John Moodey. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/SIMPHIWE NKWALI
John Moodey. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/SIMPHIWE NKWALI

Erstwhile DA Gauteng leader John Moodey has joined the list of former party officials who left the official opposition over unhappiness with the direction it was taking, to join Herman Mashaba’s new political party ActionSA.  

Mashaba, a former DA mayor of Johannesburg, on Monday announced that Moodey has joined his party and will take up the position of provisional chair.

“John is a veteran civil servant who has dedicated his life to the service of the SA people,” Mashaba said after the inaugural meeting of ActionSA’s interim senate, which is the party’s national leadership structure and highest decision-making body outside the conference.

“I know him to be someone of great integrity,” he said.

Moodey, who was a member of the DA for 22 years, resigned last month just before the party's first policy conference. He was also set to contest with interim leader John Steenhuisen for the position of DA leader at its elective congress later in October.

Moodey, who was set to face charges of misconduct, announced his resignation saying he was no longer happy with the direction the party had taken under its interim leadership. He accused the DA of lacking ambition and commitment to being an inclusive political force capable of unseating the ANC.

Over the past year other senior DA members such as Funzela Ngobeni, the DA’s mayoral candidate in Johannesburg after Mashaba’s resignation; Abel Tau, former DA regional chair in Tshwane; and Paul Boughey, former DA CEO, all joined Mashaba. Other politicians who joined the party include former ANC MPs Makhosi Khoza and Vytjie Mentor and former EFF Gauteng chair Mandisa Mashego.

Mashaba also announced on Monday that Khoza was appointed ActionSA's KwaZulu-Natal chair and will head up campaigns in the province, while Mentor will take up the position of Western Cape chair.

The party, which supports a free-market economy, nonracialism, social justice and adherence to the rule of law as its key values, is readying itself to run for elections, of which the first will be 2021’s local government polls.

Last week the Electoral Commission (IEC) of SA rejected ActionSA’s application to register as a political party due to the similarity of its symbol or distinguishing mark to that of another party, Party of Action, already registered. ActionSA will appeal the IEC’s decision.

If the party is unable to register as a political party with the IEC, it will not be eligible to contest elections.

ActionSA has already stated that it wants to contest elections next year in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

Mashaba on Monday said the party is now also considering contesting in eThekwini, Cape Town, Mangaung and Nelson Mandela Bay.

“Our assessments will examine the growth in our ground structures in these municipalities, as well as the response of prospective donors to get behind the campaign in these municipalities,” he said.

“A critical cause for the decision to expand the focus of our 2021 contestation arises from information revealing the catastrophic declines of incumbent political parties. Not only do large swathes of supporters of these parties appear ready for ActionSA, but so do significant portions of the 18.5-million South Africans who did not vote in 2019.”

Later this month, the party will launch its national tour, during which its leaders will travel countrywide, meeting South Africans, Mashaba said.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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