 2021. But I want churches, businessnes and sports people to contribute and get politically engaged.”
Although he still remained a little sketchy on the details, Mmusi Maimane has also explained what exactly he will be doing over the months to come. His plans revolve around the following issues:
- His “movement” aims to make politics front and centre of the national discussion.
- Maimane is attempting to create a form of “direct democracy”, where South Africans can have a stronger influence in the decisions that shape their lives. That is essentially what his new project is all about.
- He wants to get “non-voters” on board, citing the potential of “18 million citizens” who need inspiring.
Is South Africa getting a new political party?
With four years to go until another General Election, Mmusi Maimane is blessed with the gift of time. He has stated that he won’t be contesting the 2021 Municipal Elections, so the politician has a while to figure out what shape his movement will take before we’re back at the national ballot boxes.
Herman Mashaba, meanwhile, is taking the direct route. He wants a party in place “within months”. He’s eyeing-up next year’s municipal vote and one gets the feeling he has some scores to settle after his controversial ousting back in October. With the DA’s support-base shrinking, and a shroud of controversies dogging the top three political parties, this may be the best time to create a viable alternative for voters.