South Africa News

Herman Mashaba wants to invite Bongani Baloyi for tea, woo him for ActionSA

Following the resignation of Bongani Baloyi from the Democratic Alliance (DA) after 14 years as a member of the party, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says he will invite Baloyi for tea in a bid to get him to join his party.

The former mayor of Midvaal Local Municipality surprised many on Monday when he announced he had terminated his DA membership, without revealing the reasons behind his sudden resignation.

But Baloyi made it clear that he was not retiring from politics just yet, saying that he was going to “focus on exciting opportunities”.

Baloyi was arguably one of the rising stars in the DA after he became the country’s youngest mayor in 2013 at the age of 26. He joins a growing list of prominent black leaders that have left the official opposition party after the exodus of Mashaba, Mmusi Maimane, Patricia de Lille, and Phumzile van Damme, among others.

Mashaba said when he left the DA in 2019 to start his own party, he tried to recruit Baloyi to join ActionSA, but he was unsuccessful at the time.

He said now that Baloyi has terminated his DA membership, it presented a great opportunity to convince him once more to join ActionSA.

“It presents an opportunity for us to engage him and I hope that we succeed this time around,” Mashaba said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Monday.

“Obviously I have not had an opportunity to speak to him and find out his plans, whether he is going to remain in politics or go into the private sector, because he is too young to retire.

“I will give him a chance after the Christmas festivities to invite him for tea and see if our minds can meet somewhere,” he added.

‘A committed South African’
Mashaba said he had always admired Baloyi’s leadership qualities and believes that he would be the perfect fit for ActionSA.

“He is a good human being, a committed South African, he’s a good politician [and] his love for this country is really the epitome of the kind of ethical leadership that ActionSA is looking for.

“So, we are going to try our best and do everything possible. We believe that ActionSA is the right fit for him if he is going to remain in politics.”

The DA welcomed Baloyi’s resignation from the party on Monday, saying he had served the DA and the people of Midvaal with excellence over the years.

“We have noted that Bongani is pursuing other opportunities after a decade-long career in politics. We wish him well and throw our support fully behind him,” the party said in a brief statement.

-The Citizen

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