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Joburg Social Movement Rejects Mashaba’s Claims of ANC Affiliation

Johannesburg – The Johannesburg Social Movement on Thursday denied Mayor Herman Mashaba’s claims that it was an ANC-aligned organisation.It was not a party-aligned movement and they had members from the DA, IFP, and EFF in their ranks, JSM spokesperson Tshepang Mokgatla said.“That is why even when councillors of the ANC walked out of council to come and speak to us, we refused to speak to any of them. We are here to speak to Mashaba and the speaker of council.”The movement’s members marched to the Johannesburg City Council earlier on Thursday, in protest against what they claimed was Mashaba’s decision to close several job-creating projects his predecessor Parks Tau started in 2014.”Today’s march was led by the JSM, an organisation set up by ANC members to discredit the new administration,” said Mashaba in a statement.

Today the ANC orchestrated an attack on our democracy under the auspices of their front-organisation, the Johannesburg Social Movement (JSM)

— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) February 23, 2017

The projects included Jozi@Work, which employed more than 8 000 people.

Mayoral spokesperson Tony Taverna-Turisan said claims of job losses were “absurd and completely false”.

“The 8 000 people they are talking about still have their jobs, and what we’re planning to do is employing community people directly and cutting out the agents who are the middle-men.”

People would still have their jobs when the Jozi@Work project relaunched in six months, he said.

Mashaba said that the ANC caucus left the council meeting at the Johannesburg City Council to address party members outside, and violence broke out when JSM member tried to get in.

JSM claimed the march turned violent when Mashaba refused to accept their memorandum, despite initially agreeing to do so.

The protest was clearly organised by the ANC in a bid to derail Council proceedings. The blame must be put squarely at the feet of the ANC.

— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) February 23, 2017

Some protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow police station. They were expected to appear in court on Monday.

Mokgatla said JSM welcomed Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s announcement, during his state of the province address on Monday, to rescue these jobs.

Mashaba claimed Mokgatla was trying to destabilise the city’s administration as a bitter ANC member who lost Ward 125 to the DA in the August 3 local government elections.

JSM’s Stan Itshegetseng said Mashaba had sent workers letters informing them that the Jozi Bread program would be terminated from February 18.

By Nation Nyoka and Sisa Canca, News24

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