South African opposition leaders camped on opposite ends of Europe this month.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba did not go to Ukraine, but was out of the country anyway.
While the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA). John Steenhuisen was on a fact-finding mission in war-torn Ukraine, Mashaba was in Germany at the Conference of German-African Parliamentarians.
ActionSA said its economy class trip was paid for by the founding of the German political party, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), and used its own funds to upgrade to business class.
The conference is an annual event hosted by KAS and the Hanns Seidel Foundation and is supported by the Christian Democratic Union Working Group on Africa and the Christian Social Union Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag.
ActionSA’s interim national chair, Michael Beaumont, said Mashaba participated in a panel discussion on how a mutually beneficial relationship between Germany, the rest of Europe and Africa can help drive inclusive growth on the African continent. .
“The conference aims to build a long-term intercontinental network and promote an exchange based on values and interests between German and African politicians. Herman has been invited in his capacity as president of ActionSA, given the longstanding relationship between KAS and ActionSA and the growing international interest in ActionSA, “he said.
Beaumont added that the conference was a valuable opportunity for the party to strengthen its international ties and identity partners in its plan to build an “inclusive and prosperous” South Africa.
Previously, Mashaba said after his resignation as Joburg’s adviser that the party’s goal would be to remove the ANC from government.
Beaumont agreed, “Our energy is focused on developing a national policy offering before 2024 and making sure we are structured to deliver this offering to all South Africans.”
He said the trip was constructive and that Mashaba is on his way home and has no plans to visit Ukraine. No one in the party intends to venture to Kiev.
“We don’t see the purpose in a visit like this. ActionSA strongly condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, as well as South Africa’s abstention from the United Nations. This position was conveyed both in the media and during our visit to the ambassador of Ukraine. ”
In a side blow to the DA’s flight to Ukraine, Beaumont said his party believes that SA policy should focus primarily on the problems of its citizens.
“As a country, we need to be realistic about our global influence and re-prioritize our focus on the many pressing internal requirements.”