News / South Africa / Politics

Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
4 minute read
25 Nov 2021
7:40 pm

Malema is confusing our people, says Mbalula

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

'We have no qualms with anyone. We're not angry with either Malema or whoever. It's a democracy. He's got the right to take his vote wherever he wants to and give it to the DA, it is his right.'

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula.

African National Congress (ANC) head of elections Fikile Mbalula claims Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is confusing the masses on what really happened between the two parties during coalitions negotiations.

This after Malema, during his party’s press briefing, accused the ANC of only being interested in talking about municipalities and positions during coalition negotiations.

He said at the time: “I say to you we’re more than willing to compromise, and one of the compromises is the first non-negotiable cardinal pillar. The IFP says ‘we agree with you on expropriation of land, the problem is with compensation, we want compensation, you don’t want compensation’. That’s a debate we are having with the IFP. The ANC doesn’t even go there. [We asked them]: ‘What is your position on expropriation of land?’ [and they responded]: ‘Leave those things. Which municipality do you want? Leave those things, let’s talk about positions’.”

Briefing the media on local government latest developments on Thursday evening, Mbalula said Malema misled the people because the two parties only had two meetings before the red berets called off the negotiations.

“As the ANC we engaged a number of political parties to facilitate coalitions or cooperations in hung municipalities. Among these parties include IFP, PA, EFF, AIC, AL Jamah and UDM. These discussions were approached from a point of principle, good governance and pro-poor agenda and anti-corruption principle,” said Mbalula.

“A good understanding emerged in our discussions except in the instance of EFF that chose to call of the engagements without solid reasons. We did not discuss with EFF the approach to municipalities and coalitions. We only hear it now that we were in a hurry to discuss coalitions with them. We did not even reach that stage. We had two meetings, and when we were supposed to get to the next meeting the EFF called off the talks and declared that they would not support the ANC.”

Mbalula said while the EFF claimed the ANC did not want to discuss expropriation of land at all, Mbalula said that was not the case.

“On the distortion that we failed to meet the demands, another political party can’t impose its manifesto on another party, you negotiate. And some of the things the EFF is putting on the table, we are talking to each other about them in parliament and we said to them ‘we want to continue to engage’ because we have fundamental differences on their interpretation of what must happen in the implementation of land issue because the difference is between custodianship of land by the state, but overall we agree to expropriation.

“We agree on the state bank and a pharmaceutical company. On student debt, it’s not a matter you can simply make a decision without involving Treasury. They wanted us to agree on certain things within 12 months and we said we would in our second meeting and they were not happy with our response saying it is vague. We couldn’t commit to things without looking at the road map and while we were doing that, they went ahead and called off the negotiations. They were not ready from the beginning to work with us and maybe they wanted a scapegoat while they’re ditching the ANC for other political parties.”

During another media briefing on Thursday afternoon, Malema claimed that his party disrupted a plan by President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA’s Helen Zille to give hung metros to the ruling party.

“We knew of the plan that Cyril’s ANC, helped by Helen Zille, must get more metros than what [former president Jacob] Zuma got [in 2016]. Then Cyril must come out as the saviour of the ANC [and] as a smart negotiator. We disrupted that plan,” claimed Malema.

But Mbalula said the ruling party never discussed coalitions with the DA in this year’s elections.

“We did not have any discussions with the DA, we had a choice to engage with the DA because we and the DA have the majority in the country in terms of most of the municipalities. But our NEC did not mandate us to have an agreement and coalition agreement with the DA. The ANC has had coalitions with the DA before, but this time around, we did not have any coalition agreement them.”

“We have no qualms with anyone. We’re not angry with either Malema or whoever. It’s a democracy. He’s got the right to take his vote wherever he wants to and give it to the DA, it is his right. We’re not in argument with him about that, but we do not agree with distortions.”