Why DA wants Mashatile out

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers.

Published Jan 30, 2024


As the ANC national executive committee today decided to suspend former president Jacob Zuma’s ANC membership following his endorsement of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, the DA wants deputy president Paul Mashatile axed from the government.

The DA has challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa to “come out of hiding and take urgent action over serious allegations of corruption and capture against his Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, who serves solely at the discretion of Ramaphosa”, the DA said.

“We demand that Ramaphosa fire Mashatile and direct the Special Investigating Unit to launch an urgent investigation into damning allegations of corruption and capture involving his ‘Number Two’.

“The DA issues this call because, as corruption allegations have piled up against Mashatile in recent months, Ramaphosa has chosen to do what he always does when the people expect him to lead: he took the coward’s way out.

“Just like he did when the NSFAS corruption scandal broke around Minister Blade Nzimande a few weeks ago, Ramaphosa has again gone into hiding from difficult questions over his appointment and ongoing protection of Mashatile,” the opposition added.

Many analysts have poured cold water on the DA’s threats, calling it an attempt to take power outside of the democratic processes.

University of South Africa Professor Boitumelo Senokoane said the DA’s demand for Mashatile’s removal is an early sign of the ANC-DA coalition.

“It is common knowledge that the DA seeks the ANC as a coalition partner to avoid an MK and EFF coalition.

“The strides made by the EFF, and recently MK, are a huge threat for the intended John Steenhuisen deputy presidency.

“The DA intends to go into the coalition with the demand of John Steenhuisen as deputy president. That is something Mashatile will never allow. That’s why the DA wants Mashatile out,” Senokoane said.

The DA seemingly will not back down on Mashatile. “It is a clear pattern with Ramaphosa: instead of leading, he chooses to cower in the hopes that his ANC government’s scandals will simply blow over.

“Just as in the case of Nzimande, the ANC has only made some mealy-mouthed comments about Mashatile appearing before the the party’s misnamed ‘Integrity Committee’. But the Constitution and the oath of office Ramaphosa took means this is simply not good enough.”

At the funeral of Mpumalanga MK leader Yusuf Lesenyeho yesterday, Mpumalanga co-ordinator Busisiwe Mahlangu said “the DA would be stopped from taking power”.

“We know who the DA is. And we know the DA’s secret relationship with Ramaphosa. We will not be governed by the DA through a collaboration with the DA, white capital and the banks.

“We are calling for unity on the left. We need the EFF to work with us. We must work for the unity of the left bloc. Cyril and the DA will not prosper,” Mahlangu said.

Mashatile has not responded to the DA yet. The party has given Ramaphosa until February 1, 2023 to act on Mashatile.

The Star