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Fikile Mbalula says ANC open to talks with EFF about land expropriation

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula during a media briefing at Luthuli House a few months ago. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula during a media briefing at Luthuli House a few months ago. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 27, 2021

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Johannesburg - ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula says they can open a discussion on land expropriation with the EFF.

Mbalula said when it comes to land expropriation both the ANC and EFF agree in principle, but in terms of land custodianship, which the EFF wants, they disagreed.

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Mbalula said the EFF wants the nationalisation of land and it is not what they, the ANC, are talking about when they talk about land expropriation without compensation.

“We differ with them on that, we are stuck, and we are discussing with them on that,” Mbalula told a broadcast channel.

Mbalula said ActionSA did not come to the party because its leader Herman Mashaba made it clear from the start that he did not want to work with the ANC.

He said parties wait for results then decide after the results and then form grand coalitions. He said it was too early.

The ANC also had coalition talks with the EFF. He said they were not shocked by the EFF saying that its leader Julius Malema has made it clear that he wants to destroy the ANC.

“I don’t know why he wasted his time with us, we thought we could strike a deal because we and the EFF alone would secure the metros. We didn't even get to that discussion and the biggest dilemma the EFF is facing is to justify their ideological stance, not the scapegoat that President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille had a secret agreement with. A political party can’t take a decision on the basis of secret deals,” Mbalula said.

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He said if one looked at the numbers, in Johannesburg if the EFF withdrew, the ANC would have gone all the way and won against the DA. Mbalula said if Mashaba felt he wanted to become mayor without any support from the DA and the EFF, the ANC would have gone through.

Mbalula said when they decided that they were going to contest, they knew that they were going to give their votes to the DA.

“But they (EFF) are very firm on the issue of land. I like it, but they are not firm on their ideology principle which they portray to be. With ease they give the DA their vote, but they will never go to Zille and say they want land expropriation, all that they are going to do is to try illegal land invasions in Johannesburg, but the DA will never agree with that,” said Mbalula.

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He further said: “But the ANC can open a discussion (land expropriation) with the EFF but they have decided they don’t want to talk to us. It’s their political choice, it's not about personalities, we tried our best to engage them”.

Mbalula said when they thought the EFF was moving in a direction where they thought they could find each other, they (EFF) put demands on them. He said they addressed those demands and the EFF said no to the ANC’s response, saying it was vague and broad, and that they (ANC) don’t commit.

Mbalula said they should all go back and look at the time lines whether it was feasible, because they (ANC) are the government and they don't want to say in 12 months that they would have done some of the things.

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“Some of the things they were demanding like a state bank, we are moving ahead with that, pharmaceutical state company, we are moving ahead with that, when it comes to land expropriation we agree in principle with them, but in terms of land custodianship, they are talking about nationalisation of land. It is not what we are talking about when we talk about land expropriation without compensation. We differ with them on that, we are stuck, and we are discussing with them on that,” Mbalula said.

He said when it came to the issue of sanitary towels and student debt, which is in the EFF manifesto, Mbalula said the ANC said they should set up a team, engage and find each other.

“We could not even get to coalition, the talks were called off,” Mbalula said.

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Political Bureau

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