Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
28 Aug 2018
3:57 pm

Now Malema vows to remove the ‘mayor who only reads tweets’

Daniel Friedman

Julius Malema says his party will remove Solly Msimanga but will continue to work with Herman Mashaba, in an apparent about-turn to his previous views.

FILE PHOTO: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leader Julius Malema (2nd L) speaks flanked by Democratic Alliance (DA) party leader Mmusi Maimane (L), United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa (2nd R) and Corne Mulder (R) of the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), as they give a press conference. Picture: AFP PHOTO.

At a briefing at the EFF’s headquarters in Braamfontein on Tuesday, Julius Malema made clear the party’s desire to have Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga removed, just as they helped to remove Athol Trollip from his position yesterday.

Malema had harsh words for the man the EFF themselves helped place in power.

“We have a mayor who doesn’t read. He only reads tweets,” Malema said of the DA politician.

“How do you run a municipality through reading tweets? And Instagram statuses? We cannot have a mayor … like that,” Malema continued.

“We need a reading mayor,” Malema continued. “Kgosi is a doctor, maybe he has a reading capacity because he’s a PHD graduate,” he said in reference to Dr Kgosi Maepa, the ANC’s preferred candidate to replace Msimanga.

Malema warned that the DA that his party’s commitment to working with the party had always depended on them “humbling themselves,” something he says they have not done.

He added that the EFF will work with any party if it achieves the changes they support.

“We’ll do it, the same way we did when we voted for a party that has harboured apartheid collaborators,” he said in reference to the DA.

“We did this before and we didn’t lose a single vote,” he added.

READ MORE: Malema says ‘Herman’ won’t sidetrack anti-ANC project

A motion of no confidence in Solly Msimanga is set to be tabled this week.

Malema, who says Msimanga is being “used by the white DA caucus” in Tshwane, said he would continue to vote with the DA in the municipality only if they replaced Msimanga with someone they feel is a “credible candidate.”

Malema did assure Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba, also from the DA, that he is safe, as “he works better with everyone”.

“If they want to remove Mashaba we are not going to get involved because he works well with everyone,” Malema enthused.

He added that Mashaba’s willingness to listen to EFF proposals such as one regarding the in-sourcing of workers and his decision to open 24-hour clinics across the city have endeared him to the party.

This seems to be a reversal of his previous views regarding the two DA leaders.

In 2016, he said that “Tshwane Mayor [Solly Msimanga] is a genuine human being. He doesn’t put on an accent for whites like Mmusi.”

Not long after, he said that the EFF believed Herman Mashaba to be out of touch with the poor, and described his party’s reservations regarding the DA’s choice of the businessman for mayoral candidate in Johannesburg.

“He’s got disrespect for black people, he’s got disrespect for poor people. He did some interview where you can’t give money to poor person and when you speak poor people, you’re meaning black people because the poor in this country are black people. His anti-blackness is a huge problem for us, and wanting to be more white than white people themselves,” Malema told eNCA at the time.

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