“In June we are taking Tshwane, and we are going to share Member of the Mayoral Committees (MMC) positions in Johannesburg and everywhere else where power is being shared,” Julius Malema told Solomon Star in an exclusive interview.
This is a clear salvo of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) intention to either work with the African National Congress (ANC) to remove or negotiate with the DA to recall the Executive Mayor of Tshwane Metro Municipality, Stevens Mokgalapa.
Malema indicated that they have changed their previous stance of not co-governing, saying that they can’t learn forever referring to his party’s 2016 posture not to take up any mayoral committee or speaker positions. “No Councillor of the EFF must accept any Executive position in the Council and no member shall be a Speaker in any Council. “The EFF has decided to form a coalition with the people on the ground and not with any political party. This means the EFF will co-govern with no one, we will remain opposition in all councils,” the EFF said days after the local government election in 2016.
It is clear that the EFF’s patience with the Democratic Alliance (DA) has reached its limits. The EFF leader stated that the DA’s negative campaign towards his party has been the breaking point in the two unlikely partners’ uneasy relationship. Malema has accused the DA of running a negative campaign against his party following the latter’s posters which make reference to the EFF being involved in the looting of VBS Mutual Bank.
During the registration campaign earlier this year, one of the DA’s posters in the Western Cape read, “Register to Keep the ANC and EFF out of the Western Cape.”
Malema told the Solomon Star that the ANC had not been running a negative campaign against his party despite the EFF being responsible for unseating them (ANC) in three metros and other municipalities.
The EFF’s non-negotiable demand that any party that wants to be in a coalition with them must agree to the expropriation of land without compensation, indirectly excludes the DA from any post 8 May 2019 coalition government, whilst the ANC’s view on land expropriation is similar to that of the EFF.
Meanwhile the ANC’s Secretary General, Ace Magashule told a crowd in Potchefstroom, which is now part of the new JB Marks Local Municipality that he loves Malema. “I love Julius. I am talking to him to return home,” said Magashule.
He indicated that Malema must return to the ANC with his supporters (EFF). Magashule’s comments and Malema’s change of heart towards the ANC seems to indicate that the ANC and the EFF have been discussing the possibility of coalitions between the two former foes. The unstiffening of attitudes by the EFF and ANC seem to suggest that the parties may be willing to consider going into coalitions. Malema hinted however, that they (EFF) will only be interested in taking up the position of Premier if they enter into any coalition arrangement, which the ANC would not easy give up, especially if they get the bigger slice of the votes.
In addition to Magashule stating that he would be fervently trying to get Malema back, his comrades, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza and the late ANC stalwart, Winnie Madikizela Mandela have in separate instances shared the same sentiments.
Cyril Ramaphosa stated, “Julius Malema is still part of the ANC, deep down in his heart he knows that he is still a part of the ANC and we would like to have him back with his EFF supporters because the ANC is their home”.
Judging by the ANC’s top leaderships change of attitude towards the CIC of the EFF, is it a possibility that there could be some sort of coalition between the two very clear rivals?
According to Mabuza, the ANC suffered a severe loss when Malema made his switch from the ANC to starting the EFF, “The ANC suffered a loss when we lost Malema. The ANC will be better off with him inside the fold, so I’m going to do my best to get him to reconsider coming home”.
Madikizela Mandela, who had formed a strong relationship with Malema, said very heart-fully that she would also speak to him to have him change his tune, “One day I will bring back my boy, Julius Malema, I will bring him home to the ANC. He is our child too”.
Whether this will become a reality, only time will tell. As it’s stands, Malema is fervent on not rejoining the ANC, but it appears he is open to the possibility of a coalition, on his terms.