ANC-EFF marriage splits Gauteng PEC

The ANC Gauteng provincial executive committee (PEC) is deeply divided on whether to forge ahead with their toxic marriage to the EFF in key municipalities in the province.

The contentious alliance between the red berets and the ANC has been brought into sharp focus again after EFF leader Julius Malema’s attack on premier Panyaza Lesufi.

Addressing thousands of EFF supporters at the party’s 10th anniversary celebration at FNB stadium last Saturday, Malema said Lesufi was a leader soiled with nasal mucus.

Sunday World has learnt that several members of the ANC PEC who previously defended the coalition with their chests took umbrage at Malema’s disparaging remarks and are having second thoughts about their coalition.

On the other hand, die-hards who believe being in bed with the EFF is the most beneficial option for the ANC remain steadfast.

Malema’s behaviour towards the ANC premier has hardened some people’s attitudes, and they want a split.

In their view, the ANC formed a partnership with an EFF that constantly and publicly humiliates and attacks their leadership in the province.

Said a PEC insider: “Our chairperson feels undermined by these constant attacks, and many cadres are saying maybe we embolden the EFF by continuing to work with them, and there’s a growing sentiment that we should deal with them.”

But ANC Gauteng provincial secretary Thembinkosi “TK” Nciza said nothing of the sort would happen in the absence of legislation since there was nothing illegal about the arrangement.

“There is no divorce. We are in politics, and whatever Julius says about the ANC is because he is feeling the pinch. We are on top of them,” said Nciza.

“As it relates to the broader political spectrum in the province, the ANC is in charge after we dislodged the DA and their partners in the metros, so it is understandable that Julius will feel the pressure and start politicking.

“The reality is that the EFF and others can feel our presence and work in the province.

The ANC is hard at work, and its opponents are bound to fight back.”

Nciza said it did not make sense that people would push for the ANC to acceptopposition in hung municipalities.

This included municipalities where the party obtained the most votes but fell short of an outright majority.

In the absence of the legislation the ANC was pushing for the party with the highest number of votes to lead a coalition government, Nciza believes the ANC must seek to lead.

In that case, he said, the party enjoyed popular support and could go to bed with whoever it deemed appropriate to advance service delivery to its core constituency.

“You cannot just get out of coalitions just for the sake of doing it. We need systems and proper legislation in place first,” said Nciza.

The coalitions hot potato was this weekend firmly on the agenda in a Presidency-led dialogue that was convened in Cape Town by Deputy President Paul Mashatile to seek solutions to stabilise such arrangements.

The EFF boycotted the event, branding it a manoeuvre by the ANC to negotiate how it should be removed from power.

This was after realising that next year might usher in their first election outcome without an outright majority.

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