EFF hits back at DA over Equality Court threat

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Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. (File)
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. (File)

Johannesburg – Undeterred by being hauled off to the Equality Court by its rival, the DA – the EFF is unapologetic and is going ahead with its plans to remove Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip, the party said on Friday. 

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the EFF would table a motion of no confidence against Trollip on April 6 to "punish" the DA for voting in Parliament on Tuesday against the motion to change section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

"No amount of deliberate misrepresentation of the CIC Julius Malema's statements as hate speech will deter us from punishing the DA for their attitude on the land question," Ndlozi said in a statement. 

The DA announced on Thursday that it would be reporting Malema to the Equality Court for what it deems to be hate speech and incitement of violence.

Read: DA to take Malema to Equality Court for 'hate speech'

The DA quoted him as saying: "[We] are going to remove a mayor of PE... [we] are going for your white man in PE. We are going to cut the throat."

In response, Ndlozi said Malema would not apologise as he used "throat-cutting" as a figure of speech for "unapologetically and unsympathetically removing Trollip to mirror their (DA's) own unsympathetic attitude toward black land loss".

'If they lose Trollip, they should also lose other mayors'

"We use that metaphor to indicate that we are ending support for the DA due to its own racism. Because we have chosen to do this with Athol Trollip," he said. 

He said the DA's escalation of the fight to the Equality Court would lead to the party's mayors in Johannesburg and Tshwane being removed. The EFF had earlier said those mayors, who are governing with the voting support of the EFF, were "safe for now". 

"The point is, if they lose Trollip, they should also lose others, because other mayors are not white," Ndlozi said.

He was referring to Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. 

The EFF statement further stated that the party was irked by the DA's disregard for colonialism and apartheid land dispossession, accusing DA MPs of making comments from the parliamentary benches that were insensitive to the loss of land by black people. 

Also read: Malema: DA is the 'enemy of the people' for not supporting land expropriation motion

"Each time the land question comes up, they deliberately disregard the evident and indisputable history of dispossession. Their argument, in essence, is that government must pay white people for land that was taken through a systematic crime against humanity," he said. 

ANC must put up 'a Mcebisi Jonas' as a candidate

The EFF sponsored a motion for constitutional amendment to make possible land expropriation without compensation. The motion was amended by the ANC and was approved by 241 votes in favour and 83 against. 

"Therefore, we make no apology that we will go for Athol Trollip. We will remove him as a mayor to communicate, provoke and impress on all DA white members that sensitivity to land loss by black people is a fundamental requirement for leading anywhere in the country.

"Trollip is a national DA member who ought to know that there are implications to the conduct of the DA in Parliament to political decisions anywhere," Ndlozi said. 

The party has reiterated that it will also not vote with the ANC if it puts forward what it calls a corrupt candidate. 

"We have given them a clear idea of the measure of a person that should lead Nelson Mandela Bay; such a person has to be a Mcebisi Jonas (former deputy finance minister) or come close to him in terms of integrity, anti-corruption and leadership qualities." 

The city had been one of the most contended for metros in the build-up to the 2016 local government elections. The DA unseated the ANC by securing 57 seats in the 120-seat council, with the ANC winning just 50 seats.

The DA's initial coalition included the UDM, but the party pulled out after its leader in the metro, Mongameli Bobani, was ousted as deputy mayor in 2017.

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