Elections 2024: Ramaphosa under pressure to form coalition with DA, MK Party or EFF with result upset

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is under pressure to form a coalition, including with Jacob Zuma’s MK Party to remain in power. File Picture: African New Agency Archives

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is under pressure to form a coalition, including with Jacob Zuma’s MK Party to remain in power. File Picture: African New Agency Archives

Published May 31, 2024


African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa is under pressure from his closest party allies to form a coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA), as the ruling party’s popularity dwindles.

After Wednesday’s elections and vote counting at over 70%, the ruling party was looking at a coalition to maintain a majority as support stood at 41.7% late on Friday afternoon.

Bloomberg news reported that Ramaphosa’s “closest party allies” were pressuring him to form a coalition with the DA, as well as to form an alliance with former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MP Party) and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

However, sources who did not want to be identified, told Bloomberg that it would be unattainable for Ramaphosa to remain in office in such a scenario.

MK Party spokesperson, Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the party was not willing to negotiate with the ANC of Ramaphosa.

He said the party would only form coalitions with parties that shared their views of changing the Constitution.

“We won’t engage with the ANC of Cyril Ramaphosa. We can have a discussion with the ANC. But the ANC of Ramaphosa, how is that possible,” he told reporters at the national results centre in Midrand.

“We will not engage with the ANC of Cyril Ramaphosa,” he said, adding that the party was confident it would be the official opposition.

He said the party was open to engaging with the ANC, but not when Ramaphosa was the leader.

Earlier, IOL reported that a coalition between the ANC, DA and the IFP could emerge potentially relegating the MK party to opposition benches in KwaZulu-Natal despite having the lion’s share of the votes.

DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille was seen in casual conversation with ANC first deputy secretary general Nomvula Mokonyane and chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

The leaders of the Multi Party Charter (MPC) are also expected to meet on Friday afternoon to discuss the way forward — whether they move along as a bloc or negotiate individually.

A beaming John Steenhuisen, thrilled by the DA’s results, said there was no proposed meeting with the ANC set for the weekend, although Zille said they would be willing to listen to the current governing party.

Speaking to IOL on coalitions, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Amanda Gouws said coalitions would be tricky.

“Coalitions will be challenging and it depends which party is the kingmaker (getting the biggest party over the 50% hurdle),” Gouws said.

“The DA’s Multi Party Charter is a pre-election coalition – that is good – so they don’t have to struggle to find partners after the election. If the ANC and EFF goes into a coalition, we may have more radical politics on land reform.”

Gouws, who is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Stellenbosch University’s Political Science Department, said past local government coalitions were unstable.

“Local government coalitions are quite unstable. We may see the same on national level.”

Bloomberg reported that their sources said in order for Zuma to support an ANC/MK Party alliance, would be contingent on his predecessor Ramaphosa being removed from office, something he is unlikely to agree with.

“The ANC would have to justify how it’s in a coalition with the party of a leader they are still here to discipline in their own structures,” independent political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said.

“Do they keep him a member of the ANC? And I think it just opens up a really, really a lot of unknowns, politically.”