Did the DA ‘double-cross’ Herman Mashaba? Helen Zille says ‘no’

22 November 2021 - 12:30
DA federal council chair Helen Zille says the DA is sticking to a commitment it made before the recent local government elections about not getting into unstable coalitions.
DA federal council chair Helen Zille says the DA is sticking to a commitment it made before the recent local government elections about not getting into unstable coalitions. 
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

DA federal council chair Helen Zille has come out in defence of her party, saying it did not “double-cross” Herman Mashaba and ActionSA in coalition talks. 

Zille also denied that the DA double-crossed voters, saying it was sticking to a commitment it made before the recent local government elections about not getting into unstable coalitions. 

Sunday Times reported Mashaba accused the DA of dishonesty after its leader John Steenhuisen announced on Saturday the DA would field its own mayoral candidates in Tshwane and Johannesburg. 

Steenhuisen said in 2016 the DA had an unpleasant experience leading in a minority coalition that depended on the support of the EFF to stay in power. Steenhuisen said the party was committed to changing that in the next five years. 

Zille made similar comments, saying Mashaba’s proposal was that he be at the helm of a minority coalition in Johannesburg that would rely on the EFF to get the majority vote of 50%+1, a compromise the DA was not going to make.

She said the coalition involving the EFF was difficult and often traumatic.

“He has not been double-crossed. Nor has anyone else. It should come as absolutely no surprise that we continue with our stated commitment. Mpho Phalatse is our mayoral candidate and the DA will vote for her,” Zille said. 

Zille said the EFF leadership wanted a Johannesburg mayor who was on the party’s side while they influenced the administration from behind the scenes.

They want a mayor in Johannesburg who is beholden to them and will do their bidding  so the EFF puppet master outside the minority coalition can control the administration, and the key decisions about positions, tenders and contracts,” she said. 

The DA will field Phalatse and Randall Williams as its mayoral candidates in Johannesburg and Tshwane respectively.

Ahead of the swearing in of councillors and election of a mayoral candidate in Johannesburg, Zille said the DA was remaining true to itself. 

We cannot allow the EFF in by the back door, where they pretend to be out of government but are actually the puppet masters behind a minority coalition led by Mashaba. We tried that before and it failed. We learn from experience and we keep our promises,” she said.                  


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