Monday, June 24, 2024

South Africa: ANC prefers a national unity government

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has said it prefers to form a national unity government which could make room for other political parties.

Its leaders say they are talking to five parties towards realising this dream of a unity government.

The ANC secured 159 seats out of 400 in the new National Assembly, while the DA had 87. The uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), led by former president Jacob Zuma has 58 seats, the EFF 39, the Inkatha Freedom Party, 17 and the far-right Patriotic Alliance (PA) nine.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri told journalists in Johannesburg that  “At this point in time the conversation is looking at the government of national unity because this is what the people of South Africa said to us.”

She said, the party’s National Executive Committee would discuss options on Thursday. But even before the ANC takes a decision, the second-largest party, DA has said it would not join a government that included some of its smaller rivals.

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“If the (ANC’s) idea is also to extend an invitation to all parties above a certain threshold to serve in the executive, which would include MK, the EFF and the PA, our negotiating team will not be empowered to conclude such an arrangement,” DA spokesperson Werner Horn is quoted by Reuters as saying.

The ANC has run South Africa since Nelson Mandela led it to victory in the 1994 elections, marking the end of apartheid.

But it has lost its parliamentary majority and faces a tough time securing coalition partners to form a government.

Ms Bhengu-Motsiri is optimistic despite the prevailing difficulties getting parties from across South Africa’s political spectrum to agree on common policies.

“We believe that despite any differences we may have, working together as South Africans, we can seize this moment to usher our country into a new era of hope,” she said.

The ANC though has to find a solution in the coming days as parliament must sit and elect a president within 14 days of the results being declared.


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