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Grand Coalition 2024? Veterans League’s Snuki Zikalala suggests DA is better partner for ANC

Grand Coalition 2024? Veterans League’s Snuki Zikalala suggests DA is better partner for ANC
ANC Veterans’ League convenor Snuki Zikalala. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo)

A reliance on coalitions could signal that the ANC is not confident in winning future elections outright, the party’s Veterans’ League said after weekend-long lekgotla.

As political parties gear up for the 2024 national elections, ANC Veterans’ League convenor Snuki Zikalala believes the governing party should look at the grand coalition model. This would see the ANC working with the DA instead of the EFF. 

“I think that the EFF is done,” Zikalala said. “The only issue is that there is a red line with the DA. Their issue is that of racism. So if they are able to sort this out, then maybe we could work with them.”

Zikalala was speaking at the sidelines of a media briefing held by the league’s interim leadership on Sunday, 16 April, in Sandton following a weekend-long lekgotla.

The ANC has been working closely with the EFF in the past few months on an attempt to unseat the DA from power in Gauteng municipalities.

So far, the ANC-EFF marriage has succeeded in removing DA mayors in Ekurhuleni and Joburg. It failed in Tshwane but is still working on affecting change in Mogale City. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: DA death knell sounds in Mogale City as ANC-EFF partnership juggernaut steams onwards

The DA, meanwhile, believes it likely that the ANC will secure less than 50% of the vote in the 2024 national election. It has been trying to form a “moonshot pact” to ensure that smaller parties are able to come together and prevent the ANC and EFF from forming a coalition at the national level.

The first phase of what the DA’s John Steenhuisen calls the “moonshot” has involved rebuilding internal cohesion in the party, discipline, systems and policy. He believes this has been largely successful.

The DA has not, however, discounted the possibility of working with the ANC. 

ANC coalitions

President of the African National Congress (ANC) Veterans’ League Snuki Zikalala (centre) with Mavuso Msimang, Susan Shabangu and Mac Maharaj address the media on the outcomes of the three-day lekgotla in Johannesburg on Sunday 16 April 2023. (Photo: Supplied)

Ringing alarm bells

The Veterans’ League’s declaration raises alarm bells about the state of coalition politics in South Africa. The league made it clear that the ANC should focus on winning elections rather than accepting the idea of dropping below 50%. 

“The lekgotla considered the challenges of dysfunctional municipalities as well as the current political instability facing some municipalities, especially in metros,” the league said. “It was concerned about coalitions being formed without adherence to principles or the imperative to deliver services to our people.

“It was further concerned that reliance on coalitions will signal that we are not confident in winning future elections as the ANC.

“Instead, the Veterans’ League believes that a renewed and strengthened ANC must be capable of outrightly winning elections and, if we do not succeed, any political arrangement must be guided by a principled commitment to deliver to the people,” the league said.

The lekgotla considered proposals to be presented to the ANC to renew the party in respect of elections, consequence management, constitutional amendments and modernisation.

There is also a process underway to consider constitutional amendments to the governing party’s constitution. This would be adopted at the national conference and enable the renewal of the Veterans’ League itself.

The lekgotla “acknowledged that the most significant role that veterans can play in the renewal of the ANC is to support and enable the reconnection of the ANC with the masses of our people through concrete programmes of action focusing on local service delivery issues,” the league’s declaration reads.

The national task team “has an active policy committee” considering issues facing both the country and veterans. These include the energy crisis, service delivery issues and the welfare of veterans. DM


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  • Sydney Kaye says:

    Steenhuisen is making another mistake with his idea of a pre election coalition, evidenced already with the egos on display from Holimisa and other self elevated mini parties. The chances are that he doesn’t have the 51% even if everybody cooperated and even then it would be unstable. If it fails and there is an option of coalition or arrangement with a weakened ANC after the election them what?

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      “The only issue is that there is a red line with the DA. Their issue is that of racism. So if they are able to sort this out, then maybe we could work with them”

      I’m unclear: do you say this because the DA includes people of all races rather than aiming to be exclusively black like the ANC and EFF? Or do you feel threatened that educated people with by far the most knowledge of how to run a first world society know with certainty that the DA is the only possible party that can save our country from destruction?

