Inside Mashaba’s 11th hour ‘phone call’ to the EFF in Joburg

24 November 2021 - 07:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said he suspected the DA would have given mayoral positions to the ANC. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said he suspected the DA would have given mayoral positions to the ANC. File photo.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has thanked the EFF for answering his calls at the 11th hour before voting for new mayors in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.

Speaking on eNCA, Mashaba said he was suspicious of the DA’s move, saying he suspected the party would have given the positions to the ANC.

According to Mashaba, both the EFF and ActionSA could vote for the DA candidates, Mpho Phalatse and Tania Campbell, to make the DA work with minority groups, despite their previous refusal.

“When the DA started negotiating with us and then dropped us on Saturday, I smelled something that the DA was interested in giving these municipalities to the ANC,” said Mashaba.

“So yesterday [Monday] I called the EFF, and said, ‘I know I’m a political illiterate, but we have a huge challenge on our hands. The DA has a plan to give these municipalities to the ANC. Can you guys assist?

'Would you guys please support us? Let us force the DA to run the municipalities and we can deal with them afterwards'. Fortunately, the EFF accepted the idea and they were very supportive.”

Mashaba then presented the plan to the ActionSA senate, who put it into action.

The EFF leaders also got to work briefing their councillors.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu was said to have instructed his party’s councillors to endorse DA candidates in all three positions of mayor, council whip and speaker in Ekurhuleni.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the results came as a surprise to the party. 

He said the DA did not ask for help from the EFF to lead the local governments and did not expect to leave meetings with two new DA mayors, the metros’ first women to hold the positions.

“The election of Dr Mpho Phalatse and Tania Campbell as the new mayors of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni, respectively, signifies an incredible opportunity for these metros.

“Their priority will be to ensure stability in these governments and work at solidifying coalitions with parties that share our governing principles and our commitment to the people,” he said. 

Steenhuisen assured residents that as long as they have a DA-led government in charge of their metros, the party will always seek to act in their best interests and do all it can to make their city a better place to live in. 

“We are certainly not here to cling to power at all costs and would sooner return to the opposition benches than give way to demands that are unrealistic, corrupt or require us to govern badly,” said Steenhuisen. 

“I also want to make it clear that we did not solicit the support of the EFF, or ActionSA for that matter, for our candidates in these metros. There was no deal made with them, and there is no quid pro quo for supporting our candidates.”