ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. (News24)
Johannesburg - The African National Congress could spend the next five years as the opposition in Gauteng’s metros, according to talk within ruling party circles after four days of coalition negotiations.
Leaks from both ANC and Democratic Alliance ranks increasingly point to a DA-Economic Freedom Fighters coalition in the province.
A source close to the ANC said on Wednesday afternoon that EFF “attitudes are hardening” following a meeting between ANC leaders and EFF leader Julius Malema. Both parties had not confirmed details of the meeting.
The source said the red berets had agreed to let the DA take charge of the Johannesburg metro with Herman Mashaba as mayor.
Mashaba already had meetings with municipal managers and officials. Johannesburg city manager Trevor Fowler told radio station 702 that the meeting took place last week and was about getting clarity on forming a new council.
In turn, the DA allowed the EFF to take the mayorship in Tshwane, where party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi had been proposed as mayor. Ndlozi, however, is an MP and would have to be registered on the EFF’s candidate lists in that metro if this were to happen.
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“It is better to be [in] opposition than accepting the terms and conditions of the EFF that were clearly designed to break the ANC,” a message from an ANC source read.
The EFF’s demands included the resignation of President Jacob Zuma and having the more than 700 corruption charges against him that were dropped in 2009 reinstated.
According to the source, the EFF wanted its MP Floyd Shivambu to be mayor of Johannesburg. The party wanted the ANC's Kgosientso Ramokgopa, and not Thoko Didiza, to be mayor of Tshwane. Didiza was nominated by the ANC’s national executive committee, sparking protests in several Tshwane townships in which five people were killed in June.
The EFF wanted a municipality in Limpopo and one of its leaders to replace Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
Ndlozi earlier denied similar rumours about his mayorship, or that the EFF was talking about specifics.
DA sources confirmed the situation in the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros. It was as yet unclear what the arrangement in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, where the EFF was understood to be a possible part of a coalition, would be.
The DA was set to have three separate meetings to thrash out details of coalitions with other opposition parties. DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Tuesday repeated that the DA would not contemplate coalitions with the ANC.
The ANC’s national executive committee was expected to start a special four-day meeting on Thursday, where coalitions would be discussed and the recent election results analysed. The party had put on hold a special NEC lekgotla on municipal governance, scheduled to start on August 26.
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