South Africa: The Joburg Option Could Be Herman Mashaba's Safest Springboard to Political Power


Former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba may well take an unconventional route in his bid to achieve national political stature - contesting the City of Johannesburg before staking a national claim.

Last year's election results show that there are vast numbers of votes up for grabs, and whoever is able to turn those non-voting citizens into people who cast their ballots could amass significant political power. For the moment, it seems the one person who is going to try this is the former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. Fascinatingly, he may choose a path to power that has not been tried before, one that could be more effective.

Until now, it had appeared he would follow the traditional route, which is to launch a political party and contest in elections across South Africa. This has been the road travelled by many. It has also led to ruin for many.

Cope disintegrated in a leadership squabble, the UDM has become a small party with a geographic base in the Eastern Cape, Patrica de Lille's Good Party got a few votes in the Western Cape. The EFF has been able to gain traction and call itself a national party, but it only has significant...

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