“SMILE like this,” said one student holding a DA pamphlet next to the face of Mmusi Maimane, who was campaigning at Wits last Friday.
Vuvuzela had a chance to interview the DA’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg while he spoke to Witsies on the library lawns, handing out pamphlets and having heated debates with some students.
“Our democracy is like a boyfriend you can’t get rid of,” he told Witsies lounging on the lawns.
“Even if you don’t like me, just vote for the sake of democracy.”
Maimane said if a party is not performing they should be removed from power.
“Witsies should not have to belong to certain political parties to secure jobs,” he said, encouraging students to take the elections seriously.
Maimane has been criticised by the ANC for being too young and not having any political experience.
“Experience should be treated very carefully and youth is relative,” he said on Friday.
He said there are other DA candidates the same age as he is and even party leader Helen Zille didn’t have political experience when she started.
Maimane holds a masters degree in theology and is currently doing a second masters degree in public administration. He also studied at the Wits Business School.
Talking about what he would bring to Johannesburg if he were elected mayor, he said: “I want libraries to have free internet for young people and a transport system that runs from Orange Farm to Sandton.”
He said municipal administration should be corruption free, more efficient and free from politics.
“People have to be assessed on their work, whether or not I like you.”
Some of the students at the campaign said it was nice to have a politician who doesn’t “uhm and ah” when he talks and that has realistic goals.
S. Ganede, a 2nd year BA student, who debated strongly with Maimane, said: “He impressed me with his rationale. I’m going to endorse him.”
Fellow 2nd year BA student, L. Leketi, mirrored Ganede’s impression of the mayoral candidate.
“I am very impressed with him and how he interacts with people.”