EFF leaders Julius Malema. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - As the crucial sitting of the Johannesburg City council draws closer, the DA has made it clear it would not back the ambitious bid by the EFF to take the mayoral seat.

This comes after the EFF last week said it would not back the ANC or the DA when the council meets on Thursday to elect the successor of outgoing mayor Herman Mashaba.

The EFF said it would instead field its own candidate and that any party that backed its candidate would be also supported by the red berets to take over the control of Tshwane. EFF leader Julius Malema said the DA had a bigger responsibility to back the EFF’s mayoral ambitions as the party had supported it to dislodge the ANC from both Tshwane and Joburg in 2016.

DA head of governance James Selfe said on Sunday the official opposition would push for the election of its own mayoral candidate, Funzela Ngobeni, who is currently MMC for finance under Mashaba.

Selfe said the EFF candidate, which is yet to be announced by the party, would likely be eliminated, as the EFF only had 30 of the 270 seats in the council while the ANC and the DA had 121 and 104 respectively.

“Having consulted with our coalition parties, namely the IFP, ACDP, Cope, and FF+, we are confident that when the various caucuses toe their party lines, the EFF candidate will fall out, leaving the DA and ANC candidates,” Selfe said.

He warned the EFF that the ANC would return to the helm of the City if the EFF did not back the DA or if it abstained as it did in Nelson Mandela Bay where the DA was ousted by the ANC and UDM. Mashaba, who also dumped the DA when he resigned as mayor, accused the party of being opposed to pro-poor service delivery initiatives which were being advocated by the EFF, including insourcing.

While the ANC in Joburg preferred chairperson Geoff Makhubo as mayoral candidate, regional secretary Dada Morero said the party was waiting for directions from provincial leadership.

Political Bureau