On Monday night, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) told the media that they would be delaying the announcement of their coalition partner (if it turns out they have one) at their headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, to Wednesday at noon due to Tuesday’s Marikana commemorations.
The country is waiting with bated breath to find out whether the EFF “kingmakers” will choose either the DA or the ANC, or neither. The latter decision (no coalitions) would lead to many of South Africa’s 27 hung municipalities having to be run by minority governments, which is unstable and tricky to pull off – or elections would perhaps even have to be held all over again.
The ANC said on Sunday that it would not give in to the EFF’s demand for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the party was not prepared to be told by the opposition what it should do and they would negotiate according to terms they were comfortable with. The EFF, however, responded that it remained a non-negotiable pre-condition owing to the fact that Zuma had broken his oath of office and the constitution.
Should the EFF choose the DA in Pretoria and Johannesburg, that may mean that an EFF leader becomes the mayor of one of the cities. Insiders have said that the party has put forward its MPs Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (for Tshwane mayor) and Floyd Shivambu (for Johannesburg mayor).
You might say it’s merely a coincidence that the DA will be announcing its coalition plans on the same afternoon, also in Johannesburg. It may just be that time has run out, with Friday’s deadline looming, and both parties may well end up telling us they couldn’t agree on a deal, but right now it’s all just speculation.
Tellingly, DA leader Mmusi Maimane will not be announcing a “partner”, as such. They have not given away any information on whether there even will be a partner at all. Maimane will be addressing the media at the Holiday Inn in Rosebank on the “coalition negotiations” with DA chairperson of the federal executive James Selfe and party spokesperson Phumzile van Damme.