One of the most senior politicians in South Africa’s historically white main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has resigned his post and quit the party over how it handles race.
Herman Mashaba was mayor of Johannesburg for three years.
The election of a black mayor from the DA was seen as a sign of the party could potentially threaten the ruling ANC’s grip on power at national level.
But at a press conference on Monday Mr Mashaba said:
“I cannot reconcile myself with people who believe that race is not important in their discussion of inequalities.”
He said his decision was sparked by the re-admission of Helen Zille, a white politician who provoked widespread anger in 2017 when she praised aspects of colonialism, to the party’s high ranks:
“The election of [Helen] Zille as chair of federal council is victory for people who are opposed to my belief systems.”
Black leaders within the DA believe that the liberal, multi-racial party is going back to its roots of being an all-white organisation, the BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg reports.