DA-UDM marriage in jeopardy
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Nelson Mandela Bay is casting doubts about whether it would align with the United Democratic Movement (UDM) to form a coalition government in the metro .
The DA’s main player, Athol Trollip, appears to be unhappy about working with his arch-rival, Mongameli Bobani.
Indications were that a marriage between the two parties may not happen, as the DA local leadership continued reiterating their allegations that Bobani was allegedly corrupt.
This is despite last week’s high level negotiation involved UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and head of the DA governance unit James Selfe about the need to form a coalition in the metro.
But the UDM, which is a kingmaker in the metro, seemed to be open to talking to both the DA and the ANC. Holomisa said the UDM had also been approached by the ANC and his party would hold talks with them.
Political analyst Ongama Mtimka was optimistic, saying the DA was in a better position to establish a coalition with the UDM if Bobani was excluded.
He said the ANC was unable to form a coalition due to infighting and that Bobani would reject the ANC after it plotted his ousting as mayor.
Trollip, the ousted former mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, had been uncompromising towards coalition talks with the UDM.
In a tweet last week, he said the “general” (referring to Holomisa), whom he called “party leader for life of the UDM”, blocked him on social media.
“Holomisa doesn’t like to listen hence if you differ with him or challenge him he will block you. He is totally untrustworthy as is his corrupt crony Bobani,” Trollip tweeted.
Trollip’s comment could jeopardise the ongoing talks between the UDM and DA.
However, Mtimka argued that the UDM would be a better evil for the DA than the ANC in establishing the coalition.
The analyst said the only thing that stood between the DA and UDM forming a coalition was Bobani.
“Will the UDM be persuaded enough to drop Bobani and field someone else as mayoral candidate or will the DA accept Bobani and give him a prominent position in the coalition government?” Mtimka asked.
The expert, who is based at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, said the previous DA-UDM cooperation failed because of the clash of personalities between Trollip and Bobani.
“Bobani and Trollip both have strong personalities and they pursued their personal objectives although they were in a coalition,” Mtimka said.