Makashule Gana: ‘People have lost their trust in politics’


Makashule Gana: ‘People have lost their trust in politics’

Marathon athlete. Father of two. Political idealist. ANNELIESE BURGESS speaks to a former rising star in the DA about his new political home in Rise Msanzi, why he believes the old parties have nothing meaningful left to contribute, and why ‘2024 is our 1994’.

MAKASHULE Gana and I try for weeks to make a date to chat. Between his forays into rural areas for community engagements, and my increasingly desperate attempts to get a visa for an overseas trip, we can't pin down a time. And then, during one of our WhatsApp communications (his profile picture is a photogenic black-and-white snap of his wife and two small children), we realise we are on the same flight out of East London. “Row 19," he texts. “33," I respond. We agree to meet in the airport.

Gana is lanky. Dressed all in black, topped by a jaunty bucket hat with a colourful Rise Mzansi button on the front. He bounces down the air bridge towards me. Firm handshake, big smile.

The 39-year-old used to be one of the rising young stars of the DA, alongside Bongani Baloyi, Phumzile van Damme, Mbali Ntuli and Funzi Ngobeni. This was the youthful (black) lifeblood of the party's future. Now all five of them are gone. Van Damme and Ntuli have abandoned formal politics (for now). Ngobeni joined Action SA with Baloyi, the dynamic former mayor of Midvaal who was a big catch for Herman Mashaba's new party. But relations have since soured and he recently resigned. Gana found a home in Rise Msanzi, the political movement that evolved from the Rivonia Circle headed by former Business Day editor Songezo Zibi...

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