At a media briefing on Thursday ahead of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) elective conference at Nasrec in December, party leader Julius Malema put a spanner in the works of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) efforts to remain in power in Johannesburg, saying maintaining a relationship with the official opposition would be “difficult”.
“To expect us to be a reliable voting partner of a white DA? Before it was easier when there was [Mmusi] Maimane but now we must talk to Helen [Zille] and [John] Steenhuisen? I cannot imagine that, it’s going to be difficult,” he said.
The DA-led coalition government’s future hangs in the balance due to the resignation of outgoing Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, who left the party following Helen Zille being elected as its federal council chairperson, citing dissatisfaction with the direction that it is going in.
With just 38% of the vote, the DA has managed to lead a seven-party coalition since the last local government elections in 2016, primarily due to the EFF voting with the party on a case-by-case basis.
Many believe it was Mashaba’s close relationship with the EFF – whose relationship with the DA crumbled in other key metros – that kept the DA in power in Johannesburg.
While the DA has decided on Funzela Ngobeni as the mayoral candidate it will be fielding following Mashaba’s departure, Malema reiterated on Thursday that the EFF wants to put forward its own candidate to contest the elections, in a repetition of comments made at the party’s last media briefing.