EFF Mogale City councillors to be punished - Julius Malema

EFF leader also says his party will interdict Baleka Mbete should she reject a secret ballot

EFF Mogale City councillors to be punished - Malema

Johannesburg - EFF council members who helped the ANC pass the Mogale City local municipality’s budget will face disciplinary proceedings, party leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.

“We are punishing them for attending a meeting we said they should not attend,” he told News24 in an interview.

Last week, at least seven EFF councillors attended a council meeting in the small West Rand municipality and voted with the ANC to adopt a budget the new mayor, ANC councillor Patrick Lipudi, had tabled.

A vote with the ANC meant a vote for corruption, Malema said.

“We cannot sit with people here and think we are in agreement, then only to realise that we are not in agreement. That is putting the party into disrepute.”

He said none of the councillors who went against the EFF’s wishes had openly disagreed with the instructions they were given. Malema said the issue was not about voting with their conscience, but about ill-discipline.

“After the DC (disciplinary committee) they will realise that there’s no hypocrisy in the EFF acting purely on ill-discipline,” he said.

A rerun next year

He said they had hoped for the budget not to be passed as this would have resulted in a rerun of elections for a council. However, the EFF councillors’ actions meant this would have to wait until 2018.

“We need to get reliable councillors. This is not just an EFF problem alone. The DA and the IFP chap also supported the budget.”

He said opposition parties needed to reorganise themselves to challenge the ANC in Mogale City.

“This [council] is hung in a way that there is no certainty. Every two weeks they are getting a new mayor. We cannot allow our people to be subjected to unstable government.”

Lipudi was elected on June 29, making him the municipality’s third mayor since the local government elections in August 2016. He ousted the DA’s Michael Holenstein during a vote of no confidence. Holenstein had replaced DA councillor Lynn Pannall, who resigned as mayor due to ill health in December last year.

A DA-led coalition with the IFP, FF Plus, and the EFF as a voting partner, took the municipality from the ANC in August last year.

Malema said the issue about the budget was not about it needing to be pro-poor, but about giving Mogale City residents a stable government.


EFF threatens Mbete with court action if she rejects secret ballot

The Economic Freedom Fighters says it has already prepared legal papers to interdict National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete should she refuse to allow a secret ballot for the August 8 motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

"The papers are ready. When she gives that letter, we will not even read the whole thing, but just the conclusion. Once she says 'open vote', we are serving her.

"She has to give rational reasons. Failure to do that, and we will take her to court. We know she is unreasonable," said EFF leader Julius Malema.

In an hour long interview ahead of the EFF's fourth year anniversary celebrations in Durban next week, Malema told News 24 that they expected Mbete to make her decision on the eve of the debate.

"We will meet in court immediately, because we know she will do it on the eve. If their reasons are rational, why don't they give us the decision in advance?" Malema asked.

'Mafia state'

He said they would deploy people to be on standby to serve Mbete with the papers immediately.

"They run the state like a mafia state. We will have two people all over, to serve her with the papers, to interdict her," Malema said.

In June, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mbete has the power to decide on whether the vote can be secret or not.

Following the judgment, nine out of 13 parties represented in Parliament told Mbete that they would prefer a secret ballot, while the African National Congress and Democratic Alliance said they would abide by her decision.

Last Friday July 14, Mbete told journalists that she would not say when she would make her decision known. Parliament is currently in recess and resumes on August 1.

Zuma's eighth motion of no confidence comes amid intensified calls from within the ANC for him to step down from leadership.

This week, ANC MPs Makhosi Khoza and Pravin Gordhan called for Zuma to step down, igniting the fury of Luthuli House. The KwaZulu-Natal ANC called for disciplinary action to be taken against them.

The ANC has said that any of its MPs who vote in support of the opposition's motion of no confidence will face disciplinary action, with secretary general Gwede Mantashe earlier labelling it the "worst betrayal".

In the interview, Malema indicated that the EFF was rethinking its strategy of leaving the House when Zuma appears in the National Assembly.

The EFF, which has on previous occasions disrupted Zuma's questions and answers in Parliament, decided to boycott these sittings, saying they didn't recognise him as president.

'Defeat of Zuma is a defeat of corruption'

Malema said the party misses no opportunity to interrogate Zuma because "nothing unique comes of his mouth.

"But we have been thinking that his next appearance, we must go and attend to him, just to put him in his place. Not because we recognise him, but just to remind him that he is not all that," Malema said.

He said they still believed that their current strategy was effective, as Zuma was "humiliated.

"It has an impact. A president that addresses Parliament when other parties are not there, it's hurting him. It will go down in history, but we will go to confront him and show him we are not scared of him," Malema said.

If the motion of no confidence fails, they still had the Constitutional Court bid to impeach Zuma, as part of a multi-pronged strategy to force him to step down. The strategy also included nationwide protests, planned for August 8, when the motion will be heard.

"We don't give up on a cause we believe in. A defeat of Zuma is a defeat of corruption. Once you give up on Zuma [stepping down], you give up on corruption, and if you give up on corruption, you become a part of it," Malema said. News24