EFF set to taste power in Tshwane after agreement with ANC

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Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. Picture: Deaan Vivier
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. Picture: Deaan Vivier

Six years after it was formed, the EFF may finally get a taste of power.

It is understood that the party has reached an agreement in principle with the ANC to take over governance of the embattled Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.

Sources close to the negotiations between the EFF and the ANC have confirmed to City Press that, should the two parties emerge successful in their attempts to wrestle the city’s mayoral position from the DA, they will vote for EFF regional chairperson Moafrika Mabogwana to fill the post.

“The first hurdle that we need to overcome is removing the incumbent Stevens Mokgalapa,” said an ANC councillor who was privy to the negotiations.

The councillor added that, for its cooperation, the ANC would receive the speaker position, which would be occupied by ANC Tshwane chairperson Kgoši Maepa.

“The parties have also agreed to share the member of the mayoral committee [MMC] positions equally. The plan is to remove the DA from power and then take stock after that,” said another source.

EFF leader Julius Malema did not confirm or deny the existence of the agreement, choosing to only say that his party was ready to govern.

“We are prepared to work with either the ANC or the DA as long as they will vote for the EFF,” he said.

He went on to say that the only thing missing in the EFF’s political achievements was the opportunity to govern: “You know the EFF’s picture is so complete, we have passed almost all the tests. They said [former president Jacob] Zuma is gone and they [the EFF] will lose votes because Zuma was their trump card, but we passed that test. The only problem now is this missing puzzle piece called experience because every time they criticise us now, they always say: ‘But you don’t have experience of governing.’ So we must govern to show the people of South Africa how a government of the EFF looks. We need a municipality for experience purposes so that when we go into 2021, we are able to say to our people that this is who we are and this is how we govern – we do it better than the racist DA and the corrupt ANC.”

Another ANC councillor close to the negotiations told City Press that “the agreement is in principle and could change, but, as of Friday, we still have an agreement that says the ANC will vote with the EFF for the position of mayor and, in return, the speaker will come from the ANC, while the MMC positions will be divided equally between the alliance partners. When we voted for the acting speaker position and gave the EFF the position, it was to show them that we can keep our word ... that is what we all want, to both have the power in leadership. Anything can still change, but if we manage to get this deal on the table and accepted, we can all leave happy.”

EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabodu was elected as acting speaker during the now heavily contested special council meeting on Thursday, where speaker Katlego Mathebe recused herself because the house was set to vote on a motion of no confidence against her and Mokgalapa.

The legality of the meeting where Mathebe and Mokgalapa were voted out has been challenged in the Pretoria High Court by the DA, with the court suspending the resolutions of the meeting and granting the DA, whose municipality has now been placed under provincial administration, an urgent hearing, which is set down for December 17.

ANC Tshwane chief whip Aaron Maluleka said that, although the ruling meant that the ANC and the EFF could not fill the vacant positions of mayor and speaker, negotiations with the EFF were still taking place.

When reached for comment, Maepa did not confirm or deny the existence of an agreement with the red berets.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi confirmed that the party’s federal legal commission had completed its investigation into Mokgalapa and, “as per internal processes, has been referred to the federal executive to deliberate on it. Once that has been done, a decision on the outcome of the investigation will be announced.”

City Press understands that the plan from within the DA if Mokgalapa is fired is that DA Tshwane regional chairperson Abel Tau would be appointed in his place.

However, it appears that opposition parties have sniffed out this plan and have already started casting aspersions on the possible replacement.

The DA last week lost Johannesburg to the ANC after some of its members jumped ship and voted with the ANC, and the ANC’s Geoff Makhubo was elected as mayor.

The revolving door that has ensnared several mayors this year also struck in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as the United Democratic Movement’s Mongameli Bobani was voted out.


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