WHEN opposition parties in coalition addressed the media yesterday the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and EFF were conspicuous by their absence.
Party leaders Mmusi Maimane of the DA, Mosiuoa Lekota of Cope, the Rev Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP and Pieter Groenewald of FF Plus, met to assess the past year’s performance in areas they govern.
They spoke in one voice as they dismissed the upcoming ANC national conference next week.
They said the change of leadership would not bring any change to the lives of ordinary people.
“The ANC is so corrupt that no leader will be able to change it overnight!” Groenewald said.
Maimane said: “Firstly we are unanimous in our view that the ANC cannot self-correct and is not fit to lead our country. In fact, whoever is elected as the next ANC president is immaterial. There is no saving the ANC. It has become a patronage network that rewards and promotes corruption and ignores the plight of our people.
“It is time for South Africa to remove the ANC once and for all – and that is our collective goal.
“In this light we will not allow the ANC to claim back power in cities where the voters rejected them, as they have attempted to do with spurious motions of no confidence.”
They acknowledged that coalitions are difficult, but said they are learning as they go along.
Citing the case of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, where there were problems when a UDM member, Mongameli Bobani, betrayed them by voting with the opposition, they said a coalition needed principled leaders because it was “born on principle”.
Meshoe said: “When you betray, you are not principled. We signed agreements when we entered into a coalition. When there are differences, we talk about them.”
The EFF is part of the coalition, but has refused to be part of the executives in the different metros.
Lekota said in time the EFF might find that it could serve the people better if it participated fully in the coalition.