      • William Dryden says:

        I totally agree with you Ricky, the DA has never been guilty of racism, even Hellen Zille fought for the rights of blacks, so to call the DA a racist party, is just scaremongering from the Vetrans league in the hope that the disadvantaged people will not vote for them.
        The DA is the only way the country will come right.

    • John Smythe says:

      I’ve lost a lot of respect for and confidence in Bantu Holomisa’s leadership ability since the two-timing debacles in the Eastern Cape over the last few years. It’s time he retired. There are only two ways the country can go. Up or (further) down. An ANC/EFF coalition = down dead. DA Moonshot = a chance at up if the parties can work together. I go with the latter.

  • Derrick Kourie says:

    “The only issue is that there is a red line with the DA. Their issue is that of racism.” Nonsense!
    It is the ANC who (together with the fascist EFF) are the real racists. For decades now, the ANC has kept Black folk in bondage by weakening bottom-up Black empowerment. All its energy has gone into top down Black empowerment, that has taken the form of cadre deployment. They have recklessly driven out practically all the skills of Whites who sympathised with their original noble aims and who were eager to help uplift the poor. Instead the ANC has tolerated widespread incompetence and corruption. Zikalala has the temerity to call the DA racist! By insisting on appointing the best person for the job, it seems to me that the DA is building respectful, non-patronising relationships across the colour line, and improving the lives of the poor in a colour-blind fashion wherever it governs.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    principled commitment to deliver to the people – Oxymoron with the ANC

    • dmpotulo says:

      But in Cape Flats, there is no service delivery, your so-called first world service delivery. Why not encourage DA not to cross such redline? DA is gonna dip below 50% in the Western Cape during next year general elections, thanks to PA.

      • John Smythe says:

        Take your Western Cape Cape Flats eyes to other ANC provinces and have a look at what’s really happening here before you feel sorry for yourself. The WC is a beach holiday compared the reality in other provinces. And the DA has proven what can be done in a province. The PA hasn’t. But it’s succeeded in flip-flopping its alliances more so that the EFF. But it’ll be the same blinkered instant-gratification attitude South Africans have when they think there’s a solution around the corner. The PA still has a lot to prove. Being the mayor of a dusty little town in the middle of the Karoo doesn’t quite qualify as a proof of McKenzie’s ability to run a province. And, if they have what it takes to rule the province or country, then it must first prove that it can lead with honesty, integrity, loyalty and a firm commitment to make SA a better place for all….. not just the Cape Flats. Let the PA prove their worth in Jo’burg since it’s already a complete mess here (of which the PA is complicit). If he can clean this up, then he will have the right qualifications. But what still bothers me is that McKenzie is the PA just as Malema is the EFF. The DA is a body of well-considered and proven individuals – it isn’t one person.

      • Matsobane Monama says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. The DA doesn’t have a strategy to unseat a weak and corrupt ANC. Talk is cheap where is the DA in Townships and Rural areas? Articles by so-called Experts is both misleading and wishful thinking. Voting apathy among young people all over the world is a problem and SA is not different. Rural areas the language is grants if you can’t convincingly promise anything better forget. Bullying of smaller parties in a coalition by DA is political immaturity.

        • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

          You are asking the impossible of the DA. I’m sad to say that the voting majority – undisputably Africans – have been brainwashed to such a degree by unscrupulous African politicians that they are blinded by “white” to the exclusion of everything else. Nothing will sway this, not logic, and not obvious visible evidence. What is needed is literally for the ANC to destroy this country first. And even then, I’m not convinced.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    The only racists in this conversation are the ANC ‘veterans’ who conflate every white person with racism. The DA has many problems, and I don’t personally like either Steenhuisen or Zille, but let’s ask ourselves who is responsible for the following:
    1) Going to court in an attempt to NOT eliminate pit latrines at schools, which results in deaths of young children every year.
    2) Not building and maintaining adequate roads and bridges in rural areas so that kids are able to go to school without fear of drowning or being attacked by crocodiles.
    3) Tolerating unions who are determined to ensure that black South Africans get no more than the education Verwoerd dreamed of.
    4) Taking half the school year (and longer, sometimes) to deliver basic education materials to schools, ensuring that kids are doomed to failure.
    5) Retaining a Basic Education Minister who has zero competence or track record of delivery, but is politically powerful.

