DA’s John Steenhuisen puts coalition talks at risk – ActionSA, UDM, FF+, ACDP
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Opposition parties comprising ActionSA, the UDM, Freedom Front Plus and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) have urged DA leader John Steenhuisen to negotiate coalition government deals with honesty and integrity.
The call by these parties followed an announcement by Steenhuisen saying his party would not support ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba’s nomination for the mayoral position of the City of Joburg on Monday.
Steenhuisen made these remarks on Saturday on his party's online media platforms – without discussing the contents with his partners ahead of the announcement.
The DA’s announcement came less than 24 hours after all the parties had agreed to support DA mayoral candidate Randal Williams to retain the mayoral position of the City of Tshwane on Tuesday.
In their reaction, the parties conceded that Steenhuisen’s comments had the potential to put the coalition at risk, saying, “The joint collective of political parties that have committed to keep the ANC out of government in as many municipalities as possible notes with disappointment the video statement issued by the DA this morning.
“In the statement, DA leader John Steenhuisen dismisses the request made of the DA yesterday by all other parties in the multi-party negotiations and communicates this outcome without prior communication to coalition partners.
“The DA communicated its refusal to consider a minority coalition government in Johannesburg before proceeding to confirm that they intend to field a mayoral candidate. In so doing, the DA has refused the request made by the multi-party group to support an ActionSA mayoralty in Johannesburg.”
The parties said they have no understanding of the DA’s intentions from this point on, saying it would seem that the DA would proceed to council meetings next week without formal agreements with coalition partners that offer any comfort to the residents of these municipalities.
“As a group, the multi-party group calls upon the DA to honour its commitment to keep the ANC out of these municipalities by engaging with potential coalition partners in good faith.
“The multi-party group believes that it is of utmost importance and in the best interest of the electorate to keep the ANC out of government,” the parties said.
Cope, which is also part of the coalition partners, was not a signatory to the statement at the time of the publication.