Mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: DA
Mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: DA

The battle lines have been drawn between the DA and the EFF ahead of Thursday’s crucial vote to remove Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.

The DA made it clear that it would not accede to the EFF’s demand to field another candidate and said it was Msimanga, and only him, that the party would support for the position.

The EFF and the ANC have the numbers to remove Msimanga from office if the parties stick to their threats. It would make Msimanga the second DA mayor in a week to be ousted.

Speaking at a briefing on Wednesday following a special sitting of the party’s federal executive committee, leader Mmusi Maimane said the DA would stand on principle and if that meant losing power in any governments, “so be it”.

“We refuse to compromise on our values to this new coalition of corruption. If the EFF hand back any DA-led coalition governments to the corrupt ANC, it will be for the people of SA to punish them at polls next year,” Maimane said.

The vote against Msimanga, who is also the DA’s Gauteng premier candidate ahead of the 2019 national election, comes three days after the party’s Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) mayor, Athol Trollip, was voted out and replaced with his erstwhile deputy mayor, Mongameli Bobani, from the UDM.

Following the 2016 local government elections, the DA took the mayoral seats in the two metros via a coalition and with the crucial votes of the EFF, which acts as kingmaker in the metros.

If the motion against Msimanga succeeds, it is understood that the political warfare could reach the other smaller municipalities, where the DA governs in a coalition and took up the mayoral seats with the help of the EFF.

EFF leader Julius Malema has made it clear that his party would vote to remove Msimanga through a vote of no confidence, but the party was open to persuasion by both the DA and the ANC on a candidate that could replace Msimanga.

Maimane blasted the leadership collective which formed in Nelson Mandela Bay, describing the EFF, the ANC and the UDM as a “coalition of corruption”.

Tension between the UDM and the DA in the metro had reached a crisis level by the time Bobani was ousted as deputy mayor, but the line in the sand for the DA on the UDM seemed to have been the council meeting on Monday and Bobani’s election as mayor, which the DA has indicated it would take on review.

Maimane said on Wednesday that “in light of the UDM’s joining of the coalition of corruption in NMB”, the federal executive had resolved to formally approach coalition partners to review the inclusion of the UDM in this formal agreement.

“It cannot be that the UDM consistently acts in cahoots with corrupt parties, and in contravention of the agreement.

“I will be meeting with the leaders of the coalition partners, African Christian Democratic Party, COPE, Freedom Front Plus and IFP soon and the outcome of this will be communicated in due course.”