22 September 2017

South Africa: Maimane - All Is Well Between Opposition Parties, but Holomisa Disagrees

The DA's relationship with other opposition parties is good, says its leader, Mmusi Maimane.

This is in contrast to the UDM leader Bantu Holomisa's view, who described the DA as "a party with a self-important attitude that takes an unbending, bully approach to coalition governance".

Maimane, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen and chairperson of the DA federal council James Selfe were addressing a press briefing on Friday on their planned steps against state capture.

They were asked about the Patriotic Alliance (PA) withdrawing from the coalition in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Maimane said the DA never had an agreement with the PA that they would get the post of the deputy mayor.

"It was never going to be... it's not perfect," Maimane conceded about the coalition. He likened it to a marriage, with ups and downs that need constant tending.

"We're going to have to work harder on these things," he said.

"I'm in constant dialogue with opposition parties."

'DA's divide and rule mentality'

In the wake of the ousting of the UDM's Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor, Mongameli Bobani, and the PA's "divorce" from the coalition, Holomisa released a statement on Friday, sharply criticising the DA.

"The DA effectively rid itself of a coalition partner, the UDM, by dissing our deputy executive mayor Mongameli Bobani for not dancing to the DA tune.

"The DA then cajoles the Patriotic Alliance (PA), to front Mr Bobani's removal on the promise of that position. Then, surprise, surprise, the DA reneges and the PA withdraws from the marriage of convenience entered in June this year," said Holomisa.

"It is now clear that the DA has neither the maturity [nor the bearing] to form, manage and lead coalition governments which are, by their very nature, demanding of compassion and mutual respect. The DA's divide and rule mentality has no place in the politics of coalition. The sooner its leadership realises that, the better."

Holomisa said the UDM would step up to strengthen the developing mechanics of coalition governance in the run-up to the 2019 elections, after which a coalition government was a strong possibility.

'She must congratulated for her bravery and integrity'

Meanwhile, Maimane and co also welcomed Makhosi Khoza's resignation from the ANC.

"For many, it is not an easy decision to leave the party of liberation in South Africa. She must congratulated for her bravery and integrity, and we hope the many like her within the ANC come to the same realisation she did: that the ANC is dead, and beyond the point of no return," Maimane said.

Asked if there were talks with Khoza to bring her into the DA fold, Maimane laughed and said that seems unlikely. Khoza has expressly stated that she will not be joining the DA.

Steenhuisen said there were many ANC MPs with similar feelings to that of Khoza and that they were in talks with them, but due to its confidential nature it could not be discussed publicly.


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