Mmusi Maimane. Picture: AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA
Mmusi Maimane. Picture: AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has claimed that the ANC will lose its majority in Gauteng in Wednesday's crucial general elections — a prediction in line with a recent poll. 

“The ANC will split, it’s finished, that thing,” Maimane said while accompanying DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga, who was voting at Capital Park Primary School in Tshwane. Maimane had voted in Dobsonville, Soweto earlier.

However, ANC Gauteng chair and premier David Makhura said earlier that he was confident that the governing party would retain its majority and not have to resort to coalitions.

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A recent poll by the SA Institute of Race Relations found that Gauteng was set to be hung, barring a last-minute surge from the ANC. On a turnout model of 71.1%, the ANC in Gauteng would get 41% and the DA 33%.

Makhura, who cast his vote at a voting station in Centurion on Wednesday, said Gauteng residents would definitely give the ANC another mandate to continue with its service delivery programme and clean governance.

“I am very confident the people of our country and here in Gauteng will give the ANC an overwhelming mandate,” he said.

Maimane said Makhura had to answer for the Life Esidimeni tragedy, where more than 140 psychiatric patients died at unlicensed institutions across the province from 2017.

“He must explain to the people how 144 patients died in mental institutions, at his government, in his hands. Does he want an opportunity to take out more lives?”

Maimane urged Gauteng residents to come out in their numbers and vote for his party, so that they could “dictate” what happens in SA.

“Let’s vote for our future, let’s be brave.”

He said the DA had a plan for government and would appoint the best people to serve.

“ I want everyone to turn out and make sure the DA is the biggest, so that we can dictate the terms, dictate what happens in SA.”

While the DA was open to coalitions, Maimane stressed that it would do so carefully, following its experiences in Nelson Mandela Bay, where former DA mayor Athol Trollip was dramatically removed from office in 2018 with the help of the EFF, their coalition partner in the metro.

He said the lesson was simple: “Work with parties who stick to principles.”

Taking a veiled swipe at the EFF, Maimane said: “When you listen to a party who says we oppose corruption and then they go elect a mayor who is corrupt, you can’t form a coalition about that.”

Maimane said they would not coalesce with political parties that had stolen money, or those mobilising along racial lines.

“Those things are wrong, we must build parties that bring people together.” Maimane was confident the ANC would lose its majority in the province, in line with recent polls and surveys.

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za