The jury is still out on who will become the mayor for Africa’s economic hub, the City of Joburg.
Yesterday, there was still confusion as to whether the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have buried the hatchet and agreed to work together to unseat the ANC in the metro.
This after the DA refused to accede to the EFF’s demand to change Herman Mashaba as the mayoral candidate. Mashaba, who EFF leader Julius Malema labelled an inexperienced politician who hated his blackness, told The Citizen yesterday he was looking forward to being inaugurated as the mayor on Monday.
“The position of my party is that they are going to put my name forward as the mayoral candidate,” Mashaba said. “I hope the EFF and other smaller parties will help us to unseat the ANC.
“The EFF has said it will vote for us because we are a ‘better devil’.”
However, EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee said the EFF was an organisation of principles.
“We will not waver when we raise an issue. We shall stick to it,” Gardee said. “We have told the DA that the EFF will vote for any person within their ranks as an alternative for Mashaba.”
His comments followed those of EFF leader Malema, who told Power FM earlier in the day that the party would be open to supporting a Mashaba-led Johannesburg, though reluctantly.
“The DA knows what we think of their mayor. We will still give them the vote because it’s a small thing. We are dealing with big issues here, and the big elephant in the room is the ANC. We are not going to be sidetracked by small differences on Herman,” he said.
To retain a majority in the City of Joburg, the DA would need to get votes from the EFF and other smaller parties. The DA has 104 seats, while the ANC has 121.
On the other hand, the ANC in the Greater Johannesburg region is also talking to other small political parties in a bid to strike a deal.
“The discussions are ongoing,” party spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said. Matongo said the ANC would make an announcement either today or tomorrow.