The battle for Tshwane: Luthuli House considers striking deal with EFF

2020-03-03 12:10
Tshwane council chamber.

Tshwane council chamber. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24)

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The ANC's national working committee (NWC) is considering giving its Gauteng structure three options as it ponders the City of Tshwane's impasse.

The NWC, which met on Monday, also called on the province's officials to elect a new mayor ahead of a council sitting on Thursday.

This will be the City's second attempt to elect a successor for Stevens Mokgalapa, who served his last day in office last Wednesday, February 26.

READ | Steenhuisen to take 'charge' of DA's Tshwane conundrum ahead of crucial council sitting

Last week's sitting collapsed after both the ANC and the EFF walked out of council. They refused to allow speaker Katlego Mathebe to preside over the sitting.

Insiders told News24 the ANC was mulling over whether to side with the EFF to broker a power-sharing deal.

'Numbers just don't tally'

ANC Gauteng officials could meet with the party's secretary general Ace Magashule soon to discuss what stance its members in Tshwane will take.

"The numbers just don't tally. For us or the DA to get a mayor, we have to go with the EFF," an NWC insider told News24 after the committee's meeting.

READ | Randall Williams an excellent candidate for Tshwane mayor - DA

The DA has 92 seats, the ANC, 89 and the EFF, 25.

To win control of the council, a party needs to secure 108 votes.

"At least the EFF is talking to us, they have a set of conditions which the ANC in the province must think about," said the senior ANC leader.

"They want the mayorship and are offering us some mayoral committee positions and that of speaker."

However, another NWC member completely shut down the idea of working with the EFF, saying coalitions just won't work for the party.

"It's up to the province to decide but really we can't back the EFF. They are unreliable, mislead society and don't comply with the law," said the second insider.

The NWC member said the ANC asked the province to also consider placing Tshwane under Section 139 administration, which means dissolving the municipality due to its failure to deliver services to residents.

EFF proposal

The third proposal recommends that the party remains in opposition and waits for the 2021 local government elections to challenge for power.

This view is in line with the stance of Kgosi Maepa, the ANC's regional chairperson in Tshwane. He has indicated on numerous occasions that his party has no interest in governing the City and is willing to wait to fight it out at the polls.

The EFF has had its eye on the mayoral chain in Tshwane since last year. They previously tried to broker a deal with the ANC when the positions of mayor and speaker were contested in the City of Johannesburg.

The EFF proposed backing the ANC to take control of the City of Johannesburg, and in return wanted the ANC's support in the City of Tshwane.

While the ANC subsequently garnered enough support from smaller parties to secure the mayor and speaker positions without needing to lean on the EFF, Magashule previously said the former liberation movement would never rule out working with the red berets.

Meanwhile, the DA's national leadership is set to meet with the party's Tshwane caucus on Wednesday, with interim leader John Steenhuisen saying he is now in charge of attempts to resolve the political impasse.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  pretoria  |  politics
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