The mayor of Johannesburg is known for being very vocal on certain matters. His comments and actions have often landed into hot water, both legally and in the court of public opinion. Here are four times Herman Mashaba made headlines this year:
1. Citizen’s arrest
The mayor received plenty of backlash after making his first citizen’s arrest in November when he spotted a trader pushing a trolley with several cow heads in the Johannesburg CBD.
Mashaba said the man’s actions were unlawful and a health hazard. According to the City of Johannesburg, “the trader violated the act which stipulates how raw meat ought to be stored and transported.”
Despite Mashaba’s legal argument, his actions were not well received by many, on the grounds that he was discriminating against small businesses.
Mashaba caused more havoc when he tweeted that carrying carcasses in public can bring about Ebola. His tweet was viewed by the Human Rights Commission as borderline xenophobia. After admitting to wrongdoing, Mashaba reached a settlement with the commission to participate in a specialised human rights workshops and a social cohesion summit
Mashaba eventually apologised for his remarks, saying it was never his intention for his comments to be “constructed as an attack on any person or group.”