DA must be wary of acting alone, say analysts

The DA could find itself alienating its coalition partners and other opposition parties if it continued to take decisions without bringing them on board.

This is according to political analysts, reflecting on the DA’s motion attempting to have parliament dissolved, which has been snubbed by opposition parties.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA and Patriotic Alliance have also, so far, failed to get the backing of coalition partners and opposition parties to support its motion to remove Mongameli Bobani as deputy mayor.

Political analyst Prince Mashele has warned that the party’s announcement of its decisions without lobbying for the support of other opposition parties could deepen the mistrust with what are supposed to be its tactical allies.

This may not have an impact on their coalition agreements, however.

The EFF, UDM and NFP have all rejected the DA’s attempt to have parliament dissolved.

The EFF called the move disingenuous while the UDM said the Electoral Commission was not yet ready to clean up the voters’ roll.

Mashele said: “If you are a political party and you have an idea that you think must be supported by other political parties, you don’t begin by announcing it publicly.

“You begin by approaching those political parties to share the idea and test their thinking on the idea.

“The move itself was a stupid move because there are no convincing grounds for parliament to be dissolved in connection with the failed motion of no confidence against President [Jacob] Zuma.

“Parliament has granted the motion of no confidence, so it hasn’t failed in exercising its responsibility.”

Human Sciences Research Council senior research specialist Joleen Steyn-Kotze said it was unlikely that the motion to dissolve parliament would gain the support of other parties as they might not be ready for early elections. “The call to dissolve parliament raises the question of other parties’ readiness for an early election.

“Is the IEC ready in ensuring the voters’ roll is ready for the next election? There are lots of uncertainties.”

In the same week, another form of backlash from coalition partners and opposition partners occurred in Nelson Mandela Bay when the Thursday council meeting was postponed for two weeks.

Some speculated that it was because the motion to remove Bobani as deputy mayor did not gain enough support.

The motion was submitted by Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels and seconded by DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga. It did not have the support of coalition partners COPE and ACDP, nor any of the opposition parties. Yesterday, mayor Athol Trollip said the party did not ask for permission from other parties before submitting a motion.

He said the motion must first be tabled before asking other parties for support.

He described the untenable relationship between the coalition and Bobani as having “a wife who keeps sleeping with another man”.

The ACDP’s Bay councillor, Lance Grootboom, said they had yet to be consulted about the planned motion and he was not sure whether he would support it if it was tabled at the August 24 council meeting.

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