Former Gauteng DA leader John Moodey has joined former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA party.
On Monday, at a briefing on the fledgling party’s “inaugural meeting of the interim senate” this past weekend, Mashaba announced that Moodey will be ActionSA’s chairperson in Gauteng.
“John is a veteran civil servant who has dedicated his life to the service of the South African people. I know him to be someone of great integrity and someone who brings an immense following to ActionSA,” Mashaba said.
“I am equally proud to announce a newcomer to politics, Advocate Gill Benson. I met Gill during The People’s Dialogue policy discussions around fixing our criminal justice system.
“I was blown away by the insights she offered in terms of the solutions that are needed to make South Africa a safer place for the law-abiding residents of our country,” Mashaba said.
“It was immediately apparent that Gill would be a formidable addition to our team, bringing her legal expertise and fresh insights to our new kind of politics.”
Benson, who has acted as a judge, made headlines in May when she criticised government’s lockdown regulations in a strongly worded Facebook post.
Earlier, ActionSA announced that former ANC members of Parliament Makhosi Khoza and Vytjie Mentor joined the party.
On Monday, Mashaba announced that Khoza will be the provincial chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal and Mentor in the Western Cape.
In early September, while still a candidate for the DA’s leadership, Moodey resigned from the DA. He said he could not stay in the party any longer. He said he was being persecuted internally by being falsely implicated in a conspiracy to frame senior DA MP Mike Waters in jobs-for-sex scandal.
He also criticised the party for its inability to deal with redress and to reign in federal council chairperson Helen Zille, who has been known to stir up controversy on Twitter around matters of race.
He also said he didn’t plan to join Mashaba’s party.
However, a month and two days later, the blue T-shirt has been replaced with a green one.
Khoza was one of the few dissident ANC MPs who openly spoke out about the corruption of the Zuma administration. Amid much pressure, she left the ANC and formed a new party in late 2017, African Democratic Change. She later joined the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa).
Mentor was one of the first whistleblowers about the Gupta family’s hold on corruption-accused former president Jacob Zuma. After resigning from the ANC, she joined the ACDP in March 2019.
Mashaba said his party’s “senate” represented a “stunning diversity of experience, youth and skills”.
“Critically, given our agenda to unite South Africans to act as one behind our vision of a non-racial future for South Africa, this body proudly represents the beautiful diversity of our country in a way that no other party in South Africa can claim to do,” he said.
Former Tshwane DA leader Abel Tau has also joined Mashaba’s party.
Mashaba himself left the DA about a year ago, while still mayor of Johannesburg. This came after the election of Helen Zille as federal council chairperson. After Mashaba’s departure, Mmusi Maimane left as leader and member of the DA, while Athol Trollip resigned as federal chairperson.
Mashaba said more announcements would follow in the coming weeks and months.