The cooperation the parties have enjoyed in Joburg may be short-lived, as Herman Mashaba is set to resign in protest over Helen Zille’s election as federal chair.
Following the election of Helen Zille as chair of the Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council, journalist Aldrin Sampear took to Twitter to question what impact her appointment would have on the “DA-EFF arrangement”.
Sampear was referring to the cooperation shown between the two parties, despite their ideological differences, in certain key metros, particularly in Johannesburg under mayor Herman Mashaba.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s response shows that he is not about to own up to being aware of any such arrangement.
“What arrangement, sir?” Malema tweeted.
While the two parties do not have an official arrangement and have never been in a coalition, the EFF made the decision to vote with the DA in certain metros on an issue-by-issue basis, and the EFF allowed the DA to take over from the ANC in Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay, although in the latter case the EFF subsequently turned against the DA and voted with parties including the ANC and UDM to remove their mayor, Athol Trollip.
In Tshwane, the EFF were also hostile towards former mayor Solly Msimanga, and unsuccessfully tried to remove him as they had done Trollip.
In Johannesburg, however, the DA and the EFF have shown continued cooperation, with a report by amaBhungane released last year noting that there are longstanding rumours that “the EFF was given patronage over lucrative City of Johannesburg tenders as a quid pro quo for working with Herman Mashaba’s DA-led administration”.
The report showed how before winning a controversial contract from the City of Johannesburg, a fleet firm made payments to a slush fund used by Malema and his party, and while the rumours of Mashaba buying the EFF’s loyalty in Joburg have not been proven, the report added fuel to the fire.
Both Mashaba and Maimane have defended the DA’s relationship with the EFF in Johannesburg, against criticism from within the party.
In an interview on Power FM last week, Maimane said that the need to form coalitions with parties the DA did not agree with was discussed internally at federal council meetings ahead of the 2016 elections and it was agreed to that there would be an “issue-by-issue arrangement with the EFF”.
He said he personally believed in this kind of cooperation, as he felt his party’s “job is not to ostracise, it’s to win the argument”.
He added that a “coalition is not conversion” and didn’t have to amount to a marriage between two parties.
Mashaba, meanwhile, wrote a column for News24 titled ‘Walking away from Johannesburg would be the DA’s biggest mistake’, defending the coalition as being good for the city and its residents.
It now looks like the cooperation the DA and the EFF has enjoyed in Joburg may be short-lived, as Mashaba himself is “walking away from Johannesburg”.
News channel eNCA has reported that the Johannesburg mayor plans to resign in protest at the DA, particularly its decision to elect Helen Zille as the new federal chairperson on Sunday.
What arrangement sir?
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) October 20, 2019
In other news – Vatiswa Ndara Allegedly axed from Muvhango
The working environment can prove to be quite a daunting experience, especially when one gets into trouble for questioning the systems in place. An individual that allegedly found herself in such a situation is veteran actress, Vatiswa Ndara. SABC 2’s leading soapie, Muvhango parted ways with Vatiswa.
This move by the powers that be was allegedly influenced by Vatiswa’s probing nature. After a series of off-screen questioning episodes by Vatiswa, the writing team was ordered to write off her on-screen character, Moliehi Zikalala. continue reading