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Future of politics in SA is coalitions - Maimane

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane.
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says the future of South Africa is in coalitions but admits that it has been difficult in some of the marriages the party has had in metros.

Presenting the assessment of the DA in 2018, Maimane said the party would continue to work towards fighting corruption and delivering services.

“If I look back at what’s happened this year, eyi, it was tough in Nelson Mandela Bay. We must reflect. Nelson Mandela Bay was hard. It was hard because tsotsis became united. I remember the day when we got the news that we’ve been removed. It was tough because, when you form a coalition you must never form a coalition on the basis of corruption. You must form a coalition on the basis of delivery of services to the people,” Maimane said on Wednesday.

“The mayors here in Joburg and Tshwane have done an incredible job in a difficult situation to prove that when you work hard, coalitions, in fact, do work. The future of South Africa is coalition. Don’t let anyone fool us that coalitions don’t work, [because] they do. We’ve worked well with parties like the ACDP and the Congress of the People.”

Relations between the DA and its coalition partnership in metros were put to the test in 2018 and in one they ended with the party losing the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip was removed by the ANC, EFF and UDM as mayor on August 27 following a motion of no confidence.

Three days after his ousting, Trollip and his coalition partners – Cope, the ACDP and the Patriotic Alliance – lodged an application seeking urgent review.

Trollip lost his bid to overturn his ousting in the Eastern Cape High Court in September.

In the other coalition in Tshwane, it has been a struggle for mayor Solly Msimanga to keep things together as his city manager Moeketsi Mosola, who has the support of the EFF, caused problems for the metro.

Msimanga recently wrote to Maimane asking him to intervene as Mosola’s attitude was negatively affecting service delivery in the country’s capital.

Maimane used the opportunity on Wednesday to explain to members the rationale behind the removal of former Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille.

“What took place in Cape Town was necessary…We knew for a long time something was happening there. We needed to act…I know it is difficult. I know that sometimes people don’t understand...Already there are two contracts that had to be reversed. We had to act as a political party. Yes, in the short term that was painful, but in the long run South Africans will say only in the DA do you deal with people that are involved in corruption,” he said.

The DA has accused De Lille of covering corruption in the city.

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