Don’t burn me. I’m not a witch. I just pointed out the obvious about the EFF and DA two years ago. It’s a jungle of lies, greed and betrayal glued with hypocrisy. The DA sacrificed its liberalism to become lamb for the EFF lion king. The EFF got everything the ANC denied them. It’s obvious that Ramaphosa’s learned from Zuma’s mistake and that there’s a new hunt afoot. But here’s what I wrote two years ago.
THE EFF IS KING OF THE JUNGLE
The Economic Freedom Fighters will either end several hung councils by announcing who they will be forming coalitions with… or they will force minority governments closer to democracy than they’ve ever been before.
This is the EFF’s moment, the payoff for their media brashness and repeated Parliament disruptions. Love them or hate them, politics, like much of our lives, needs rebels….
…but because this is politics, hypocrisy abounds too, the ANC and DA undoubtedly having spent the past week offering deserts to Julius Malema, leader of the EFF.
THE CHALLENGES, THE CHOICES
The first irony is that they’re all publicly declared enemies of each other. The second is that some have previously gone so far as to say that they’ll never work together. The third may lie with Julius Malema if he makes a deal wherein his non-negotiable terms of land and the removal of President Jacob Zuma aren’t met.
It’s logical to expect that the EFF sought a nationwide deal but it’s unlikely that they’ll have succeeded. On the ground, local politics would have conflicted, threatening disruption within the party.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA’s Athol Trollip could form a simple coalition with the EFF… but anything with the EFF is unlikely to be simple. Alternatively, he can embrace several small parties – the latter may be awkward but, over the long term, the DA has more chance to remove their identity and subsume them.
Gauteng, the richest province, is up for grabs. The districts of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni can swing either way. The EFF could hedge their bets, keeping as many doors open for future power plays e.g. say yes to the ANC in one or two places, and yes to the DA in the other.
The danger to the major parties is that knowledge is power i.e. the EFF would have highways into the back rooms of opposing parties, a situation that would benefit the EFF more than any other.
But to make a deal for all three municipalities would create a kingsized bed of discomfort that could find the EFF demanding more and more.
The deals have already been made or shunned. The EFF was supposed to announce yesterday but postponed because of the Marikana Massacre anniversary.
THE EFF IS KING NOT KINGMAKER?
The DA and EFF will not be singing “Kumbaya“.
The ANC and EFF will not be dancing to Beyonce’s ‘Formation’.
Instead, the EFF might play the biggest political card ever – abstain from supporting anyone and let minority governments rule. In doing so, they stop any backlash from their supporters whilst being able to vote the way they want, for either side, on a per issue basis.
If the EFF do so, they will have trumped the ANC and the DA with the moral card [update – my wish for a moral code hopelessly failed, what was I thinking!].
Today is an important day for South Africa’s limping democracy.
Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s crying, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s praying, my Lord, kum bay ya;
South Africa’s waiting, my Lord, come whatEVER!
LATER THAT DAY
That afternoon, I reported…
“We’re happy to announce that there’s no deal between the ANC and the EFF,” stated Julius Malema, the Economic Freedom Fighter’s leader.
He said in a news conference that, “We told the ANC that we’re more than prepared to work with them… but we asked the ANC to meet the following conditions.”
OUTRAGEOUS CONDITIONS FOR COALITION
The conditions included changing the constitution so as to appropriate land, abolishing E-tolls, stopping the nuclear deal with Russia, the nationalisation of mines, free education, removing Jacob Zuma as President, investigating the Guptas and removing Die Stem from the national anthem.
Interestingly, Malema claims that the ANC said that there was no nuclear deal, something he rejected.
The EFF’s audacious demands were never going to be agreed to. Consequently, it must be considered that the past week has partly being about the EFF trying to keep topics relevant in the media.
Malema stated that it was the DA who contacted him. He “put similar conditions” to the DA which they said they did did not have the power to enact.
He said that the DA were ready to talk about Die Stem and that Maimane had compared it to asking the Jews to sing the song of Hitler.
Malema went on to say that, “We’re not going to be going into a deal with anyone.
We feel strongly that the EFF must not want to get power through a shortcut. The EFF is not a home of opportunists. No one is not going to want to be a mayor at all costs, by compromising the principles of the EFF.
We are building this organisation from the ground. We are building it slowly, through an intensive program that will teach our members discipline and organisation, and love for the organisation.”
EFF GIVES VOTE TO THE DA
He then shifted the entire conversation by saying the EFF would not delay service delivery but would vote for the IFP in the hung councils of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and for the DA in Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay.
He emphasised that there’s a difference between a coalition and voting for them.
“The ANC will not get a single vote from the EFF!” he continued. “We will vote for the opposition because the ANC must be removed. We will not be neutral because we are not cowards.
The ANC is extremely arrogant. Even when they performed badly, they acted acted like nothing had happened. They are a party in denial. They must feel pain. They must be punished collectively. The ANC had a choice to choose between Zuma and the metros. Again, the ANC chose Zuma.
Members of the ANC, we voted against the ANC on the third of August. What has changed since then. Nothing has changed. We are choosing the Opposition. There is no contract [with them]. We are voting against the ruling party.”