The Accidental Mayor: Herman Mashaba and the Battle for Johannesburg by Mashaba’s former chief of staff Michael Beaumont is out now from Penguin Random House!
The book is a candid insider’s account of Johannesburg’s successful but short-lived coalition government, and provides fascinating and often surprising insights into the workings of the DA, EFF, ANC and other political parties.
The Accidental Mayor details the challenges and achievements of Mashaba’s mayoralty, explains the mechanics of the coalition government, and provides a compelling argument about what South Africa needs to succeed in the future.
About the book
In August 2016, well-known South African businessman Herman Mashaba became mayor of Johannesburg, heading a razor-thin DA-led coalition in the city. Three years later, in October 2019, he resigned from the party and from his position as mayor. At the time, Mashaba’s approval rating stood at almost 70 per cent and there were calls in overwhelming numbers for him to stay. In this explosive tell-all, his chief of staff, Michael Beaumont, reveals the real story behind these events.
The Accidental Mayor considers the achievements, challenges and controversies of Mashaba’s time in office, and describes what went on behind the scenes in the city and in the multiparty coalition. What was discovered about the previous government’s looting of Johannesburg? How did the ANC take to being in opposition? How challenging was it to work with the EFF? Which party proved the most difficult coalition partner? All these questions and more are explored in detail.
At a time when the DA’s popularity is in decline, The Accidental Mayor highlights the infighting and factionalism within the party and questions whether South Africa’s official opposition has reached the end of the road. Can Herman Mashaba, arguably one of South Africa’s most popular former mayors, offer an alternative for the future?
About the author
Michael Beaumont was born and raised in Durban, and educated at Michaelhouse and Rhodes University. He served in the Democratic Alliance for nine years, working as provincial managing director and campaigns manager of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces. In 2016, Herman Mashaba appointed him as his chief of staff in the City of Johannesburg. After the collapse of the Johannesburg coalition government in 2019, Beaumont joined Mashaba in his new movement, The People’s Dialogue, with the goal of setting up a new political alternative in South Africa.