South Africa’s EFF party ends municipal coalition with the DA

The DA described the decision as “unfortunate” and to the detriment of “the millions of South Africans
South Africa's EFF party ends municipal coalition DA

South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it has pulled out of local government coalitions with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), a move that could hamstring the running of key municipalities.

The EFF said on Tuesday it was terminating an informal deal it had reached with the DA after local government elections in 2016 that dealt a setback to the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

By joining forces, the DA and the EFF wrested power from the ANC in several major cities, including the capital Pretoria and the economic hub Johannesburg.

But on Tuesday, the EFF leader Julius Malema said: “We are no longer voting with DA in all municipalities and we will not vote with the ANC”.

“We will participate in the debates, however, we will not vote”.

“We cannot keep voting for people who can’t vote for us. Power-sharing means give and take,” Malema said. 

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The DA described the decision as “unfortunate” and to the detriment of “the millions of South Africans who voted for change in the 2016 municipal elections”.

“It will erode all the good work (municipal) coalition governments have done in the past and it will hinder progress in the future,” said the DA.

“If the EFF chooses to hand over well-functioning municipalities back to the corrupt ANC, they must account to the people who voted for change,” it warned.

Without an alliance, municipal councils in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth may be deadlocked.

The loss of these three municipalities dealt a humiliating blow to the celebrated anti-apartheid party once led by Nelson Mandela, although the ANC still holds power at national level.

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