ANC to oppose EFF's bid to run Metsimaholo municipality

2017-01-27 21:40
(EFF website)

(EFF website)

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Johannesburg - The ANC and a junior coalition partner in the Metsimaholo municipality have vowed to oppose the EFF’s planned takeover of the Free State municipality. 

The Metsimaholo Community Association (MCA) got the mayorship position after forming a coalition government with the DA, with the EFF’s backing, following last year’s local government elections.  The DA took the speaker and council whip positions. 

The coalition collapsed and the EFF had called for a vote of no confidence against mayor and MCA leader Sello Hlasa. The motion would be put forward during a special council sitting on Tuesday.

The EFF had accused Hlasa of not working for the community and collaborating with the ANC.

It wanted the Metsimaholo municipality to be the first it governed. After the August 3 local government elections, the EFF said it would not form coalitions with the DA, but vote with the party in those municipalities where the ANC failed to win an outright majority.  

In Metsimaholo the ANC won 19 seats, which were reduced to 18 following the resignation of a councillor. The DA got 12 seats, the EFF eight, the MCA two, and the FF Plus one. 

Business Day reported on Wednesday that, according to sources in the municipality, the DA was likely to support an EFF candidate to replace Hlasa should the motion of no confidence succeed. It quoted DA federal chairman James Selfe as saying "conversations with the EFF are ongoing". He said a change in governance was likely, but would not elaborate.

On Monday, EFF leader Julius Malema said they wanted to run the municipality to gain experience and develop a track record to use in their campaign for the 2019 national elections. 

“We have said to the DA, when we take over government in Metsimaholo, we want to be the government alone. We don’t want a coalition. We want the DA to vote for the EFF government in Metsimaholo in the same way we did with them here. We’re going to run a successful municipality,” he said.

The MCA said it would try and keep the mayorship position after attempts to smooth relations with the EFF failed.

“The numbers will fight for us. We are now up in arms, we will do everything to emerge victorious,” MCA spokesperson Victor Nyembe said.

Neither the ANC nor the MCA would say if they would join forces to defeat the proposed motion. 

The ANC described the vote of no confidence as “desperate shenanigans of people who want to lead via the back door”. 

“We disagree with the motion of no confidence as a matter of principle. We supported that mayor and worked with him in the interest of strengthening the municipality so that the ANC’s legacy of a good track record in delivery of services is not disrupted,” provincial spokesperson Thabo Meeko told News24. 

Parties were campaigning hard ahead of a by-election on Wednesday. The EFF had dispatched its spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi to the municipality, which includes Sasolburg. The ANC’s provincial executive members would arrive in the municipality on Sunday.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  bloemfontein

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