‘There’s still a dispute over Jo’burg mayoral candidate’

Maimane says the DA believes it will now be able to elect mayors in Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.

FILE: DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has announced that the party believes it will now be able to elect mayors in Tshwane and in Nelson Mandela Bay, and he's confirmed there is still a dispute about its candidate for Johannesburg.

Earlier today, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it would support the DA when electing council leadership, but would not join a coalition with the DA.

Sitting with the leaders of Congress of the People, United Democratic Movement, Freedom Front Plus and African Christian Democratic Party, Maimane says this is a historic agreement that would provide the start to big changes in South African politics.

Maimane has also confirmed who they believe they will run two of the big metros.

"In Tshwane, Solly Msimanga will be the mayor there; in Nelson Mandela Bay Athol Trollip will be the mayor there."

But Maimane says the EFF does have a problem with Herman Mashaba.

"The EFF asked us to consider what happens with our mayoral candidate in Johannesburg and we were quite clear, we asked the people of Johannesburg to vote for Mashaba and he will stand as our candidate."

He added, "We want to respect the will of the people but we also have to respect there are institutional processes. And, therefore in answer to the question 'Am I comfortable seeing the ANC back in power in Jo'burg?' I would not be in politics if I was comfortable. Of course I'm not."

Maimane says it is clear voters have sent a strong message to the ANC.

The DA says it's still in talks with the EFF about whether Mashaba will be its mayoral candidate in Johannesburg.

Maimane has also welcomed the EFF's offer to vote with the DA in hung councils, but stressed there is no agreement between the two parties.

"We've taken the stance that we have because it is important for us to honour the relationship we have with voters. And our principle has always been that select the best for communities and cities."

Mashaba was chair of Free Market Foundation before becoming the DA's mayoral candidate.

The EFF says it does not support Mashaba because it believes he hates his blackness and continually disrespects poor people.

Malema says the DA needs to compromise so all parties can move forward.

"We think that he is inexperienced. He's got no clue what we are dealing with here. I don't know what is his arrangement with the DA, maybe there's money involved, I don't know (sic)."