‘God save Joburg:’ Malema tweets after Zille wins DA Federal Council contest

Image credits: Twitter/Economic Freedom Fighters and Flickr/The Democratic Alliance

Julius Malema has cast doubt on the future of the informal alliance between Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) in the City of Johannesburg.

This follows the election of Helen Zille as the new chairperson of DA’s Federal Council on Sunday.

Reacting to the news, Malema tweeted, “God safe Joburg [sic].”

Reports suggest that powerful supporters of Zille within the DA want an end to the alliance in Johannesburg and other metros.

A DA post-election review panel also suggested that it “may have been a mistake” for DA to ally itself with EFF, according to a City Press report.

Former DA leader Tony Leon and former chief strategist Ryan Coetzee reportedly presented the report at the Federal Council meeting that elected Zille.

Mashaba to resign?

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has called for a press conference on Monday, 21 October “following the outcome of DA’s Federal Council.”

It’s unclear at this stage what Mashaba will say, but sources who spoke to News24 said he will announce his resignation as Mayor.

Before this weekend’s Federal Council election, Mashaba had stated that he would resign if “right-wing elements” took control of the DA.

The Johannesburg Mayor has been outspoken in his opposition to the Institute of Race Relations’ (IRR) #SaveTheOpposition campaign, which appears to be targeted at the DA.

He was among senior party leaders aligned to DA leader Mmusi Maimane who criticised IRR analyst Hermann Pretorius for calling on Maimane to resign.

Before announcing her candidature, Zille was an IRR senior policy fellow.

Zille to ‘stay in her lane’

At a press conference soon after her election, Zille attempted to allay fears that she may undermine Maimane’s leadership of the party.

She said, “I was very humbled and grateful in being elected and I know exactly what this role entails. I will stay in my lane. This is a job that coordinates different structures, function and systems of the DA.”

Maimane also congratulated Zille on her election and reiterated that their respective roles have clear boundaries.

He said the Council had accepted the review panel’s recommendation to hold an early congress in 2020.

Reports earlier suggested that the panel had recommended that Maimane steps down. However, the party said he will remain its leader until the congress.

Asked if he will run for re-election, Maimane said he will wait to see whether DA’s upcoming policy conference accepts his “vision” or not before making a decision.

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