A special council meeting scheduled to take place on 30 Jan could see a motion of no confidence against the mayor of Metsimaholo Local Municipality in Free State, Sello Hlasa. Metsimaholo was finely split between political parties in 2016 and was eventually run by an opposition coalition.
The ANC obtained 19 seats, the DA 12 seats, the EFF got eight seats and the community association received two. The EFF voted with the association and gave it the mayoral seat. The DA was given the speaker position.
However, Hlasa is alleged to have subsequently aligned himself with the ANC. He did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
ANC Free State secretary William Bulwane has denied this, but said a meeting with the association was scheduled for this weekend.
According to sources in the municipality, the DA was likely to vote in support of an EFF mayoral candidate to replace Hlasa should the motion of no confidence succeed next week. This followed talks between the DA and the EFF on Tuesday.
A by-election was also scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but EFF leader Julius Malema said at a media briefing on Monday that the mayor would be removed before the by-election.
This means the EFF will be governing its first municipality after it contested its first local election last year.
DA federal chairman James Selfe said “conversations with the EFF are ongoing” around the challenges in the municipality. He said a change in governance was likely but would not elaborate on the details.
On Monday, Malema said it would not be a coalition, but a co-operation agreement and was an opportunity for the fledgling party to “show them what we’re made of”.
“So we have said to the DA, when we take over government in Metsimaholo, we want to be the government alone. We don’t want a coalition…. We want the DA to vote for the EFF government in Metsimaholo in the same way we did with them here … we’re going to run a successful municipality,” he said.
The coalition that enabled the ANC to govern in Ekurhuleni is also on the ropes. The ANC risks losing power in this metro, the only one it governs in Gauteng, if it does not give in to the demands of the African Independent Congress (AIC)
An ANC delegation, led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, met the AIC on Tuesday to discuss deadlines for the Matatiele demarcation issue.
The ANC entered into a coalition with the AIC after the local government elections, which resulted in the governing party retaining Ekurhuleni and the Rustenburg local municipality in the North West.
This was on condition that the ANC help return Matatiele to KwaZulu-Natal. Matatiele was demarcated from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape in 2005. The AIC has been fighting to reverse this since 2009.
The AIC had given the ANC until March 31 to agree to tangible commitments on this.
On Tuesday, AIC president Mandla Galo said the party finally felt that the ANC was taking it seriously.
This was after a number of meetings had been cancelled and the AIC threatened to leave the coalition.