The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) power in Tshwane and Johannesburg might be hanging in the balance. This after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng vowed yesterday to “put the DA on notice” should the party fight land invasions, a programme adopted by the Red Berets in 2014.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, the EFF’s acting provincial chairperson Mandisa Mashego reminded the DA that it had to get her party’s vote to be able to run both cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane.
Jan van Riebeeck landed here and grabbed our land, but we are told we must just move on… that will never happen
During last month’s local government elections, the ANC and the DA did not get the required 51% vote in both cities and as a result, coalitions were formed. The EFF made it clear that it was never going to enter into any coalition with the ANC, but opted to give its votes to the DA, a party it described as the “better devil”.
Commenting further on the land grabs issue, Mashego said no one, including the DA, would stand in their way.
“White people are the ones who stole the land in 1652 and not in 1912 when the ANC was formed. “Jan van Riebeeck landed here and grabbed our land, but we are told we must just move on… that will never happen,” Mashego said. She said the EFF has embarked on 20 successful programmes.
“Most of the invasions have taken place in Tshwane in either privately-owned pieces of land … and in some of the areas some people are still trying to move in.
“The ANC tried before to stop us with rubber bullets and the Red Ants and we are saying to the DA, try that with us, we will end your occupation of council … remember, you (DA) did not get outright majority wins from the elections,” Mashego said.
She said the EFF and ordinary members of the public have been working together on the programme in areas such as Sedibeng, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane.
“The DA will never liberate our people while the ANC has failed black people for many years, hence we never entered into any coalition agreement … we did not give our votes to the ANC but chose to give them to the racists,” she said.
Asked if he was not worried about the EFF’s threats, DA provincial leader John Moodey responded: “It is the EFF’s prerogative to decide what they do with their votes.”
The possibility of land grabs spreading to other parts of the country cannot be ruled out at this stage
According to political analyst professor Andre Duvenhage, the ANC is likely to adopt a more radical approach through mass mobilisation in an attempt to disrupt the DA in delivering services. This could include land grabs.
He said it is highly unlikely that the ANC would stop being part of land grabs anytime soon, stressing that will only happen if the EFF changed its position with the DA.
“The possibility of land grabs spreading to other parts of the country cannot be ruled out at this stage,” Duvenhage said. The ANC has since distanced itself from the matter, saying the DA must focus on delivering services to the people in areas where they are in charge.
“The ANC views land grabs as illegal and we have and still condemn such behaviour because this does not form part of our programmes.
“If the DA is failing to deliver services to the people, they should not blame the ANC,” party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.
Areas that have been affected by land grabs so far, include Ga-Rankuwa, Nellmapius, Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Orange Farm in the south of Johannesburg. There have been claims suggesting that some pieces of land have been sold by some ANC leaders to residents for prices ranging between only R100 and R250.