Black First Land First (BLF) leader and former EFF MP Andile Mngxitama was among the first to express his relief at news that talks between the EFF and DA had failed.
The DA’s federal chairperson, James Selfe, revealed that the sticking points had been mainly over land expropriation and nationalisation, though these are not strictly municipal issues.
He said that black people in Joburg had been “saved from Helen Zille” but black people in Tshwane might not end up being quite so lucky.
Mngxitama wrote that “talks with the racist white supremacist DA collapsed (from initial media reports). Thanks God! those of us who live in Joburg may be saved from Helen Zille but not so lucky are blacks in Tshwane. This means the DA shall have captured the legislative city and the capital city.”
In his opinion, the lack of clear government, was, however, not a positive thing, and “dirty deals” under the ANC would continue.
He lamented the fact that the EFF had not more clearly forced its hand with the ANC, where it could have pushed for “radical change”. The ANC could have been “forced to do the right thing”.
“Furthermore, it means we are in Joburg under the same ANC without any demands on it to change policy to serve black people. It seems that narrow interests, instruction not [to] offend powerful interests have won the day. This arrangement is good for unprincipled ongoing dirty deals per issue while protecting white capital and land thieves.
“Here is the issue: electoral politics are not geared towards radical change. Only in special circumstances do they create conditions for a possible forward march. The 2016 local government election outcomes presented a perfect opportunity to make elections work for big policy issues.
“The ANC is beyond self correction, it has to be forced to do the right thing. It was vulnerable and open to this challenge. Now it will have some cities without having to worry about the big issues of land return, economic transformation and free education.”
He pointed out that the ANC was perhaps put in a weakened position for only this election, and it might recover by the next. This was therefore a “lost opportunity” for the EFF to partner with it for change and to take the fight to “white capital and land owners”.
“Our position was always that a vote, if it opens up space, must be used for fundamental issues facing black people,” wrote Mngxitama. “Kid yourself not, no one knows the outcomes of the next elections. The ANC may recover. Remember both main opposition parties grew only by 3% and 2% respectively. The ANC remains the giant of electoral politics in SA. It was weak and it was allowed to breathe because white capital and land owners had to be spared. It’s a lost opportunity!”
When responding to Mngxitama’s earlier public plea to Malema to avoid a DA coalition, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu dismissed the BLF leader as an “untidy conman” who had shown no discipline while part of the EFF. He said they were not about to take advice from someone like him.