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Open letter to Councillor Herman Mashaba

Stop your silly discrimination against ANC members and associates.

I am writing to you as a private citizen of this country who resides in the City of Johannesburg.  I thought I should mention this beforehand lest you accuse my writing of being ‘ANC-orchestrated.’ Yes, politically, I am affiliated to the ANC.  As a community development practitioner, I am also affiliated to a number of other NGOs.

Your reaction to the marchers who attempted to hand a memorandum to you during the council seating of 23 February 2017 is beyond belief.  You arrogantly refused to meet with the marchers on the basis that they were associated with the ANC.  This hostility you imprudently display towards residents of this city who are associated with the ANC is disturbing.

Sir, the fact that you are a mayor of my city makes me part of your constituency.   You cannot wish me and my ANC away.

The information that, in the recent past, you took time off from a council meeting to receive a memorandum from a DA led march is equally disturbing.  Your actions, in this context, support the argument that you have been employed to only service the DA members and supporters.  This is neither honourable nor mayoral Sir but reeks of party politics.

I am surprised that you opt to play party politics with my life as opposed to servicing me equally as you would service the DA aligned residents.  I am surprised because you once claimed to not being a politician but a servant of the people of Johannesburg.  Have you since become a politician, a party politician at that?

If you are still not a politician then you must be a very dangerous puppet of the DA politicians.  Your behaviour resembles that of a slave who works tirelessly to impress the master.  In their quest to impress the master, such slaves end up outshining their masters in expressing their hate for fellow slaves.

Mr Mashaba, it is absolutely okay for Cde Tshepang Mokgatla to be a former ANC councillor candidate and still be the spokesperson of the Joburg Social Movement (JSM), which organised the march against you.  This does not at all mean that the JSM belongs to the ANC, or that the march was ‘orchestrated by the ANC’.  It is worth noting that those who sacrificed their entrepreneurial spirit to sell hair products during the Apartheid South Africa fought Apartheid so that the freedom of associated can be accordingly enshrined in Act 108 of 1996.

Out of curiosity Mr Mayor, should evidence be provided to you that some of the marchers were in fact affiliated to the DA and EFF, would you then term this march an ANC plus DA-EFF coalition orchestrated march?  Be advised to guide against jealousy.  You should not blame the ANC for having fans all over, within your party ranks.  The ANC earned its fanbase over a sustained period of more than 105 years.

So please understand Clr Herman Mashaba that you and your DA superiors are ill-advised to believe that you can discredit the genuineness of the people’s plight by simply relying on this ‘discredit-by-association-propaganda’.  This propaganda lacks imagination.  It is unlikely to yield intended results even if it were to be repeated by the mainstream media more than hundred times.

Your parachuted mayoral employment might regain some bit of credibility, however, if you allow yourself to be engaged by any person who resides or works in our sity.  Should you have adopted this posture, indeed the chaos of 23 February 2017 could have been avoided.  Unlike your failure to take responsibility for the re-emergence of xenophobic tensions in the province, I request that you take responsibility for this chaos this time round.

I am quite content that you may choose to ignore this letter because I am associated with the ANC.  For what it is worth, though, I used to respect you for being a black businessman who managed to succeed during the Apartheid era.  However, judging by your recent behaviour, I cannot help but wonder if your success could have been attributed to a subtle disassociation with the then oppressed black majority.

Mr Mayor, were you ever black like me?


[sent via email – no signature]
Thamsanqa Mzaku
South African Citizen
Resident in the City of Johannesburg

Media queries:
Thamsanqa Mzaku

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