Editor's note: Julius Malema's announcement that the EFF would no longer be voting with the DA made headlines last week. However, Adriaan Basson argues that this could open up the possibility for the DA to co-operate with the ANC in certain metros.
"The biggest political story of last week was not Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's latest finding against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, but the EFF's divorce from the DA in the Johannesburg and Tshwane metropolitan councils.
"EFF leader Julius Malema's infantile outburst against the DA for refusing to hand them the Tshwane mayorship has given party leader Mmusi Maimane his biggest vitamin shot since the DA's sobering election results in May. Maimane is now in a unique position to drive the realignment of our politics from a local government level before the 2021 municipal elections.
"My two cents on Mkhwebane's latest salvo against Gordhan: from everything I have heard and seen, including by lawyers who have read her report, Gordhan should pretty comfortably win a review application, which he is poised to file this week. Mkhwebane's report contains "glaring legal errors", says an advocate who I implicitly trust.
"Let's wait and see. Ignore the EFF-led praise singers of Mkhwebane and their hangers-on in the media and elsewhere. Their party is premature. Don't expect President Cyril Ramaphosa to act on Mkhwebane's report before a court has had a look at it. He will be fully justified delaying implementation of her recommendations based on the judicial criticism against her office in the Estina and Absa cases.
"The courts will be busy in the next month.
"In the six years that I have been involved in the coverage of the so-called "rogue unit" case, I am yet to see any evidence that implicates Gordhan in criminal wrongdoing. His detractors are purposefully trying to conflate two cases – the setting up of the unit (which Mkhwebane found was unlawful) and the alleged illegal operations of the unit (which is currently on trial in the High Court).
"In the absence of evidence yet to be produced, Gordhan cannot be blamed for each and every misdeed of the unit, if the court so finds.
"Back to Malema's early Christmas gift to Maimane. Still reeling from the DA's decline in electoral support at national level, the DA is ideally placed to open cooperation talks with the ANC in at least Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay."
Read the rest at News24.
Adriaan Basson is a journalist and political analyst.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Briefly.co.za.
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