/ 3 November 2023

ANC trying to bring EFF down in Ekurhuleni, Nkululeko Dunga alleges

Nkululeko Dunga
The tension between the ANC and EFF stems from the decision by Ekurhuleni mayor Nkosindiphile Xhakaza to remove the EFF’s Nkululeko Dunga as member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for finance and replace him with ANC finance MMC Jongizizwe Dlabathi. (Twitter/EFF)

The ANC in Ekurhuleni is planning to use Economic Freedom Fighters Gauteng leader Nkululeko Dunga’s accident as proof that the EFF is misusing funds in the metro, alleging that the vehicle he was in belonged to a private owner despite being fitted with government blue lights. 

This claim comes after acting ANC Ekurhuleni chairperson Jongizizwe Dlabathi complained that the EFF’s leadership were using taxpayers’ money for their personal use.

The ANC and EFF are co-governing in Ekurhuleni — as well as in Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay — under a deal in which they have agreed that smaller parties’ councillors ascend to the mayoral positions. But some ANC leaders in Ekurhuleni argue that the partnership with the EFF has lost its effectiveness. 

Speaking to the Mail & Guardian, Dunga denied misusing funds and said the ANC was trying to undermine the work done by the EFF in the metro for political gain.

“This is propaganda by the ANC in the metro, because despite the [allegations] from Jongizizwe, Ekurhuleni is more financially stable and in a better position than any other municipalities in the province,” Dunga said.

He said unlike other metros, Ekurhuleni had demonstrated through its first quarter report that its financial position was better, saying: “We hit the 93% target on the collection rate meaning our budget is funded. We are only servicing the current debt [to] Eskom with no overdue amount.”

“The City of Tshwane’s finances are in shambles, the City of Johannesburg cannot collect revenue and they are struggling to pay workers, and the financial office there is run by an ANC cadre, Dada Morero.”

Dunga challenged the ANC to open a misconduct case with the police and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) to prove its suspicions, adding: “We are that confident that there is no misuse of funds by me or the EFF in the Ekurhuleni metro.”

On Friday, ActionSA in Ekurhuleni opened a criminal case at Germiston police station against Dunga for allegedly being driven in a private vehicle fitted with blue lights in contravention of the law.

The EFF denied the accusation, saying ActionSA and its coalition partners “have taken this accident as an opportunity to score cheap political points by throwing around various allegations”.

The ANC’s Dlabathi — who has previously alleged financial misconduct in Ekurhuleni, where Dunga is the member of the mayoral committee for finance — accused the EFF of trying to govern the city without including the ANC in its decision-making.

As both parties prepare for general elections next year, the ANC’s highest decision body, the national executive committee (NEC), last month discussed reevaluating the coalition with the Red Berets, citing fear of losing votes in 2024.

A presentation to the NEC by the ANC’s head of political education, David Makhura, accused the EFF of abusing its coalition partnerships with the ANC to undermine the governing party’s support. 

“The EFF uses coalitions to contest the ANC’s social base and further damage its brand,” the document read.

It said the party’s internal research showed that in by-elections, the EFF was still growing “mainly in the traditional base of the ANC; its growth is levelling up below 20%”.

In July, Dlabathi formally requested that the party consider ending the coalition in a letter to ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula that shed light on the challenges and tensions which had beset it.

Mbalula has previously asserted that the ANC should not maintain a relationship with the EFF, a party that consistently criticises the ANC.

This week, Mzwandile Masina, a former ANC Ekurhuleni chairperson, also said the party should not maintain the partnership, saying the current relationship confused supporters and legitimised the EFF.

During the NEC meeting, the ANC asked its national task team on coalitions, headed by Mbalula, to present a report on cutting ties with opposition parties, including the Patriotic Alliance led by Gayton McKenzie.

“The proposal to terminate all coalition arrangements with the EFF and Patriotic Alliance will be taken to the national task team on coalitions and a report will be presented to the national officials and the national working committee,” an internal document said.