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EFF announces split from DA over voting in metros and municipalities

EFF leader Julius Malema held a press conference in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
EFF leader Julius Malema held a press conference in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The political marriage between the DA and the EFF has ended in a bitter divorce. EFF leader Julius Malema has announced that the party will cease to vote with its long-term coalition partner in municipalities it governs.

The EFF has been voting with the DA in Tshwane, Johannesburg and other big municipalities. “We are no longer voting with the DA in all municipalities and we will not vote with the ANC," Malema said. "We will participate in the debates, but when it comes to voting we will abstain.”

The marriage collapsed after the DA rejected the EFF’s suggestion that it take over in Tshwane. The EFF did not do well in the municipality during the last local government elections but believes it can better run the city that was recently flagged by the auditor-general in his municipality report.

“We wanted to take Tshwane because we knew Tshwane is in the red. We wanted to demonstrate with Tshwane that we are the best government. Take it out of the red, put it out there, make sure it becomes a proper government,” said Malema on the suggestion the DA rejected.

He said that as much as the party likes the work City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba is doing, there is nothing it can do as it has now taken a stance.

“Maybe Mashaba is teaching us something, maybe in future we may want to have that discussion. Maybe our problems don’t need politicians, because Mashaba is not a politician, he doesn’t take political attitude. He looks at [something and says] 'can it really work, can we try it?' Even if it comes from enemy camp. Maybe it needs these people, that type of attitude, it helps,” said Malema who has consistently lauded Mashaba’s leadership in the city.

Malema also said they were not surprised by the DA’s decision to fine homeless people for sleeping on the pavements in the City of Cape Town. The DA raised eyebrows when it announced that it will fine homeless people a certain fee if they are found to be blocking pavements in the city. It is not clear what influenced the decision but Malema said it further showed that the political party did have the interests of black people at heart. “We are not shocked by the DA’s statements about homeless people on the pavements, the majority of them are black people and the DA has never had interests of black people [at heart],” said Malema.

According to Malema, there is no way homeless people would be able to pay the fines as they are called homeless for a reason. “We don’t think that will happen because those black people on the pavements, even if you fine them they can’t afford to pay. Even if they don’t pay what else are you going to do? You can’t take property from them, you can’t do anything, they don’t have income, they don’t have a home. So you can’t do anything.

“So it’s actually an extremely stupid [decision] to make but it is just telling you how they feel about black people.”

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