The Bitou mayor in Western Cape, Peter Lobese, announced that he, along with his party, the Active United Front (AUF), would end its coalition with the ANC in Bitou after the relationship between the two parties had soured over the past seven months, Knysna-Plett Herald reports.
This also follows a national outcry after President Jacob Zuma’s recent decision to fire the country’s finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, during a Cabinet reshuffle last week.
The decision has since not only taken its toll on South Africa’s economy, which has been downgraded to junk status by Standard & Poor, but has also led to a nationwide call for all citizens to take a stand against Zuma.
Lobese made the announcement in a press release this morning Wednesday 5, April, and said the AUF and ANC had not been seeing eye to eye over, among other issues, clean governance over the past seven months.
The AUF and ANC in Bitou had been in a coalition since last year’s local government elections after results showed that, while the DA had received the majority of votes, it did not garner enough to secure the party outright majority.
The DA received 48.58% of the votes, which gave the party six seats in council. The African National Congress (ANC) received 40.99% of the support, also giving it six seats, while the Active United Front (AUF) managed 5.36% of the votes for the final seat.
Following the coalition agreement, Lobese was inaugurated as the town’s mayor.
“I join the rest of South Africans home and abroad who are troubled and pained by this ‘rogue’ president to make the point that our country cannot afford this, and nothing must be done to assist him to continue being in office even for one day. This include calling all parties like the AUF, who are in coalition with the ANC in various municipalities, to act in solidarity with the rest of South Africans and pull out of these coalitions. So we shall do,” Lobese said in his statement.
He said that it had become “almost impossible to operate with singlemindedness” with the ANC in Bitou. He claimed that in many instances, the party had thwarted efforts to establish clean administration and committing resources to address the difficulties faced by Bitou residents.
Lobese said he had hoped this would subside and that the ANC’s national leadership would intervene, but that the events around Zuma over the past week had “destroyed any hope” of the situation improving.