Herman Mashaba’s resignation as Johannesburg Mayor will top the agenda at the Democratic Alliance’s urgent Federal Executive meeting on Wednesday. The meeting takes place days after Helen Zille’s comeback to active politics.

Zille was elected to the powerful position of Federal Council Chairperson at the weekend.

Mashaba’s departure has been seen a huge blow for the DA-led coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the City of Johannesburg.

In his resignation, he said he won’t reconcile himself with people that believe that race is irrelevant.  “I refuse to reconcile myself with people who believe that race is irrelevant in the discussion of inequality and poverty.”

Mashaba’s parting words cement his way out of the DA and out of the mayoral office.

Mashaba’s resignation has also put the spotlight on the future of  party leader Mmusi Maimane.

Former DA Federal Chairperson Douglas Gibson says that if Maimane wants out of the organisation, he can get out as he is not chained.  “Well if he wants out, he can get out; nobody has him chained there. In fact, he’s indicated that he is not simply going to resign; he was elected by several delegates at the last DA congress and the one before. He remains the leader until congress decides otherwise.”

Political analyst Steven Friedman says if Maimane ends up out in the cold, Zille might be accused of a trend of falling out with black leaders within the party.

“The problem here is the messages you send. ‘I brought him into the fold,’ he joined the party for heaven’s sake. If you’re in the party, you clearly wanted to join. With respect, that’s Helen Zille’s problem because the public image is Lindiwe Mazibuko, Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane; she always having fall outs with black leaders. Patricia de Lille is another example.”

The Federal Executive is expected to chart a way forward regarding Mashaba’s replacement.

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