As negotiations continue in hung metros, it emerged yesterday that the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were locked in a meeting the whole day to try to thrash out final details for a coalition.
The Citizen has learnt that the DA and EFF may broker a deal before the end of the week.
A senior DA leader in Gauteng said the party would be open to sacrificing at least one of its mayoral candidates in favour of a coalition with the EFF, since the stakes involved are so high.
If the deal is brokered between the two parties, the DA could control Tshwane, while the EFF would then take control of Johannesburg, or vice versa.
The DA may thus be faced with the Solomonic choice of deciding which baby it wants: the country’s administrative capital – which also has huge symbolic importance as the home of the Union Buildings and is one of the world’s largest metros – or the powerful economic heartland that is the City of Gold.
According to those close to the process, the decision the DA and the EFF potentially make could see the DA’s Herman Mashaba becoming the mayor of Johannesburg, while the EFF’s 31-year-old spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi would then be the mayor of Tshwane.
Alternatively, the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu, the party’s deputy president, could become the Johannesburg mayor, while the DA’s Solly Msimanga would then take up the Tshwane mayoral seat.
It is not clear how the two parties, who have vastly different ideologies, will work together.
The EFF favours land expropriation without compensation, while the DA wants constitutionality protected property rights.
DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe, however, denied that the party had yet given in to the EFF demands.
“It is not true that we have buckled to anything,” Selfe told The Citizen. “No demands have yet been made.”
Selfe said the EFF was not the only party with which the DA was in discussion. “We are talking to all parties, with the exception of the ANC,” he said.
Ndlozi could not be reached for comment. He did, however, say in an interview yesterday that the EFF was working to humble the ANC and teach the 104-year-old former liberation party a lesson.
The DA negotiating team is comprised of senior member Selfe, party leader Mmusi Maimane, Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral candidate Athol Trollip, City of Cape Town mayor candidate Patricia de Lille, Free State DA leader Patricia Komane and MP Thomas Walters.
The EFF is represented by party bigwigs, including leader Julius Malema, Shivambu and party chairperson Dali Mpofu.