EFF leader Julius Malema told eNCA in an interview with Jeremy Maggs on Wednesday night that his party would continue to support the DA with its vote in Johannesburg even if “arrogant” DA leader Mmusi Maimane insisted on keeping Herman Mashaba as the mayor.
He explained, though, that doing so would create a very bad relationship between the two parties. Even so, the EFF would push on with supporting the “better devil” that was the DA over the “corrupt” ANC, which had refused to boot President Jacob Zuma during negotiations with the EFF.
He explained that the reason the EFF had decided not to go into coalition with the DA and other smaller parties was because that would have left the ANC as the only opposition party.
“They would have then been the voice of reason against us. But we can’t allow that. We are a small party. We didn’t ask for positions, just that Mashaba must not be the mayor. We’re asking them to be reasonable. We’re not saying the mayor must come from the EFF. We’re saying he must come from the DA.”
He criticised Maimane for acting as though he had won the big metros, particularly Joburg. “But he didn’t. We’re not asking him to remove a man (Mashaba) who won them the elections.”
He joked that he always called Mashaba “Norman” … “because he is so insignificant”.
Mashaba has said he’s willing to go back into business and retire from politics if that is what will help the DA and the City of Joburg. The EFF has accused him of being anti-poor people and anti-black. Malema said Mashaba wanted to be even whiter than white people. “He can’t say he’s not black, he’s just a human being. He’s black.”
Mashaba later said that he would not even respond to the statement that he was “anti-black”.
He said that Maimane’s arrogance was taking the DA down the same dangerous path the ANC had walked, and the EFF did not want to see that, but he had praise for the party’s federal chairperson, James Selfe.
In relation to his negotiations with the ANC, Malema said the ANC finally came to understand that they could not tempt the EFF with positions. “We did not want power. We did not want positions.”
He said the ANC’s leaders were very tired. “This mighty ANC leadership. There was a pleading from them not to lose Nelson Mandela Bay. This is a watershed moment. The realities are contrary to their celebrations in 2014. They are in denial.”
In response to a question about whether minority government were doomed to fail, Malema said he hoped this would prove different.
“The good thing with the DA is that there are people there like James Selfe – not Mmusi, who is not a thinking politician – who are prepared to talk. He knows we must fight about service delivery issues, not things that are more ideological.
“Let’s hope the DA will continue to listen. We don’t want bicycle lanes. There’s no cycling culture in Joburg.”