Eat your heart out Helen Zille, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)are the masters of the coalition politics game – the young party has put your Democratic Alliance (DA) back into power at Ekurhuleni. A last-minute disagreement between the ANC and the EFF benefitted the DA's Tania Campbell, who was re-elected mayor – thanks to the EFF deciding to throw its weight behind her to spite the ANC. The ANC hoped to wrest power from the DA-led coalition in the same manner it did in the City of Joburg, but its latest efforts fell flat when it offended Julius Malema's EFF…
Eat your heart out Helen Zille, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)are the masters of the coalition politics game – the young party has put your Democratic Alliance (DA) back into power at Ekurhuleni.
A last-minute disagreement between the ANC and the EFF benefitted the DA’s Tania Campbell, who was re-elected mayor – thanks to the EFF deciding to throw its weight behind her to spite the ANC.
The ANC hoped to wrest power from the DA-led coalition in the same manner it did in the City of Joburg, but its latest efforts fell flat when it offended Julius Malema’s EFF in Ekurhuleni.
ActionSA provincial leader and former DA Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi acknowledged the EFF’s role in a tweet yesterday: “Let me state this as a matter of fact. Today EFF saved us in Ekurhuleni.
“The multiparty coalition received the majority of the votes in council because of the EFF.”
Baloyi said the main immediate focus areas for Ekurhuleni were refuse collection and revenue and debt collection.
The return of the DA is a repeat of the events that followed last November local government election when the EFF assisted the DA for Campbell to be elected as mayor. This was preceded by EFF and ANC disagreeing on their coalition arrangements in both Ekurhuleni and Joburg, resulting in the EFF supporting the DA at both metros.
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During the Ekurhuleni extraordinary meeting to elect the mayor yesterday, the ANC annoyed the EFF by fielding its own candidate, Jongizizwe Dlabathi, instead of supporting EFF’s Nkululeko Dunga who contested against Campbell.
Angered, Dunga withdrew from the race and the EFF’s councillors voted for Campbell, returning the DA to power in the metro. Asked why he withdrew, Dunga said the EFF was not in it for power.
“We looked at the conditions and remember the EFF is not obsessed with power. What we are obsessed about is that there must be a constitution of government, a government of majority and a government that will deliver effective services to our people,” he said.
Back to drawing board for ANC
DA councillor Simon Lapping said he would respond to questions, but referred comment to Campbell, who did not respond. However, the DA crowed about the victory on its website but said not a single word about the EFF and its role in saving Campbell.
“Once again, we saw an attempt by the coalition of corruption to bring an end [to] the hard work and dedication that the multiparty government has brought to this great city. Once again, today, we watched the ANC and their cronies try to get their hands back on the finances of Ekurhuleni.
“And once again we saw them fail dismally as their corrupt cabal struggled to even agree among themselves. This poor attempt at political point-scoring has failed and now the multiparty government can continue with the work it is doing to fix what the ANC broke.”
It added: “Now that the ANC and its proxy parties are done playing, we will get back to working for the residents of this fine city.”
Zille, the DA federal council chair, previously vowed never to enter into cooperative agreement or coalition with the EFF, even if it risked losing Ekurhuleni to the ANC. She labelled the EFF as a “racial nationalist party”.
Now that the EFF voluntarily saved the DA, it remains to be seen if the DA will make up its mind about working with the EFF.
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But it has been proven that the road to power for both the ANC and the DA is through Malema, whose party is the kingmaker and holds the balance of forces.
So far, the ANC’s back-door attempt to grab power in the Gauteng metros has hit snags. The party committed a number of political blunders, including removing Joburg mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse unprocedurally with a vote of no confidence. Phalatse was reinstated by a court.
Now, it’s back to the drawing board for the ANC, which must decide whether it will sober up and stay as an opposition party or come up with more tricks to attain power.