The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has described Herman Mashaba’s resignation from the Democratic Alliance (DA) as an end to a reign of terror, which victimised unions and employees.
Mashaba resigned on Monday following the announcement of Helen Zille as the DA’s Federal Council chair on Sunday.
Samwu claimed Mashaba undermined collective bargaining and unduly interfered in the union’s affairs.
The country’s biggest municipal workers union has criticised Mashaba’s leadership in Johannesburg since he moved into the mayor’s office three years ago.
The union claimed the mayor limited the rights of workers and labour forums.
Samwu’s Dumisane Magagula said: “He has made sure that there is no collective bargaining in the City of Joburg and he has made sure that he gets some people within Samwu to file a memorandum of understanding to limit the rights of employees to form a strike.”
The union said it did not anticipate any fundamental changes after Mashaba that would favour the interests of workers.
‘TREATMENT OF BLACK LEADERS IN DA’
Meanwhile, analysts have backed Mashaba’s assertions that the DA was struggling to transform and prioritise the redress of colonial and apartheid legacies.
Political analyst Professor Somadoda Fikeni pinned down the DA’s struggle to deal with the politics around economic exclusion, poverty and inequality on the lack of coherent ideological and philosophical direction.
He said there appeared to be biased in the treatment of black leaders in the party and this lend credence to Mashaba’s frustrations.
“We saw the treatment of De Lille, Mamphela Ramphele, with Mbali Ntuli, with Lindiwe Mazibuko, with Maimane somewhat and Joe Seremane, and we have not seen such being done to other recruited white leaders.”
Meanwhile, another analyst Ralph Mathekga believed the issues that eventually saw Mashaba throw in the towel after his three years in the city’s top post could be hard to subdue.
“Those are fundamental issues and issues of principle. If someone believes the party does not sympathise with the history of the people they identify with, and Mashaba being a black person here who understands the majority of black people have suffered historical political justice.”
Mashaba said the DA faction that emerged victorious from the weekend’s Federal Council would have seen to the demise of his pro-poor agenda, saying he had been tortured for choosing the stance.
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