‘We won’t vote’: EFF ditches DA coalition after spat over Tshwane

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Alon skuy
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Alon skuy

The Economic Freedom Fighters will no longer vote with the DA in the municipalities that they have cooperated in since the 2016 municipal elections.

At a press conference on Tuesday, EFF leader, Julius Malema said his party would participate in council meetings and debates but would abstain from all types of voting.

The EFF had been voting with DA in Tshwane, Johannesburg and the Nelson Mandela municipalities since 2016, after Malema said that the DA was a “better devil” compared to the ANC.

However, the EFF supported the removal of former Nelson Mandela Metro mayor Athol Trollip, who was later replaced by the United Democratic Movement’s Mongameli Bobani.

Their defence in the Trollip ousting was that he was corrupt and arrogant.

During the May elections the DA and the EFF spoke and did not see any hostility in power-sharing, Malema said.

However, the relationship between the two parties ended recently after the DA rejected the suggestion made by the EFF to take over Tshwane.

The EFF did not do well in Tshwane during the elections this year, but did not mind having Tshwane even though it is in the red financially.

“We cannot keep voting for people who do not vote for us. Power sharing is about give and take,” he said.

Ahead of the general elections this year, the EFF rejected the possibility of a coalition government with the DA in Gauteng.

On Tuesday, Malema noted that he had a good relationship with Joburg’s mayor Herman Mashaba.

“We can have Mashaba as an EFF mayor,” he said.

“Maybe Mashaba is teaching us something, maybe in the future we may have a discussion. Our problems don’t need politicians, Mashaba is not a politician and doesn’t take a political attitude. He asks: can it work?”

Malema’s decision could result in the DA being forced to require support from the ANC to make decisions in some municipalities.

Malema noted that the Tshwane Metro was facing financial difficulties but he did not mind sharing it because his party knew the metro was in the red. This move was meant to “demonstrate that we are the best government”, he said.

“You know what happened in Tshwane, every corrupt entrepreneur that was under Sputla [Ramokgopa], the former ANC mayor, is still doing business there. You need the EFF to deal with them decisively,” he said.

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