Gayton McKenzie’s reckoning – returning Jhb to Rainbow Coalition, Rob Hersov and 2024

Part 1

In Part One of an extended early morning interview with the leader of the Patriotic Front, Gayton McKenzie explains why his king-making party is set to switch sides (again) in Gauteng – and why this time it’s likely to be for keeps. A central personality in South Africa’s edge-of-the-seat political arena, McKenzie ’fesses up to mistakes, especially in the Johannesburg Metro. And explains how this has helped the top team in his party conclude that DA leader John Steenhuisen’s Moonshot Pact is worth a full shot. He spoke to Alec Hogg of BizNews.

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Timestamps from Part One of Gayton’s interview:

  • Gayton McKenzie on his contact with Herman Mashaba post-BNC#5 – 01:05
  • On Mashaba’s vote of no confidence in the ANC – 02:25
  • On John Steenhuisen’s ‘Moonshot Pact’ and not wanting to work with Helen Zille – 13:25
  • On having only one shot and why the PA would join the Moonshot Pact – 15:25
  • On there being no big party in the coalition – 18:20

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Some extracts from Part One:

Gayton McKenzie on his contact with Herman Mashaba post-BNC#5

He’s a great businessperson and he’s a greater person in real life. I have got a lot of respect for Herman Mashaba. 

Mashaba has not slept since the BizNews conference. He has been calling, meeting up, trying to rescue this Rainbow Coalition. He tried to get me involved in it – we’ve been having many meetings. Mashaba has been working nonstop to get me back into this coalition.

Watch and read more: Mashaba rolls dice to bring PA into a rejuvenated Rainbow Coalition – and take back Jhb Metro

On Mashaba’s vote of no confidence in the ANC 

Yesterday, I listened to what Herman said and he was so honest and direct – that I was not the one to be blamed for the crumbling of the previous arrangement. I come from the business world, I made my money in business, so when you promise me something, you stick to it. 

Herman Mashaba and Corne Mulder have worked tirelessly to get us together again. The city of Joburg needs somebody vibrant, somebody that knows what they’re doing. Somebody that can clean up and bring the shine back.

Read more: FF+’s Mulder explains why ‘Rainbow Coalition’ can and will beat ANC/EFF in 2024

On John Steenhuisen’s ‘Moonshot Pact’ and not wanting to work with Helen Zille

I think subsequently I’ve also had to relook at my statement about how I don’t want to work with Helen Zille, which I think is childish. It was a childish statement. It’s not about individuals here. It’s about people’s lives. And I reflected on my statement and I just realized that I don’t have the right to tell the DA who they should send to meetings. The DA does not have the right to tell me they can’t work with anybody in the PA. So I think there was a foolish statement I made simply because Helen Zille is the leader of a party and everybody feels that she should represent them, I should respect them because it’s not about her and it’s not about me. 

Watch and read more: DA leader John Steenhuisen on devolution; “coalition school”; Mbeki; ANC Conference; and why 2024 is SA’s Last Chance Saloon.

Part 2

In Part Two, McKenzie offers his insights on critical by-election results in South Africa, including the key message from Swellendam where the PA/DA split vote opened the door for an unlikely ANC win, despite a 20% drop in its support compared with 2021. He also shares insights about his friendship with Rob Hersov, the outspoken businessman/activist who has been standing up for him through all the recent controversy generated by what McKenzie brands as disinformation.

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Timestamps from Part Two of Gayton’s interview:

  • On the wake up call following Swellendam’s results – 22:05
  • On supporting the vote of no confidence – 28:10
  • On the funding gap in South Africa – 34:40
  • On Rob Hersov being a ‘visionary’ – 38:35

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Some extracts from Part Two:

On supporting the vote of no confidence

We thought we were going to put a vote of no confidence in, Mashaba put it in. We now are going to support it, I think everything started in BizNews – this whole thing started at the BizNews conference. Beforehand, we were not even on speaking terms. We called each other names and not doing things that we were properly thinking through just because anger was speaking. And then, at the BizNews conference, that was where it was ignited. So I’m saying we will support Mashaba in his vote of no confidence against the ANC.

Watch and read more: Herman Mashaba: Published polls are a joke – ActionSA will be #1 or #2 in 2024, helped by thousands of newly registered voters

On the funding gap in South Africa 

Let me start with the funding gap. You see, particularly black people have a problem. Black people and colored people have a problem. When you are friends with a billionaire and you are not white, they automatically assume you are getting money because they will ask for money from their friends all the time, some of them. Now, those people that think that, particularly in our communities, when you are friends with a guy like Hersov, oh, that is wonderful. They cannot fathom the fact that you can just be friends with a wealthy person. I have seen that, I have been accused of that.

Read more: Hersov: Swellendam by-election loss a warning for bickering Rainbow Alliance

On Rob Hersov being a ‘visionary’

Rob Hersov has played a huge role and he’s a visionary. Let me tell you one thing I admire about him: he will go and greet everybody in the plane like, ‘Hey, how are you? Who are you?’ The humility of that man and his wife and then his kids and how they treat people. And I think it will be a great injustice and a brain drain if people like Rob Hersov are leaving the country. There’s a lot of professionals that want to leave.

Read more: Hersov’s “Dear John…” to re-elected DA Leader (as Rob heads for the door)

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