Mounting tension pushes Baloyi out of ActionSA leadership

ActionSA Gauteng chairperson Bongani Baloyi has officially resigned after a fallout with party leader Herman Mashaba.

Baloyi tendered his resignation at a meeting with ActionSA leadership and is expected to brief the media on his plans for the future on Monday afternoon.

Baloyi, who left the DA in a surprising move, joined ActionSA in January and was later appointed provincial leader in May, taking over from John Moodey.

However, it appears that Baloyi is facing challenges in finding a political party that aligns with his interests. Recently, Sunday World reported that the former Midvaal mayor had a rift with Mashaba.

The insider said the tension between Mashaba and Baloyi started when Baloyi questioned the former City of Johannesburg mayor’s hostile stance against foreigners and the governing party, among others.

Mashaba has publicly called on undocumented foreigners to be deported to their countries.

Mashaba has also nailed his colours to the mast about his hatred of the ANC when he said he would never work with Africa’s oldest liberation movement.

What broke the camel’s back was his refusal to enter into coalition talks with the ANC even after the DA treated the party like a cog in the machine.

“This piqued Baloyi who asked him [Mashaba] not to put his personal interests over those of the party,” said the insider.

Baloyi’s worry, added the insider, was that ActionSA was losing out on opportunities to play a major role in coalitions because of Mashaba’s personal vendetta and unbridled animosity towards the ANC.

Another insider said this heightened tensions between Mashaba and Baloyi. It is alleged that Mashaba started sabotaging Baloyi by organising parallel events in Gauteng.

“Baloyi said when he organised an event in Gauteng, Mashaba would also organise a counter-event in the province,” said the insider.

Mashaba, said the insider, summoned Baloyi to a meeting at his offices in Sandton on Monday last week. At the venue, he found Mashaba and the party’s national chairperson Michael Beaumont.

In the pow-wow, Mashaba told Baloyi that he was aware of the tension between them and that because of it, he has taken a decision to remove him as the leader of the party in Gauteng and redeploy him as the party’s national spokesperson.

“Mashaba was effectively demoting Baloyi. Baloyi, shocked as he was, kept his cool and asked Mashaba to give him until Monday to reflect on his request,” said the insider.

Baloyi later contacted his political emissaries in various regions in Gauteng and other provinces and discussed Mashaba’s request with them.

“Most of the regions in Gauteng rejected the idea and told Baloyi not to accede to Mashaba’s request and quit instead. This is likely to collapse the party because of the structures Baloyi established in Gauteng.”

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