While the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have no plans to enter into a coalition with each other, both parties are united in a fight against the ANC.
In separate press conferences held on Wednesday, both parties announced their final decisions on coalition talks ahead of the Saturday deadline.
The DA announced it would be partnering with four smaller parties to gain control of Nelson Mandela Bay’s council, while the EFF said it would not be entering into any formal coalition with anyone.
However, EFF leader Julius Malema said that the party would conditionally support the DA in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela bay – even though he viewed it as a party of “white racists”.
This, Malema said, was because the DA was the “lesser of two evils” – with the ANC being the prime evil.
According to Malema, the ANC approached him and the EFF to form a coalition, but the party had no power to recall Zuma, as the EFF had demanded, and remained non-committal on the party’s other demands.
“It is not that they don’t agree the damage that Zuma has done to the brand, the ANC.” Malema said of the ANC members he was in contact with.
“You are saying that we are obsessed with Zuma. Let me tell you the damage that that guy is costing us is too much…I am not going to be part of a deal which seeks to collapse SA,” he said.
Malema highlighted that the president had allowed the country to become captured by the Gupta family – which has close ties to Zuma and his family, and was at the center of much controversy in the latter months of 2015 and the earlier parts of 2016.
“The Guptas have captured this country. It is not a joke. There is no institution in SA‚ state-owned companies. There is no department in SA where the Guptas do not have their person‚ on their payroll‚” said Malema.
‘The lesser evil’
Speaking on its coalition talks, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that the party had discussions with every party – except the ANC.
The party did not meet with the ANC because it “already has too much power”, Maimane said, and that the DA had to respect the wishes of its voters who had made their choice to move away from Zuma-led ANC governance which had failed them.
The DA did have a surprise coalition in Kannaland, in the Western Cape, where local officials said they would vote with the ANC to push out ICOSA. This came after the national structures said the party would never work with the ANC.
The DA’s James Selfe said that the DA-ANC coalition in Kannaland is not valid as the local structures engaged in unauthorised negotiations.
He said that members will be disciplined if necessary, and the elected DA speaker in the region will have to resign.
While the DA and EFF remained ideologically opposed, Selfe emphasised that the two parties had shared goals – specifically to improved service deliver and job creation.
Maimane said that he appreciated the gesture by the EFF to vote with the DA against the ANC.