KEY MAN: Businessman Herman Mashaba says he wants to show black voters they have an alternative to the ANC in the DA. Picture: SOWETAN
Herman Mashaba. Picture: SOWETAN

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma seems to think the markets are "weird people in a dark room with computers", the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Johannesburg mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba has said.

"(Zuma said) that the markets are overexaggerated. Does he understand who the markets are? For him the markets are some strange character, sitting in a dark room with computers manipulating the world," Mr Mashaba said.

"Now this is the man who is leading this modern economy. This is the man that’s leading the economy that’s... got the potential to be the shining light for Africa and the world, and look at where this economy is today," he said.

It was the night that Mr Zuma announced he was removing then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene that pushed Mashaba to enter politics. This was the final nail, he said.

"I got really angry and immediately made up my mind and called the DA saying ‘guys I’m making myself available’."

In December, Mr Zuma faced a backlash after he announced that he was replacing Mr Nene with African National Congress (ANC) MP Desmond van Rooyen.

There was a public outcry and calls for Mr Zuma to be recalled over the move, which saw the rand reach record lows. Four days after the announcement, Mr Zuma backtracked, replacing Mr Van Rooyen with respected former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. The rand recovered somewhat.

Mr Mashaba said the economy was getting worse and he felt it was time to step up and for people to start being active citizens.

"Let’s put our bodies on the line and stop this ANC train from derailing us.

"The ANC government would not like active civil society; they will not like to have a civil society that can give them terms because they have this impression that they are doing us a favour by servicing us," Mr Mashaba said.