Johannesburg - DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille rejected claims made by EFF leader Julius Malema that she made an agreement with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Malema, during his party’s press briefing this week, claimed that the EFF disrupted a plan orchestrated by Ramaphosa and Zille to hand over hung metros to the ANC.
“There was no agreement at all with Ramaphosa. The only agreement that I knew of that was being negotiated was the attempt facilitated by Malema that he should be given the City of Tshwane to govern, Herman Mashaba and ActionSA be given City of Joburg and the ANC be given the City of Ekurhuleni. The idea was that they were going to take over those governments completely, the other parties would go into opposition and it would be like handing out sweets at a children's birthday party,” Zille said.
She said the DA does not operate like that.
“This election was all about the DA vs the ANC,” she said.
Video: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)
Zille made an example of how she was involved in the battle. She said a month before the elections the DA was polling at 34% in Nelson Mandela Bay, while the ANC was polling at 48% which she said was bad. She said their tracking poll is very good.
“That was when Steenhuisen pulled me and said I was going to NMB until the election and my mandate was to beat the ANC and I went to NMB with that sole mandate to beat the ANC,” she said.
Zille said they worked in a team led by capable people. They worked their fingers to the bone and reduced ANC support to under 40%. She said they beat the ANC by 0.05%.
“This was the major battle playing itself out all over the country, because our goal was to bring the ANC below 50% and that is what we and other parties did,” Zille said.
She said that was the key achievement of these elections, to break the cycle pattern of single party dominance in South Africa.
“When I listened to Malema’s words, I thought to myself he is acting like a jilted lover. Remember in 2016 we had a relationship with Malema, that was the biggest mistake the DA has ever made and I conceded. But we went to some kind of engagement, I suppose; a long term on-off dating relationship in which they gave us minority governance, but expected us to be true to them and not date anyone else. We saw that ended up in a full-blown relationship between one of our mayors which exists till today although he is in another party,” Zille said.
She further said: “This time around we said absolutely no way we are going into any arrangement whatsoever with EFF. We were approached to support the EFF mayor in Rustenburg and we said no. I had no idea that Malema was going to support us anywhere in the country because we broke it off.”
She said Malema wanted the DA to depend on them which was why he voted for them, which she said was a surprise.