Pretoria - Leader of opposition party, Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) Mbahare Kekana has castigated the Democratic Alliance’s “moonshot pact”, describing it as a means to assert the DA as a big brother of opposition parties in South Africa.
Following his re-election as DA federal leader earlier this month, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party would immediately initiate a process to form a pre-election “moonshot pact” with like-minded political parties, civil society organisations and civic movements to defeat what he called a “doomsday pact” between the ANC and the EFF.
Steenhuisen, emboldened by winning his second term at the helm of the DA, also publicly declared Julius Malema’s EFF his party’s enemy number one.
Kekana sharply took issue with the DA leader’s remarks, describing them as “reckless”.
“The declaration by the clearly not-so-bright John Steenhuisen, of the EFF as political enemy number one demonstrates the worst form of degeneration and desperation. How on earth does any sane leader take aim at a fellow opposition when it is the ANC that is running the country to the ground remains a mystery," said Kekana.
He said F4SD has established itself in the local government sphere where it has served as opposition and as a coalition partner, a foundation it is building on to get representation in parliament and provincial legislatures across South Africa.
“To achieve this noble objective, we will give it our best in the rather brutal competition for votes, but not once will we seek to achieve this by joining in on attacks on a fellow opposition, an African one like the EFF for that matter. The DA's approach in this regard should be seen for what it is, typical apartheid-style fear mongering, all in a bid to maintain the status quo,” said Kekana.
Kekana said while F4SD shares DA’s concern about the sporadic emergence of new parties at a rapid pace, driven mostly by unhappiness in their political homes and or pure opportunism, “the trend does not suggest that voters are stupid for voting for parties that do not appear to stand a chance of getting far”.
"Of course, it's concerning to us that so many people are forming parties, some of whom don't even know what they stand for, as this further weakens the opposition. We, however, respect the rights of citizens who vote for these entities, including even those of our country men and women whose votes have kept the thuggish ANC in power.
Kekana said F4SD remains committed to work with fellow opposition parties in removing the ANC in the 2024 general elections and installing a pro-poor government to take the county forward.
"We believe we should stand together as the opposition and not just criticise the ANC, but come up with workable alternatives. Our commitment to this, however, does not extend to tolerance of nonsensical apartheid fear mongering by the likes of the DA, which is essentially one with the ANC. Ka ncane ka ncane ba yavela (bit by bit, they are starting to show true colours),” he said.
Earlier this week, Independent Media reported that the UDM and ACDP have rejected the DA’s moonshot pact, saying they will not support any coordinated effort that labels other opposition parties as “enemies”.
On Saturday, Steenhuisen provided an update on the pact, saying that five other parties had agreed to talks with the DA at a national convention later this year, including the IFP and the FF+.
“Unfortunately, however, I must report with deep disappointment that the following three party leaders have rejected the plea for co-operation: the Reverend Kenneth Meshoe from the African Christian Democratic Party, General Bantu Holomisa from the United Democratic Movement and Bongani Baloyi from Xiluva,” Steenhuisen said.
Holomisa said his party would not join a pact that declared others as enemies. Last month, the UDM leader first mooted the idea of a national convention of a mass-based alternative to vote for in next year’s elections. He had said that the tripartite alliance had failed South Africans and there was a need for a new alliance with like-minded parties.