'I still believe in coalitions,' says Maimane as partnership with EFF crumbles
29 August 2018
Despite the disputed removal of the DA-led government in Nelson Mandela Bay and doom looming over the DA-led government in Tshwane, the party's leader Mmusi Maimane is not giving up on coalitions.
"I believe in coalitions," he said earnestly at a press briefing on Tuesday following Monday's drama in the Nelson Mandela Bay council.
"I believe coalitions are the future of South Africa."
Maimane said one-party dominance leads to state capture.
On Monday the ANC, with the support of the EFF, unseated Athol Trollip as Nelson Mandela Bay mayor. The DA disputes the legality of this action.
Also addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, EFF leader Julius Malema said Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga would suffer a similar fate as Trollip when a motion of no confidence against him is heard in Tshwane on Thursday.
EFF 'unapologetic' about Trollip's removal
After the 2016 municipal elections the EFF offered its support, without agreeing to coalitions, to the DA to govern in municipalities where it could unseat the ANC, notably in the metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.
But things have changed.
After the DA didn't support the EFF's motion on expropriation of land without compensation Malema said his party would remove Trollip as mayor as punishment and to "cut the throat of whiteness".
On Tuesday, he said: "The EFF is unapologetic about its decision to remove Athol Trollip as the executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay. The vote must be understood as serious opposition to the white arrogance of the white-dominated DA."
He said Msimanga "allows white racists who are exposed for taking jobs without the necessary qualifications to retaliate and punishes the black city manager for exposing them", in reference to allegations of tender irregularities against Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola who last week issued a report on irregular senior appointments in Msimanga's office.
"We hate corruption," Malema said.
Maimane said the EFF seemed to only oppose corruption that isn't its own.
'What has changed?'
"Coalitions actually work," Maimane said.
"If the EFF wants to hold the view that they want to insert the ANC, then let it be their view."
He said the DA worked well with the EFF.
"We have to ask: What has changed?"
He said it seemed the red berets' opposition was more against Jacob Zuma than the ANC, and now with him out of the way, the EFF was happy to be in the "same WhatsApp group" as the ANC.
"It would not have been us who pushed the EFF back to the ANC," Maimane said. "More than anything, it has been a question of them pushing us away.
Red berets singing a new tune
"The reason there is toenadering (advances) between the ANC and EFF, is because they agree [on expropriation without compensation]."
Maimane said the DA couldn't support the EFF's motion in order to stay in power.
"What kind of party would we be if we said we will stay in government and dissolve our principles?
"You should stand with your people. When the EFF said we must remove [Johannesburg Mayor] Herman Mashaba, we said we can't because we told people he is standing."
During the horse-trading between parties following the 2016 local elections, the EFF wanted the DA not to appoint Mashaba as mayor of Johannesburg. They have since changed their tune.
"We are not going to remove Herman Mashaba because he works well with everyone and he consults. If the DA wants to remove him they must do it themselves," Malema said on Tuesday.