The EFF has drawn first blood in what is now a race to the 2019 national elections, where it will look to unseat “an arrogant ANC,” possibly through a national coalition.
Following a week of intense talks behind closed doors, party leader Julius Malema announced at a briefing in Alexandra today that his party would not go into a coalition with either the ANC or the DA – despite being courted by both.
Malema revealed that talks had collapsed between them and both parties and that the EFF would go it alone.
However, they would vote with the opposition in hung municipalities.
“In KZN we will vote with the IFP, in Rustenburg with the Forum for Service Delivery, and with the DA in Gauteng metros and Nelson Mandela Bay.”
The EFF found themselves in an ideological conundrum with the DA, but chose to offer them support, saying that they were “the better of two devils”.
The DA will have to appease the EFF with a pro-poor budget or risk being voted against. The EFF would not hesitate to dismiss budgets which make provision for things like bicycle lanes which do not benefit the poor, Malema said.
He emphasised that there is no written agreement with the DA and that voting with them did not a coalition make.
“The difference between the DA and the ANC is that the ANC is corrupt and arrogant. But both represent white monopoly capital,” Malema said.
Feedback from EFF supporters – especially on social media – indicated that the party would struggle to sell a coalition with the DA or the ANC.
Malema said that avoiding a re-run of elections was crucial as the ANC would pull out all the stops, including bribing people for votes through food parcels and the like.
“If we go to a re-run, the ANC will show us flames,” he said.
But the EFF did entertain both parties in talks.
They met the ANC task team which included NEC members Gwede Mantashe, Jeff Radebe and Andries Nel, and demanded: free education, an inquiry into the Guptas, the nuclear deal be stopped from happening, an amendment to the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation using the EFFs 6%, eradication of etolls, nationalisation of banks and mines, the removal of “Die Stem” from the national anthem, and the removal of Jacob Zuma as president.
“The ANC chose Zuma over the metros,” Malema said.
“We’ve heard South Africans and what they want. We’ll move in that direction. There’ll be no back door deals with ANC.”
On the other conditions, the EFF did not accept the ANCs mostly “noncommittal response”.
Talks with the DA collapsed in a similar fashion but the EFF aims to bring about the demise of the ANC, and so they opted to offer support to the party which Malema repeatedly labelled as “white racists”.
On why the EFF would not look to win councils where they came in second at the polls – such as Rustenburg – Malema said they were not desperate to assume power and would not take any shortcuts. He added that they had not been given a mandate to govern and that they would remain a fierce opposition.
To the ANC mayoral candidates in the major metros, Malema had this to say: “No more blue lights for you Parks Tau (Joburg) it is back to Parliament for Thoko Didiza (Tshwane), Danny Jordaan (Nelson Mandela Bay) must go face those charges at Fifa. Mzwandile Masina, we are working to make sure that you don’t become mayor of Ekurhuleni.”
Malema also warned the ANC that parties were gearing up for 2019. “Mark my words, we will be back here in 2019 discussing national coalitions.”