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Herman Mashaba, the former Johannesburg mayor, joined the BizNews Power Hour to discuss some of his plans for the coming elections. Mashaba is the leader of Action SA, a political party he launched in 2020. – Jarryd Neves
Herman Mashaba on his candidate election system:
One of the issues I put forward to South Africans when they wanted me to start my own political party was [that] I wanted electoral reform to really be one of our key priorities. Where civil society are the ones that are responsible for the election of their public representatives. Why? So that you are not serving political parties ahead of civil society. The system is groundbreaking in the sense that its direct democracy – it allows the residents who are actually electing the ward councillors, deciding who becomes the mayor, responsible for the direct election of the party president. It’s really groundbreaking in the sense that all political parties, as you are aware, are the ones electing public representatives behind closed doors.
If this will see a shift in avoiding corruption:
Without a doubt, it is groundbreaking. This is direct democracy, a way for you to really be a public representative and elected by the people, not by political parties. I can assure the people of South Africa, give Action SA the mandate [and] within six months of us taking over this government, the Scorpions will be back and with more power to operate outside the political environment.
Our NPA is so compromised, so captured by the ANC. What we are proposing as ActionSA, is that for you to be the head of the NPA, you are going to be elected by the people – whether at national, provincial or local level. We want our prosecuting authority to be independent, elected by the people so that if you serve political parties, people must remove you. You must go out there and contest like the politicians, for you to actually be the head of the NPA. What we’ve experienced over the last twenty six years, heads of our of a prosecuting authority are compromised individuals.
On the ANC:
We have to really be honest with ourselves and actually face our reality. We are in a dire situation. Our country is leaderless. In these 27 years, [we have never] had a weaker president than Cyril Ramaphosa. Jacob Zuma, as much as he was stealing, provided some kind of corrupt leadership – whereas right now, it’s a free for all. That’s why the level of corruption in this country is at its worst, because they have no respect for Cyril Ramaphosa. They know that he’s an indecisive leader, he’s going to let everybody steal.
We’re in a really difficult situation. The only [way] we can liberate this country is to actually destroy this virus called the ANC. They can start with the local government elections later this year and finish it off with the second step in 2024. If South Africans are not going to remove this corrupt, evil ANC government out of power by 2024, then it’ll be a different story. I don’t really believe that South Africa will survive another five years under the ANC.
On fighting the ANC:
I think you have to be totally blind to believe such nonsense, that the ANC will always maintain its growth. Look at the voting population of South Africa – 36 million South Africans and then look at the last elections. ANC was only voted by just under 10 million people, total people who came out to vote were 17.6 million.
18.3 million South Africans did not show up to vote because they did not really have an alternative. You look at the ANC performance over the last three elections. In 2009, the ANC received 69% percent. In 2014, that dropped to 62%. The ANC is a dying, ruled out party. The facts are there. They’ll be lucky, come the next elections in 2024, to get 7 million voters. I think the opportunity is there for parties like Action SA to give inspiration and hope to South Africans to come out and vote. ANC will only survive as long as people want to believe that there’s an alternative. As Action SA, we are positioning ourselves to give them hope that we that alternative.
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