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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

EFF slated for its ‘double standards’

The party hauled six of its councillors before a disciplinary committee for voting with the ANC to pass the budget at Mogale City.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) decision to charge its Mogale City municipality councillors who voted according to their conscience is indicative that opposition parties also fail to adhere to democratic principles, a political analyst says.

The EFF hauled six of its councillors before a disciplinary committee for defying the party’s instruction and voting with the ANC to pass the budget at Mogale City, in Krugersdorp, on Wednesday.

Ralph Mathekga described the EFF’s backlash as “hypocritical”, referring to the fact that the EFF is among the opposition parties trying to persuade ANC MPs to defy their party and vote according to their conscience in the upcoming motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly.

Mathekga, author of the book When Zuma Goes, questioned the EFF’s decision, saying it should practise what it demanded from ANC MPs.

He said the standards of members’ accountability to a party at local government level were the same as in the National Assembly.

“One of the main challenges faced by the opposition parties in South Africa is that they criticise the lack of democracy and accountability when it comes to the behaviour of the ANC government, while failing to uphold similar democratic principles when dealing with their own internal party processes.

“At least the party should ask those members to justify their conduct and provide sound reasons. It would be hypocritical of the EFF to hastily move to persecute those members,” he said.

The disciplinary hearing for one of the councillors, Lebogang Modisane, was concluded yesterday at the EFF head office in Johannesburg.

The hearings for another two, Smanga Mkhumbeni and Eddie Motsisi, were postponed to July 25. The three were in a group of six councillors from Mogale City charged with bringing the EFF into disrepute for voting with the ANC to pass the budget on July 11.

The councillors said they voted for the budget as it was pro-poor and in line with EFF policy. They claimed the demands of the EFF submitted during the budget hearings were incorporated into the final budget.

The opposition coalition of the DA, EFF, IFP and Freedom Front Plus has 39 seats against the ANC’s 38 in the council.

This means if only one opposition coalition councillor votes in support of an ANC motion, the opposition is defeated and it is passed. – ericn@citizen.co.za

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mogale City

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