Herman Mashaba. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Herman Mashaba. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/SIMPHIWE NKWALI

What do Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba and rapper/ singer Kanye West have in common? It’s their fondness for US President Donald Trump.

Mashaba put his foot in it again on social media this week, prompting Western Cape premier and former DA leader Helen Zille to do the same.

Mashaba took to Twitter on Monday, claiming Trump is running a more efficient government than SA President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Joburg mayor posted a comparison of the two presidents, listing Trump’s so-called successes and Ramaphosa’s failures, with a suggestion to "judge for yourself".

This did not sit well with many of Mashaba’s followers.

They began gunning for the mayor and the DA, which has been having a rough time in the face of the Patricia de Lille debacle and the party’s stance on BEE.

One Twitter user questioned Mashaba on whether he was publicly declaring support for Trump, called his tweet revolting, and ended with "another DA vote lost".

Mashaba tried to defend his post. "This comparison has nothing to do with Trump, but with government that serves the people and put serious matters in perspective. It appears to me that some people enjoy seeing our people suffer," he responded.

Another Twitter user who took aim at the DA said it is "despicable and disgusting" that Trump is now the party’s role model, adding that this is "100 times worse" than Zille’s colonialism tweets.

Enter Zille. She could not resist jumping into another Twitter furore and, once again, defended colonialism.

"Do you genuinely believe the legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative? Then let’s scrap the constitution including concepts such as separation of powers. Let’s scrap formal education institutions, the English language etc etc …".

This is despite Zille coming under heavy fire last year from inside and outside the DA after tweeting that there were some positives that emanated from colonialism, and a public protector finding, which she is taking under review, that she had violated the constitution.

The DA avoided having to discipline its former leader, opting for a political solution that allowed Zille to keep her job as premier but step down from all party structures.

DA leaders were, however, quiet on Monday about Mashaba’s Twitter faux pas.

It is not clear if the Joburg mayor, who on a number of occasions has made comments counter to the DA’s stance and policy, will find himself having to answer to the party regarding his tweet.

But after a few hours of his trying to defend himself, the tweet was deleted.

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