‘The aim now is to destabilise the ANC’: Julius Malema
Coalition talks collapse and red berets vow to teach the ruling party a lesson
Coalition talks between the ANC and the EFF have reached the point of no return, apparently owing to the former’s “unreasonable” negotiation tactics.
EFF leader Julius Malema has, as a result, vowed it is now the mission of the EFF to destabilise the ANC everywhere, including councils where it governs with a slight outright majority.
According to Malema, the EFF had held two meetings with the ANC since the declaration of the local government election results.
Both yielded zero fruit as the two delegations could not find middle ground on anything either party put on the table.
The EFF had thus resolved to not only stop negotiating with the ANC, but to vote against it in every council and mobilise from within its ranks for its councillors to dissent.
“There is nowhere in the 66 hung municipalities where the EFF is going to vote with the ANC,” said Malema.
“The EFF is going to try to destabilise the ANC even in Mangaung and everywhere else where the ANC has got 50%, 51% or 52%.
“We have done it in North West and we are going to do it again. We are working on something nice to teach them a lesson.”
We are working on something nice to teach them a lesson.EFF leader Julius Malema
The EFF had, among other things, demanded that the ANC agree to the free provision of sanitary pads, expropriation of land without compensation, 24-hour operating times for all public clinics and the cancellation of student debt.
All these, the EFF demanded, ought to be achieved within 12 months.
The ANC apparently rejected them outright without room for compromise, although the EFF was willing to compromise on the land question.
The ruling party had its own counter demands for the EFF in a letter its acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte sent to her EFF counterpart Marshall Dlamini last week.
Duarte told Dlamini the ANC would not go to bed with a party that was not committed to having municipal administrations devoid of patronage and corruption.
The ANC also sought the EFF to commit to ensuring a stable working relationship for the duration of whatever agreement the two parties could reach, an area in which the EFF did not cover itself in glory when it dropped the DA like a hot potato in the previous municipal term.
Duarte agreed with the EFF that some of their demands were in fact policy positions of the ANC. However the 12-month timeframe within which the red berets want their demands achieved was unreasonable.
“A clear case in point is the land matter. You are aware we have worked with you on the amendment of section 25 and clear areas of divergence and convergence have emerged.
“We are committed to engaging on any proposals to ensure progress on this vitally important issue,” Duarte wrote to Dlamini.
But Malema said the ANC had messed things up by being unreasonable, taking particular aim at the party’s treasurer-general Paul Mashatile.
He the talks were bound to collapse because the ANC sent a “junior delegation” and had a “dishonest” Mashatile in the team.
“Paul Mashatile is one of the most dishonest people ever,” Malema alleged. “You must never meet that guy and think something will happen.
“We do not trust anything that comes out of Paul’s mouth. He is not honest,” he charged.