EFF members Floyd Shivambu, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Julius Malema in parliament
JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Friday hit back at the Democratic Alliance (DA) and reiterated its intention to unseat Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip after the DA opposed the land expropriation motion in Parliament.
Following the successful motion in Parliament on Tuesday, EFF leader Julius Malema unexpectedly announced that a motion of no confidence in DA mayor Trollip would be tabled at the council next month "as a warning shot" to the DA for not supporting expropriation of land without compensation.
Malema then told supporters in Soweto on Wednesday, that "we are going to cut the throat...we are going for the white man in [Port Elizabeth] PE".
The DA took issue with Malema&39;s "cut throat" statement and threatened to report Malema for hate speech.
"Malema’s statements are nothing short of hate speech and go as far as an incitement to violence. While these kinds of vile and bigoted statements have come to characterise the EFF and its Leader, they have no place in South Africa and only undermines our constitutional democracy," the party said on Thursday.
The red berets hit back on Friday, and said the DA knows that "cut throat" was used by Malema as a figure of speech.
"No amount of deliberate misrepresentation of the CIC Julius Malema’s statements as hate speech will deter us from punishing the DA for their attitude on the land question," the EFF said in a statement.
"The DA knows that we used &39;throat-cutting&39; as a figure of speech for apologetically and unsympathetically removing Trollip to mirror their own unsympathetic attitude toward black land loss. We use that metaphor to indicate that we are ending support for the DA due to its own racism," the party said.
"Because we have chosen to do this with Athol Trolip, the DA is escalating the fight so that all other mayors in Johannesburg and Tshwane can be removed. The point is, if they lose Trollip, they should also lose others, because other mayors are not white."
This latest "warning shot" by the EFF is seen as the beginning of the collapse of coalition between the two parties at the country&39;s key metros.
The African National Congress (ANC), which supported the EFF land motion this week after shooting it down last year, welcomed EFF&39;s plan to remove Trollip.
The ANC in the Eastern Cape said "its doors were open" for a possible coalition government with the EFF at the Nelson Mandela Bay council.