ANC’s Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula has urged party members to stop blaming the EFF and its leader Julius Malema for the ANC’s loss of Gauteng metros.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday (24 November), Mbalula reiterated that although the ANC was edged out in coalitions or alliances because it did not win outright majority, it still won the most votes in these metros.
“Smaller parties coming together to oust the ANC – that is what is happening in the metros and it happened. Others define it as ‘punishment,’ [but] if there’s any punishment, [it] is by our voters who did not come out in numbers to vote. We respect their stance [and] we need to address their issues,” he tweeted.
“They [other parties] gave the DA the metros and DA accepted graciously without any conditions and humility. If I were DA I will take it. EFF gave us conditions.
“We accept our fate; we can’t blame it on anyone. No political party is expected to make us a favour [sic], so stop blaming Malema for what he did and his party – it is their political choice.
“Let me conclude by saying this is not the time to blame others who are fundamentally different from us. Let us look at ourselves AND learn from our mistakes and build on our achievements. ANC LIVES ANC LEADS!”
DA the biggest beneficiary
The DA emerged as the biggest beneficiary when councils in Gauteng met to elect new leadership over the past few days, winning the Speaker and Mayor positions in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.
Opposition parties, led by the EFF and ActionSA, voted for DA candidates except in Tshwane where the ANC did not field candidates, paving the way for DA candidates to win uncontested.
Stung by the losses, Mbalula said the ANC faced a stark choice – “renewal or death.” He added, “ANC renewal has never being so real and urgent. This process will distinguish revolutionaries from chance takers within the ANC. It is necessary.”
ANC NEC member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also expressed sadness at the party’s metro losses.
“Comrades, we accept the outcomes of the first council meetings. Sad and painful as it is, this is a call to focus on rebuilding our beloved and glorious movement,” she tweeted on Monday.
Mbalula said the party’s leaders will give feedback on coalition talks to its members and supporters soon.