/ 30 August 2018

DA to request urgent meeting with EFF over coalitions

Mmusi Maimane says the DA will debate if voters should be allowed to directly elect a mayor or premier of their choosing.
"We cannot afford to delay these interventions. People are already struggling to survive, and it will only get worse unless we immediately bring the petrol price below R15 per litre" — Mmusi Maimane said. (Reuters)

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane is set to request an “urgent formal meeting” with leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) over the ANC’s maneuvers in coalition governments.

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said on Thursday the meeting would focus primarily on the EFF’s “ongoing co-operation with the ANC in attacking coalition governments across the country”.

“The DA-led coalition stands firmly against the corrupt ANC playing politics, trying to get their hands on the people’s money through the back door,” Malatsi said.

This follows Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga’s survival of a motion of no confidence earlier on Thursday. The motion — which was tabled by the Economic Freedom Fighters — was thrown out after Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe found the red berets had failed to abide by application guidelines.

The DA says it was taken by surprise by the EFF’s motion against Msimanga, after the two parties had spent two years working together in the Tshwane coalition. EFF leader Julius Malema said in a press conference earlier this week that Msimanga had been influenced “by the white DA caucus in Tshwane”‚ which had helped to motivate the EFF to table the motion of no confidence.

Maimane has said the DA’s relationship with the EFF has continued as normal but publicly, the two parties have butted heads in both Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, where the EFF helped strip Athol Trollip of his mayorship.

In both Trollip and Msimanga’s cases, the EFF has forged alliances with the ANC in moves that have toppled Trollip and could have had Msimanga axed had the motion not been struck from the council agenda for the day.

The ANC has since withdrawn its motion against Msimanga.

EFF caucus leader Benjamin Disoloane said his party would take Mathebe to court.

“We are going to make sure‚ as the EFF‚ we are going to take you to court‚ speaker [Mathebe]‚ so that you are going to be compliant‚” Disoloane reportedly said.

The DA has referred to the events on Thursday as a “victory for the people of Tshwane”.