Mcebisi Jonas not opposed to mayoral position in Nelson Mandela Bay
Johannesburg – Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas is not opposed to the EFF's proposal for him to be the next mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, he implied on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of Anti-Racism Network of South Africa's annual anti-racism campaign, Jonas said he had not received any communication from the party on its proposal.
"I am an ANC member, anything that I do would emerge out of what the ANC wants me to do."
The move by the EFF places DA mayor Athol Trollip in danger of being removed from his position 18 months after he was put in power.
In an interview with journalists last week, EFF leader Julius Malema said that he wanted to "punish" the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay for rejecting the EFF's motion to allow a constitutional review on land expropriation without compensation.
Malema said the EFF wanted Jonas in the mayoral position. He said he believed that the ANC had punished Jonas for rejecting a R600m bribe from the Guptas by not choosing him to be part of President Cyril Ramaphosa's reshuffled Cabinet.
The Guptas offered Jonas R600m and R600 000 to take with him then and there if he accepted the minister of finance position, he alleged.
His shock revelation was hailed as brave and courageous by the public and made him the first high-level official to come out against the Gupta family and their alleged capture of the state. The Guptas, however, have denied this claim.
EFF in discussions with ANC
When asked if he was up to the task, Jonas said challenges faced by municipalities were political. He said it was a myth that one person could solve problems in the metro.
"I don't know what the EFF's analysis has been. They have the freedom and latitude to make their own proposals," he added.
News24 understands that the EFF is already in discussions with the ANC and other parties on the motion of no confidence against Trollip, which will be tabled on April 6.
During an ANC elections workshop on Saturday, Fikile Mbalula said the party was open to discussions with the EFF.
"We are not going to close a door to a discussion even before coalition formations. We need to speak to the EFF. We have always been open to talk on the question of coalition," Mbalula said.
DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga in a statement said that the EFF had placed politics ahead of the needs of Nelson Mandela Bay residents, News24 reported.
"The EFF's decision not to support Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) municipality's 2017/18 adjustment budget undermines the work that has been done by the multiparty coalition government since 2016."
Bhanga said council would not be able to proceed with important service delivery programmes as a result.
On the threats of a motion of no confidence, Bhanga said the EFF's "political schizophrenia" would only harm the people of Nelson Mandela Bay. News24
Land expropriation without compensation just a slogan for now - Mcebisi Jonas
Johannesburg - The expropriation of land without compensation is just a slogan, according to former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.
Speaking at the launch of Anti-Racism Week in Johannesburg on Monday, Jonas said: "I would wait to a point were people can actually start having a genuine discussion about what exactly does this mean practically and how do we put resources behind it. Until that happens, really its just a slogan."
On February 27, the National Assembly set in motion a process to amend the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
The motion, brought by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, and amended by the African National Congress, was adopted with a vote of 241 in support, and 83 against.
The parties which did not support the motion were the Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People and the African Christian Democratic Party.
Jonas said the need for asset redistribution was a debate the country could not escape, as it was an important aspect in addressing social justices.
"At the moment, it remains a slogan, in the absence of well thought through programme to deal with the question in our society.
"You must also understand that, as you do that, you must also grow the economy, attract investment... all of these are important," he explained.
The issue created panic in some quarters and angry debate. The Freedom Front Plus launched a Fight Back South Africa campaign to stop expropriation of land without compensation on Monday.The Constitutional Review Committee will start a process to look into amending the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation. It must report back to Parliament by August 30.