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2024 ELECTIONS

Clock ticking as big SA parties scramble to meet deadline for first parliament sitting

Clock ticking as big SA parties scramble to meet deadline for first parliament sitting
Illustrative image, from left: Leader of the Freedom Front Plus Pieter Groenewald. (Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier) | DA leader John Steenhuisen. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart) | EFF leader Julius Malema. (Photo: Gallo Images / Dirk Kotze) | ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart) | Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie. (Photo: Gallo Images / Rapport / Edrea du Toit) | Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi. (Photo: Shelley Christians) | ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba. (Photo: Gallo Images / Luba Lesolle) | Former president Jacob Zuma. (Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Tebogo Letsie)

Political parties are moving with haste to expedite the terms of the government of national unity ahead of the National Assembly sitting on Friday. There has been no clear agreement between the two biggest parties, ANC and DA, but a meeting that kicked off at 11am will be crucial in determining a way forward. 

A meeting between the DA and ANC is currently underway, according to DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi.

The DA concluded its Federal Council meeting on Tuesday morning, where they mulled over the formation of a new government. The bone of contention was the ANC’s stance to include as many of the smaller parties as possible, which could place the DA in a weaker position.

The meeting started Monday and adjourned at 3am, to resume between 7am and 9am on Tuesday.

It is understood that a chief concern of the DA is that an agreement of this nature could threaten the party’s position of kingmakers in the pact. The other issue will be around how positions will be split between the many parties, especially when it comes to ministerial positions.

Daily Maverick understands that the ANC is pondering the possibility of working with smaller parties which have seats in the National Assembly.

An ANC National Executive Committee member explained that there is a strong push to include Al Jama-ah and Good, as both parties have worked harmoniously with them in the past and are trusted allies.

Read more in Daily Maverick: While the ANC is in decline, it still has multiple paths to power

However, Al Jama-ah has raised concerns about the ANC working with the DA. Party president Ganief Hendricks told Daily Maverick they would form a national front with other parties who are also against a tie-up between the  ANC and DA.

The ANC got 40.18% of national votes, and the DA 21.81

Read more in Daily Maverick: Elections Dashboard

Hendricks suggested that the old liberation movement should try and halt this plan as the Al Jama-ah party is “extremely concerned about the current post-election developments in our country and the ANC’s decision to form a Government of National Unity with the DA and its Moonshot Pact”.

“With the above in mind, Al Jama-ah feels strongly that there is a need for like-minded political parties and organisations to form a National Front,” he said in a letter to the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo).

The composition of the national assembly allows for the ANC to collaborate with smaller parties to elect a president on Friday.

Election expert Wayne Sussman told Daily Maverick that this scenario would be possible.

“The ANC would be able to get to 50+ without the DA, MK party and EFF. They will have to work with the IFP and PA in that scenario,” he said.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Divergent policy positions may hinder potential ANC-DA coalition talks to form a national government

The IFP got 3.85% and the PA 2.06%.

Therefore, only if the ANC can convince every political party to work with them while excluding the bigger three parties, ActionSA and ATM, they would then be able to garner 208 votes towards securing Cyril Ramaphosa’s second term as president.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Democracy 2024 (Day Seven) — 12 days to reshape a country*

ActionSA’s Michael Beaumont confirmed that the party has not met the ANC while ATM’s Vuyo Zungula said he met with the party’s leadership but had no concrete conclusion.

ActionSA has vowed never to work with the ANC while the ATM has led the charge against Ramaphosa in the Phala Phala scandal.

Rise Mzansi National Communication Director Mabine Seabe said the party has met with the ANC.

“The Rise Mzansi delegation has met with the ANC National and Gauteng teams, on their invitation, separately. We have also had conversations with other party representatives from ActionSA, Bosa, DA and IFP, about working towards what is above all in the interest of the people of South Africa, among other things, ensuring constitutional, democratic and social stability.

“At this point, nothing has been finalised, and there are further discussions and meetings that will be had between now and Friday,” he said.

Parties involved in the GNU talks have also highlighted that the ANC have given the impression that the speaker and deputy speaker positions would be up for grabs if the agreement is finalised.

Working with smaller parties will put the country in an appealing position with business and the markets. There has already been negative sentiment around the party forming a government with the EFF and MK Party.

The ANC has experienced internal strife about the party choosing to work with the DA, although they would secure a strong majority together.

Meanwhile, the MK party has submitted court documents to halt the first sitting of parliament set for Friday. The party is looking to interdict Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and Secretary of Parliament Xolile George from going ahead with the sitting as they have decided not to attend. The party argues that the first sitting will be illegal as it should constitute of at least 350 members and if they are not in attendance, they will not reach the required quorum. DM

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  • Thabo Mashiloane says:

    I dont even want to log on to Twitter to see what’s been said about ANC and DA meeting. I know its so hot there it smells like burning hair. Hehehe. GNU, as much as I hate that its a term from the ANC, seem like it could work. Maybe finally we could have some accountability.

  • Ndabenhle Ngubane says:

    The only thing I like about ANC and DA working together is that ANC will not be able to steal with impunity. I am not saying DA is clean either, but there will be some accountability there.

    • Alan Watkins says:

      What evidence do you have that the DA is dirty? All the situations where it has been discovered that a DA official is dirty, it has led to firing. Whereas with the ANC you have Zondo comm.report, many thousands of pages worth with hundreds of ANC people fingered. Was the DA fingered in that report?

    • Carl Snape says:

      One of the best comments I have read of late. Accountability is vital. Without that, the looting, theft, plundering etc will surely continue. Not a perfect marriage, but a start.

    • Steve Davidson says:

      You really do need to come down here to the Cape before you start spreading lies about the DA like that. They are cleaner than most political parties WORLDWIDE (and better managers, too) and if anyone of them steps out of line, they get stomped on very quickly. They are an incredibly good example to all the many thieving parties in the rest of this benighted country on how to manage honestly and very effectively considering how they’ve had to with the ANC’s (and Zuma’s particularly) corrupt and incompetent ‘management’ for sure.

  • Thea Clifford Jackson says:

    I’m still recovering from the news that the 2 chief coalition negotiators for MK are Nati Nhleko & Tom Moyane. Is MK the last outpost of the last outcasts? Naturally I’m asking for a friend.

  • Quentin Campbell says:

    Parties should put all past politics behind them, and work towards a better SA, like in 1994.
    Or is it too late? The ANC needs help governing this country.

  • Gavin Hillyard says:

    Al Jama-ah and Good are tiny parties of no consequence in the big picture. Surely the way forward is an alliance between the ANC and the DA so as to avoid the chaos and confusion so apparent with other coalitions. SA can then move forward. If some ANC members leave so what. Moderates need to govern

  • Paul B says:

    Convincing the smaller parties to vote for Cyril to secure his second term would in theory get the over the line, however I’m certain the numbers would be very tight. This is all done via secret ballot. I am more certain than not, some ANC MPs will break ranks, to vote an opposition president.

  • best to work together with PA and ActionSA they will do a proper clean in our country true Patriots!!

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