Pretoria - The DA will not surrender the government of the City of Tshwane to the EFF, regional leader Abel Tau has said.
Tau, also utility services MMC in the City’s DA-led coalition government, hit out at his EFF counterpart Moafrika Mabogwana, who has called for a fresh election in the metro.
“We don’t live in a banana republic where everyone can today decide that I am not happy with how people have voted and call for elections,” said Tau.
“In democracy, you respect democracy and wait for the next election cycle.”
After the May 8 general elections, EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema had announced that his party was eyeing the mayorship in Tshwane and also wanted a role on the mayoral committee in Joburg.
He said the EFF planned to take Tshwane because “it was in the red, with allegedly corrupt business people from former mayor Sputla Kgosientsho’s era still doing business with the metro”.
The working relationship between EFF and the DA started after the 2016 local government polls. The parties voted together at hung councils in Nelson Mandela Bay, City of Joburg and Tshwane.
At the time, Malema said the DA was a “better devil” than the ANC. In council last week, Mabogwana said the call for fresh elections was prompted by the fact that the DA-led administration was in crisis.
This was evident by the party’s inability to spend the budget.
He criticised the style of leadership of current mayor Stevens Mokgalapa, saying it was no different from that of his predecessor, Solly Msimanga.
“There is no service delivery in the municipality; that is why for the past week there has been a protest in Mamelodi regarding electricity,” he said.
However, Tau said the DA would not give up Tshwane.
He added that his party took this position during the initial stages of political talks between the two parties.
The talks, he said, had since stalled after it emerged that the parties were worlds apart.
“There is (presently) no communication to that effect. The DA is not giving up Tshwane. At the local level, I know that we are not talking,” Tau added.
On Tueday, Malema told journalists that the EFF had withdrawn its 2016 decision to vote with the DA at municipalities. Neither would the EFF support the ANC.
“We will participate in the debates, make inputs, however, we will not vote,” he said.
The relationship had come to an end as the DA now refused to co-operate with the EFF, Malema said.
“The DA refuses to vote with us. We voted for them but now they won’t vote with us for Tshwane. We can’t keep voting for the DA when they cannot vote for us It is done, it’s finished.”
However, the EFF still supported DA mayor Herman Mashaba’s leadership style in Joburg.
“Mashaba is a good guy we even said we can have him as an EFF mayor, we do not mind. Maybe Mashaba is teaching us something maybe our problems do not need politicians. Mashaba is not a politician, he does not take political attitudes, and it helps,” Malema said.
The ANC in Tshwane ridiculed the EFF’s bid for mayorship, given that it only had 11% of the votes in council. Additional reporting: African News Agency (ANA)