(Thulani Gqirana, News24)
Johannesburg - Post-election coalitions are not out of the
question for the DA, the party is just not talking about them right now, party
leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday.
“I always say to people, (coalitions) are just like at a
football match, the matter of penalty shootouts, there is always the
possibility of a shootout. But you don’t go in there and debate penalty
shootouts, you go in there to win,” he told a packed audience at the Daily
Maverick’s The Gathering in Midrand.
Discussions about coalitions could only happen after the
Maimane fired warning shots at those who wanted to vote for
the Economic Freedom Fighters, saying government under this party would only
But he admitted the DA’s message was a much harder sell than
the EFF’s populist one.
“By taking power through the barrel of a gun, they should
also accept living under the barrel of a gun. South Africans don’t want a party
they see as a threat, they will reject it at the ballot,” he said.
“Our power will come through the ballot, not the bullet.”
He said populist economic policies from leaders like Venezuelan
President Hugo Chávez and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe ended in economic disaster.
Maimane said he was happy to have space for conversation as
provided at The Gathering, but he admitted his party’s message was often not
the one that caught headlines.
“What grabs the headlines is to be populist, but what is
populist cannot be delivered,” he said.
There should be discussions on urban land reform and how
title deeds could be distributed to people who needed them.
In response to questions about who was “pulling the strings”
in the DA, he said it was racist of people to think a black person could not
lead. “There is only one leader in the DA,” Maimane said, referring to himself.
“There are others who want to perpetuate a racially based
narrative, but we must celebrate when black South Africans lead.”