    This is just in the basic education department, where it is FACT that the ANC sees ordinary South Africans and their children as nothing more than a pothole to be sped over in the rush to gravy train tenders and Stalinist centralism. There is definitely racism in the ANC-DA debate – and it is squarely in the corner of the ANC and their vicious oppression of the poor and vulnerable.

  • John Smythe says:

    If any coalition happens, a DA Moonshot coalition must control ministers of finance, military, police and foreign affairs. Never let a liberation struggle organisation anywhere near money and weapons.

  • Grenville Wilson says:

    In my opinion a coalition between the DA and the ANC would split the ANC, and assuming that the (“Non-corrupt” part of the ANC)>(“Corrupt” part of the ANC), this would theoretically give the alliance a clear majority. Bit this is dependent on 2 questions. Does Cyril have the Gonads? And is the DA capable of keeping their foot out of their mouth?

  • Miles Japhet says:

    Rich accusing the DA of racism where their policy is not so and in the face of ANC’s racist BEE legislation!!

  • Sam van Coller says:

    How about a coalition of the ANC, DA, IFP and the Freedom Front Plus – a government of national unity to re-build the country? Why should fifty plus one dictate to fifty minus one? Just a dream!

  • John Smythe says:

    Oh please! The same old, same old.

    “I think that the EFF is done,” Zikalala said. “The only issue is that there is a red line with the DA. Their issue is that of racism. So if they are able to sort this out, then maybe we could work with them.”.

    Really, Snuki? Really? Is your head also in the sand? Pull it out, man! And look all around you and see what ANC racism has done to South Africa. And then the chance of cozying up to the EFF with no comment from you on their blatant outspoken racism?

    Now stick your head back into the sand.

  • Luke Benincasa says:

    Folks focusing on racism are missing the point. It has to be a numbers game here and there is no hope in hell that Steenhuisen et al will get >50% in a national election. To call it a “moonshot” is being generous, it is more a “plutoshot” in my view.

    So let’s be frank and ask what is actually better for the country? The ANC and the EFF in power carving up everything and anything for themselves or the ANC and DA?

    A kortbroek/ANC alliance is dumb but a proper coalition of two independent parties that is open, transparent and accountable to the people will be a much better outcome for the electorate.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Not a single remark by the veterans that it is their party that f-up the country. If not as corrupt as the present lt, they are at least just as blind. Their party has proven that the one thing they have in abundance is incompetence.

  • Johan Buys says:

    The RET faction of ANC will do EFF coalition with a chuckle; it strengthens their agenda. 4 cabinet + couple of deputy ministers + a premiership + a few mayoral positions = deal done, everybody gets back to the trough.

    The only way forward for SA is that the ANC splits and then the rational part of ANC does a grand coalition (DA, ActionSA, etc) while the RET side and EFF join to become a 20% opposition with no majority in any structure. A NewANC would win back a lot of the old UDF that now sits in half a dozen parties. It still amazes me that the UDF allowed for it to disappear while SACP and Cosatu are still counted as alliance partners.

    Anyway, if people think that things can’t get worse, watch 2025 🙁

  • Rory Short says:

    “if we do not succeed, any political arrangement must be guided by a principled commitment to deliver to the people,” the league said.”

    Fantastic idea but the ANC has shown no signs of any competence in anything but corruption so far so what leads the veterans to think that it is going to change for the better any time soon?

  • What's Happening says:

    Reading the comments, there’s a lot of anger from mostly white people who support the DA. Sure, a lot of it is justifiable. But, from the point of view of people of color previously (and still) exposed to social displays of ‘white power’ it looks like arrogance, and that is easily conflated with racism. How wonderful if white people could change their ethnicity to become Black. Then we could be just as arrogant as anybody else and no one would blame us. Problem solved.
    But let me ask you this, if you could change your ethnicity, would you do it for the sake of the country?
    Yes? No?
    The point is that when it’s about kin and tribe, people have very long memories. To bridge the differences and lay offense to rest, you have to find qualities in both groups that everyone can believe in. At the heart of a nation lies the myth of that nation’s greatness.

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