The EFF has had “an open door policy from the beginning” and was speaking to all parties, including the ANC, about possible coalitions in municipalities, party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
He told journalists ahead of the EFF’s central command team meeting in Braamfontein on Monday night that the party had many options on the table, including coalitions, abstentions and re-runs, but added:
“Be very clear, the EFF is not going to sell its identity to anyone – its identity is not up for sale.”
Ahead of the elections the EFF had said it would not let the ANC “into the back door”, but Ndlozi said circumstances were now different to the adversarial conditions before the elections. He also said the party was talking to “white monopoly capital”, which is understood to include the DA.
Ndlozi said the party had been talking to all the other parties, and leaders involved in the negotiations would be consulting leaders from provinces, who would in turn go back and talk to their local structures.
“Anything that you are going to receive between now and the press conference of the EFF will not be final,” he said, referring to a press conference the party would be holding at noon on Wednesday in Alexandra in order its announce their decisions.
He urged patience.
“I must stress it will only be [final] once the EFF speaks, because we hold the key to a lot of classrooms where people are going to be taught a lot of lessons, and therefore wait for the EFF to speak and to speak from its official platform, for you to understand.”
Talks on Marikana commemoration sidelines
He said the fact that no one party had a “decisive majority” in some councils meant that negotiations could take longer than anticipated.
Ndlozi hinted that opposition parties would continue talks on the sidelines of the Marikana commemoration on Tuesday, where the 2012 police shootings of striking miners will be remembered.
Traditionally, the governing party has stayed away from these commemorations, while opposition parties have been attending over the years.
Ndlozi said about coalition negotiations: “Everybody is speaking to everybody as far as we can sense. We have had an open door policy from the beginning. We have not been hostile, and we have explained this to all of South Africa, that if you see us talk to people, do not make conclusions, because we must speak.
That is what a democracy constitutes, that is how a consensus is going to be built.
“We are no longer not speaking anymore from the same ground before the elections, so people are much more willing to drink from your cup, as you will be willing to drink from their cup and taste the waters that are beating in their soul.”
He also said the EFF has never had a policy of not speaking to the ANC, and denied that the party used its demand for President Jacob Zuma to resign as a precondition to talks.
‘We will tell you everything’
He said the EFF has been speaking to the ANC in Parliament and on various other occasions.
“We have been speaking to everybody that is in the political landscape in South Africa since formation.
“The day we decided to form is the day we decided we shall speak, not only with the ANC. We have been in meetings with our worst enemies, white monopoly capital, in London, in SA including multinationals, because you have got to be able to tell your peers what you think of them to their faces and that is important for them to respect you and to know that you’re not grandstanding.
“We have been talking to them and it’s been very interesting. You are going to hear how those talks have been happening and what they concluded. We will tell you everything, you know us,” he said about the scheduled press conference on Wednesday.
Ndlozi, however, hinted that the EFF has not committed to anything firm yet, when asked who the party would get into bed with.
“I don’t think there are beds yet, there are no beds yet. Some people have prepared their beds and they have to be prepared to sleep in them.
“We don’t have beds, we have classrooms. We are just [going to] open classrooms generally as we have been saying,” he said.
There have been reports that the EFF has agreed to work with the DA to govern Tshwane, and also that the ANC has been wooing the party to help it get a majority in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
The DA is expected to make its own announcement within the next two days, while the ANC, after its national executive committee meeting over the weekend, confirmed that it was talking to a variety of possible coalition partners as well.