Zille denounces ActionSA’s claims of rift between DA leaders and former Joburg mayor

  • ActionSA blamed the DA for the coalition’s loss of Johannesburg. 
  • ActionSA alleged that Mpho Phalatse had begged her national leaders to allow for a compromise to save the City from a power grab, but the request was denied. 
  • The DA’s Helen Zille says ActionSA’s claims are not true. 

The DA’s federal council chairperson, Helen Zille, called out ActionSA on Monday for what she believes is a misrepresentation of the facts.

This, after ActionSA claimed that the former mayor of Joburg, Mpho Phalatse, had begged the DA’s national leadership to allow her to save the coalition from losing the City of Joburg’s speaker position.

During a briefing on  Monday, ActionSA’s Gauteng leader, Bongani Baloyi, said Phalatse had called her party leaders to allow her to give concession to an IFP candidate being elected as speaker.

Instead, the DA continued pushing for its candidate, jeopardising the coalition’s claim over the speakership and later the mayoral seat.

A blame game between the DA and its coalition partners had been ongoing since last week, which resulted in Phalatse being removed and replaced with ANC councillor Dada Morero.

READ | ActionSA prepares for loss of Ekurhuleni following Joburg ousting of coalition

“Former mayor Mpho Phalatse pleaded with the DA’s national leadership at the 11th hour to allow them to support an IFP speaker when it became clear that the PA would not support DA speaker Alex Christians. The DA’s leadership refused, which handed the government to the ANC coalition,” ActionSA said on Monday.

In response to this media briefing, Zille said the DA leadership received no call, as claimed by ActionSA.

She also took issue with the party speaking on behalf of Phalatse.

There has been a growing narrative that there remains a wedge between the DA leadership and its mayors.

It has been alleged that decisions were taken in Cape Town and not in Johannesburg, where the vulnerable coalition is located.

“Could someone please tell us which DA leadership was approached at the 11th hour to make the IFP the speaker? At no stage did any such request, let alone plea, come to any of the DA leaders I have spoken to. And another thing: Who gave Action SA the right to speak for Mpho?” Zille tweeted on Monday afternoon.

Phalatse tweeted a similar media statement on Saturday, saying there was no “wedge” between her as the leader of the DA in Johannesburg and the national leadership.

“There is no discontent between myself and the DA leadership. We are united in our quest to undo yesterday’s illegal act and reinstate the DA-led multi-party government,” Phalatse said.

The DA is forging ahead with its court action to declare the sitting on Friday, which removed Phalatse, declared unlawful.

The party will argue that the caucus meeting, which allowed for the special council sitting, did not quorate, effectively making Friday’s sitting illegal.

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