MK Party now ready to ‘listen’ to ANC

A group of ANC members protest outside the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, where the party held a special NEC meeting on Thursday. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela / IOL

A group of ANC members protest outside the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, where the party held a special NEC meeting on Thursday. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela / IOL

Published Jun 7, 2024


While hinting that the ANC was at a stage to agree on a coalition arrangement that was good for South Africa, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula decried what he termed as distortions that there was already an agreement with the DA.

“We’ve got scenarios and options.

We narrowed them to a Government of National Unity (GNU), where we invite everybody. We have not confined ourselves to the identity of a political party.

“At the end of the negotiations we are to be informed by readiness to compromise and to accept for the goodwill of the people,” he said.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of an NEC meeting at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg while some ANC members protested against the possibility of the ANC-DA coalition on Thursday.

Protester Esethu Hasane said they rejected the promotion of a DA-ANC coalition.

“We are here not because we are protesting against the ANC or the NEC (national executive committee).

We have full confidence that they are going to make the right decision. We are against a media campaign and media promotion of a DA-ANC coalition,” Hasane said, adding that the DA was rejected by 80% of the voters because it had regressive policies and opposed the ANC’s progressive policies.

Mbalula said the protest was based on disinformation as the ANC never announced that it would go into a coalition with the DA.

“The protest is unfortunate and is really misplaced because this is a time for sober minds,” he said.

“Inside (the NEC meeting), we are not to go in and think we think alike.

We are not dealing with the discussion from the point of view of locking ourselves into one option. We are looking at various options,” he said.

Mbalula likened the coalition negotiations to Codesa 2, where they engaged people they disagreed with to map out a solution for the country.

The ANC failed to win an outright majority in last week’s elections when its electoral support declined to 40.18%, followed by the DA, the MKP and the EFF in the National Assembly.

The party did not win an outright majority in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Northern Cape.

The election outcome means that the former liberation movement can no longer govern on its own but will have to co-govern with other parties.

Already, exploratory talks have been held with the IFP, the EFF, the DA, the NFP and the PA while a meeting with the MKP has yet to be convened.

“We are now moving into a stage, having received a mandate from the NEC to hard negotiations. We are looking at options and technicalities,” he said.

“The GNU might be different from 1994 so the devil is in the detail. The technical team in terms of negotiations will receive a broad mandate.

Protest outside the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, where the ANC is holding a special NEC meeting to discuss coalitions, premier candidates, and the way forward. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela / IOL

“We expect a sober discussion and engagement, and based on the experience of other countries in the world which have been in the situation like ours.”

Mbalula confirmed that they have yet to meet with the MKP.

“It depends after this meeting if we’ll still meet with them. Like we said, we are open to talk to anyone, including the MK Party.”

Mbalula explained that they were ready to agree on a coalition arrangement that was good for South Africa.

“When the model is agreed to, will others beyond the ANC agree to it? It is not just talking (about) coalitions without a model. It is a question of saying: Do we have a model in this country through a national dialogue that will take South Africa forward and preserve the interest and safeguarding interest of political parties in a particular way without (the) political demise and identity of political parties. We are at that stage.”

MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said any coalition had to focus on eradicating the systems that preserve and support the prolonged political subjugation and economic enslavement of “our people”.

“The MK Party confirms that engagements with the ANC have indeed taken place regarding the coalition discussions.

A meeting is expected to take place soon, where the MK Party will hear the views presented with an open mind, while firmly prioritising the inspirations and aspirations of the South African majority and blacks in particular.” On Wednesday, the SACP announced that it was opposed to a coalition involving the DA and the MKP.

Mbalula said: “We will engage with the SACP and understand where they stand in terms of issues in the model. Everyone has a right to say not this direction and all of that.”

Policy analyst and researcher Nkosikhulule Nyembezi said: “Not to diminish the current efforts to negotiate national and provincial coalition governments, but there is something darkly comic about watching, split-screen style, the contrast between the pro/anti-DA/ MK views in the ANC, as some influential decision-makers publicly express their opposing views on how the outcome should be.

“Zuma has already said he is not interested in agreeing with a Ramaphosa-led ANC. What next?”

Cape Times