Home South African EFF and DA open to coalition with ANC

EFF and DA open to coalition with ANC

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EFF leader Julius Malema and the DA’s John Steenhuisen have both broached the idea of a coalition with the ANC in recent days as parties intensify their election campaigns.

DA leader John Steenhuisen and EFF leader Julius Malema Pictures: Timothy Bernard, Independent Newspapers

EFF LEADER Julius Malema and the DA’s John Steenhuisen have both broached the idea of a coalition with the ANC in recent days as parties intensify their election campaigns.

Malema, speaking to JJ Tabane on his Frank Dialogue podcast on YouTube, said that if the ANC gets below 50% of the vote, he would be willing to bargain EFF votes with the ANC, but only if they make his deputy Floyd Shivambu finance minister.

“The finance department is owned and controlled by Stellenbosch and engages in anti-poor policies, you need a radical,” said Malema.

He said the land issue was also crucial to any coalition discussion.

“When I was in the ANC and Baleka Mbete (former deputy president) was a national chairperson and she spoke about how Codesa (Convention for a Democratic SA) sidelined the issue of the land … it felt like she wanted to cry about it because she knows the originality of where this compromise was made.

“So we will never miss each other with the ANC on the land question, because the ANC went to Nasrec (in 2019) and said we must expropriate without compensation but elected the wrong leadership, which was scared to pursue the resolution,” Malema said.

He said that this is the same as the EFF’s policy on land.

“These guys wanted the land and said the land must be returned to the rightful owners.”

Steenhuisen, in response to Malema’s comments, said the DA, the main opposition party, may consider entering a coalition with the ANC to avoid the country being governed by more leftist parties after this year’s election.

The official opposition said it wants to avoid a “doomsday scenario” in which the ANC teams up with the EFF or the Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party.

Steenhuisen said this would cause “massive capital flight from the country” and disinvestment. The DA is part of the Multi-Party Charter that includes the IFP and ActionSA.

Steenhuisen said that if the Multi-Party Charter is unable to secure a majority, the DA would look at what to do next.

“In an environment where you want to keep the EFF and MK out of government with the ANC, you may end up having to take the least-worst option,” Steenhuisen said.

In KwaZulu-Natal, coalition discussions are more complicated than at national level.

The EFF and ANC relations in KZN soured after the EFF supported a motion to have eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda removed from council.

Initially the fallout looked to be restricted to eThekwini, but EFF provincial chairperson Mongezi Twala said the party was still assessing its relationship with the ANC in KZN.

Last year, the EFF withdrew from a coalition deal with the IFP, which saw all members serving as deputy mayors resign, allowing the ANC to run three district municipalities and five local municipalities.

Also last year, EFF councillors were involved in a scuffle with eThekwini Municipality security guards after the councillors insisted that city manager leave a meeting following allegations that the city had failed to spend R1.9bn of a conditional grant allocated to repair infrastructure.

At the time, ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo accused the EFF of trying to capture headlines.

The DA and IFP have a service delivery pact in KZN but IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said that while they are willing to engage with the ANC nationally, there is no common ground between the parties in the province.

Political analyst Professor Ntsikelelo Breakfast said the EFF and DA indicating that they could work with the ANC was “an interesting turn of events”.

“It looks like they are trying to one-up each other but the fear from the DA is that if the EFF reaches out to the ANC, then it will be a radical partnership.

“This fear is that they might implement the rolling out of the land reform and there might be nationalisation, because those are policy prescripts of the EFF.”

He said regardless of the ANC receiving more or less than the 50% majority, the party will still be the dominant player.

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