EFF leader Julius Malema. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla)
EFF leader Julius Malema is open to the idea of his party forming coalitions after next week’s elections and has several municipalities in his crosshairs.
In a one-on-one conversation with News24 this week, Malema says he envisions a "pattern of change" across the country.
He was speaking ahead of his party's Tshela Thupa rally on Sunday – its "final push" taking place at Soweto's Orlando Stadium before South Africans head to the polls on Wednesday.
The EFF commander-in-chief suggested that parties should return to the negotiating table to discuss who should run which municipalities.
He envisioned the EFF being in charge of Tshwane, which has been governed by a DA-led coalition, assisted by Malema's party through an informal working relationship since the 2016 local government elections.
READ: There will be an EFF mayor in Tshwane after the elections
"We are in May. After elections we go to Parliament, we get sworn in, elect (the) president. He then appoints his Cabinet and once we have settled then we start negotiations of how we share municipalities and with who … because it's not only Tshwane. There is Tshwane, Joburg, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay (municipality), Mogale City, a lot in KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) and two municipalities in Limpopo," said Malema.
The EFF leader said one scenario included his party reaching an agreement with another party and entering into a national working relationship.
Another option could be to partner with different parties in different municipalities, said Malema.
While he is unsure of what partnership models they would adopt, he wants to see Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba remain in charge of the city.
"Tshwane is useless, that is why we are taking it in June but (with) Mashaba you have the best. Anyone who says it's not true is partisan and has a problem," said Malema of a leader his party once objected to when it agreed to get into a working relationship with the DA in Johannesburg.
Malema said his party would only ask for mayoral committee posts as it was happy with Mashaba.
"I said to everyone that I am prepared to make Mashaba a mayor of Johannesburg, even with the ANC. If the DA says to hell with you, we are prepared to beg Mashaba to stay on and continue to serve the people of Johannesburg," said Malema.
'Maimane doesn't run the show'
He questioned the leadership of his counterpart in the DA, Mmusi Maimane, who raised concerns over the EFF during an interview with News24 last week.
Maimane defended DA posters that urged voters to keep the ANC and EFF out of the Western Cape. Maimane claimed no good would come from those two parties if they formed a coalition in the Western Cape.
READ MORE: Something inherently dangerous about a coalition between ANC and EFF
Malema doesn't believe Maimane had a say in the posters, telling News24 it was clear to him that Maimane was not in charge.
"He doesn't run the show, there are (other) people running the show," he explained.
He also claimed that when it came to negotiations the EFF often found itself between "a rock and a hard place".
"The ANC doesn't come with the kind of attitude of trying to resolve issues of corruption. Look at Bosasa, look at VBS, they pretended to deal with VBS people. The VBS people came back to their positions in Limpopo. The secretary general read all those accused of corruption and said the ANC must defend those people," said Malema of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule's position on implicated ANC members.
Opening up South Africa's borders
Malema also defended his party's position on completely opening up South Africa's borders to Africans from other countries.
"It's a colonialist mentality which our people still have: That there are scarce resources. And they are told by their masters that the reason why they are unemployed is because foreigners have taken their jobs," said Malema.
He said there was a need to "conscientise" South Africans on the matter and to show them they could live alongside their African counterparts without any tension.
"Effectively we were one thing before these borders were imposed on us. Anyone who says I am EFF, I don't support colonialism, I don't support imperialism, but at the same time supports the borders are unwittingly supporting colonialism, because it thrives on African divisions," said Malema.
KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.
- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter