ANC not ruling out playing EFF’s Mcebisi Jonas card to oust Trollip

Mcebisis Jonas with former finance minister and Jacob Zuma during their tenture. Facebook.

Mcebisis Jonas with former finance minister and Jacob Zuma during their tenture. Facebook.

The party has deferred questions on whether it will deploy Jonas to Port Elizabeth to the deployment committee.

The ANC will enthusiastically throw its weight behind the EFF’s attempt to remove DA Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip through a motion of no confidence to be tabled in council on April 6, 2018.

But the party is noncommittal about whether it will strike a deal with the red berets on the choice of deployee. EFF leader Julius Malema has indicated that the candidate must be of the same stature as Mcebisi Jonas.

“[Remember] we are not pushing any motion of no confidence, our responsibility is to play our role in terms of opposing the DA-led coalition. Anything else that comes we will support,” said Nelson Mandela ANC regional secretary Themba Xathula.

Xathula cautioned that even if the party in the region agreed to the EFF’s criterion, which says the candidate must be of the same stature as former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, “it is very clear it is not everybody’s competency, including the EFF, to determine candidates for the ANC”.

READ MORE: EFF: We will vote for an ‘Mcebisi Jonas’ as Port Elizabeth mayor

“We have a policy which is determined by the deployment committee. It defines what kind of a cadre should serve [in the council]. [That policy document is called] It’s the ‘Eye of the Needle’. It requires someone who is capable and credible,” Xathula explained.

When asked if this policy has been strictly applied, and if so, why has the ANC found itself with questionable leaders in the past, Xathula conceded that although “sometimes it may have shortcomings, it is still very much helpful”.

“I am saying in the main that we provided cadres and leaders who have passed through the test and they meet the criteria, this is will be the test that will be used,” said Xathula.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe told The Citizen the EFF had not formally communicated with the ANC its intentions to table a motion or the kind of a candidate they would prefer for the mayorship of Nelson Mandela metro. “We have seen media reports, and we have heard what the leader of the EFF has said in parliament,” Mabe clarified.

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Mabe will not directly answer if the ANC will pitch Jonas or another candidate agreeable to the EFF, saying: “We are unable to enter the space for now.”

He clarified the “ANC will always be open for relations that allows it to advance the national democratic revolution”.

“Given the space to advance its own programmes, if there are like-minded alliances to help the ANC advance Radical Economic Development, the ANC will welcome such attempts with two hands. The ANC is continuing its work, which is to wrestle power away from the DA in PE and Joburg,” Mabe said.

Mabe also admitted that the appetite to remove DA-led mayors will extend to Tshwane and Johannesburg.

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