The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has not yet decided which political party it would partner with to form a coalition government in various hung municipalities, but the removal of President Jacob Zuma is a non-negotiable condition if the ruling party wishes to partner with it, EFF said on Monday.
The EFF is seen as a kingmakers in five key metros, especially in Gauteng, where the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) were unable to get 50 percent or more of the vote as horsetrading hots up before Friday deadline to form councils.
EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said the removal of Zuma was a long-standing position of the EFF and should not be mistaken as the party’s opportunistic use of its influence in coalition negotiations.
“That’s not a condition for negotiation, that’s a demand of the EFF since Zuma broke the Constitution,” Ndlozi said.
“That’s been a constant campaign of the EFF which we have driven to the Constitutional Court. We’ve been calling for Zuma to step down, not because we are negotiating but because he broke the Constitution and the people of South Africa know that position.”
Ndlozi was speaking on Monday night at the beginning of the EFF Central Command Team’s special meeting in Johannesburg where the party would burn the midnight oil considering the progress report on the coalition discussions with other political parties.
EFF top officials, including party leader Julius Malema and deputy president Floyd Shivhambu, would be leading the meeting.
Ndlozi said the EFF has had an open-door policy from the beginning as to who the party would speak with, denying that the EFF had dismissed any coalition talks with the ANC before the August 3 elections
“If you see us talk to people do not make conclusions because we must speak, that is what a democracy constitutes,” Ndlozi said.
“We are no longer speaking from the same ground before the elections, so people are much more willing to drink from your cup as you will be willing to drink from their cup and taste the waters that are beating in their soul.”
Ndlozi said the talks had not been finalised yet, but were at a “very delicate” stage as parties still had to meet each other and present their positions.
“The national leadership takes a decision [but] we must still meet those people to say this is the decision we have made, and then they express themselves, and that can shift a lot of things,” Ndlozi said.
“It’s a very delicate space politically that everyone finds themselves in, and we are going to deal with the situation in a necessarily delicate way. But be very clear that the EFF is not going to sell its identity to anyone.”
Ndlozi said the EFF will hold a media briefing midday on Wednesday to announce its decision.