At a media briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane addressed recent developments against the DA’s governance of key metros it took over in 2016.
The party has already lost Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), while mayor Solly Msimanga is likely to be ousted in Tshwane after the EFF turned on him too.
EFF leader Julius Malema has demanded from the DA that they replace Msimanga with another candidate or they are likely to vote someone from a different party into power. They allege that Msimanga has not consulted smaller parties in his coalition, that he’s been dictated to by “white interests” and has allowed corruption to occur.
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However, Maimane made it clear that the DA would not entertain the possibility of being dictated to on who their mayoral candidate can be.
Maimane said the DA’s Federal Executive (FedEx) had convened for a special sitting on Wednesday to “consider and determine the party’s approach to the systematic and calculated attack on DA-led coalition governments by the newly formed coalition of corruption between the EFF and the ANC”.
He said the DA had earlier faced overcoming huge legacies of corruption in Johannesburg, Tshwane and NMB and “the rot of corruption and self-enrichment that existed needed to be cleaned out”, and had achieved much in two years.
“From day one, the sheer enormity of the financial mess inherited from previous ANC governments was as clear as daylight. This took months and months of hard work by these governments, and today we are yielding the fruits.”
He said Tshwane had moved “from a R2 billion deficit to a R704 million surplus, and Nelson Mandela Bay has a R615 million surplus – its best financial position in over a decade”.
Johannesburg had uncovered R18 billion of alleged ANC corruption in the city, while Nelson Mandela Bay had cancelled “corrupt contracts” to the tune of R650 million and opened tender adjudication processes to the public, while Tshwane cleared out allegedly corrupt officials in the administration and fought against the corrupt R2 billion PEU contract in court and won, said Maimane.
He also spoke of investment and jobs growth in the cities, as well as other achievements.
“Real progress is being made, and in just two years DA-led coalition governments are doing what ANC governments could not do in two decades. Millions of South Africans are receiving clean, efficient and delivery-orientated service not ever experienced under the ANC before 2016. Indeed, the biggest electoral threat to the ANC and the EFF has been the successes of DA-led coalition governments.”
He said the party would be reviewing its partnership with the UDM in all metros following the party’s animosity towards Trollip in NMB.
“In light of the UDM’s joining of the coalition of corruption in NMB, FedEx has resolved to formally approach coalition partners to review the inclusion of the UDM in this formal agreement. It cannot be that the UDM consistently acts in cahoots with corrupt parties, and in contravention of the agreement. I will be meeting with the leaders of the coalition partners ACDP, COPE, VF+ and IFP soon, and the outcome of this will be communicated in due course.
“It is important that the coalition partners strengthen our resolve against the coalition of corruption that has been formed by the ANC, EFF and the UDM, and I want to thank Rev Kenneth Meshoe, Terror Lekota, Dr Pieter Groenewald and Prince Mangosotho Buthulezi for their steadfast resolve against this new coalition of corruption.”
He reiterated the DA’s view that Trollip had been ousted illegally.
“FedEx fully supports Athol Trollip in this fight and believe that he remains the de jure mayor of NMB. Mayor Trollip’s coalition government has brought change to the lives of NMB residents, and we won’t allow the coalition of corruption to steal back the city through the back door.”
He reiterated his support for Msimanga and submitted that the DA would refuse to field a new candidate if Msimanga is removed this week, as per the EFF’s “arrogant” demands.
“The DA upholds consistency and transparency. The voters elected Solly Msimanga as their mayor, and we will not cave to the demands of the minority. The mayor’s office does not have a revolving door policy determined by the whims of the minority.
“If the EFF decides to formalise its coalition of corruption with the ANC tomorrow and supports their motion of no confidence in the DA-led coalition government in Tshwane, then they have showed their true colours as being nothing more than the military wing of the ANC – aiding and abetting corruption and looting.
“The DA will stand on principle and if that means losing power in any governments, so be it. We refuse to compromise on our values to this new coalition of corruption. If the EFF hand back any DA-led coalition governments to the corrupt ANC, it will be for the people of SA to punish them at polls next year.
“History has shown the EFF to make serious judgments of error in the past – from Jacob Zuma to Public Protector Mkhwebane, to the VBS Bank. Tomorrow, the EFF is faced with an important decision. History, and the voters, will judge them for their choice.
“If the EFF decides to support the removal of the DA-led coalition in Tshwane, they will have shown the people of South Africa that they are happy to remove clean governments and give these cities back to the ANC.”