Gayton McKenzie: Business pushing ‘forced marriage’ between ANC and DA, but that will backfire badly



Published Jun 4, 2024


Leader of the Patriotic Alliance (PA) Gayton McKenzie said his party has met the top leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) which underperformed at the May 29 general elections and is now seeking coalition partners to form the next government.

McKenzie’s PA, emboldened by its successful run and growth in last week’s elections, will be making its debut in the National Assembly. Dubbed the “biggest risers” in the hotly-contested elections, the PA scored 2.06% nationally, a significant 7.33% in the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) territory of Western Cape, and the party also garnered 8.36% in the hung Northern Cape province.

The PA will have nine Members of Parliament in the seventh administration, and the party has also secured 10 provincial seats across the Western Cape, Gauteng, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.

The results mean that the PA becomes “king maker” in hung provinces, and at national level where the ANC garnered just more than 40%, losing the majority vote it has consistently held since dawn of democracy in 1994.

The ANC lost its majority in the May 29 elections, paving way for coalition talks on who will form part of the next government. File Picture: Chris Collingridge

As horse-trading and coalition talks intensify, with the ANC engaging its opponents to bring them on board and form the next government, McKenzie told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika that his party has already been courted by the ANC.

“From my side, it was myself, the deputy president, our head of marketing and our head of strategy, there was four of us,” he told the channel.

On the ANC side, McKenzie said the ANC “crème de la crème” delegation included secretary general Fikile Mbalula, chairperson Gwede Mantashe, treasurer general Gwen Ramokgopa, Nomvula Mokonyane, the deputy secretary general, the second deputy secretary-general Maropene Ramokgopa, David Makhura, the erstwhile premier of Gauteng, national executive committee members Ronald Lamola and Parks Tau.

ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula led the delegation which met the Patriotic Alliance. File Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

McKenzie said going into the ongoing negotiations with the ANC, his party would want to be given the Department of Home Affairs in the next government. The Patriotic Alliance has campaigned on the promise of cleaning up the national department.

Patriotic Alliance president Gayton McKenzie. File Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

He said the real negotiations will be held on Thursday.

As the tough and delicate negotiations unfold, McKenzie warned that South Africa is on a knife-edge, and the situation could explode if the business sector gets its way – pushing for a coalition featuring the ANC and the DA, at the exclusion of other political players in the country.

“Business needs to stay out of these talks. Business has been dominating these talks, they have been wanting their agenda to be pushed in these talks. Business has been relentless in arranging this forced marriage between the DA and the ANC, yet none of them (the political parties) really wants it. Believe me, I speak to people in the DA and people in the ANC,” he said.

“Business is putting its foot down and saying ‘you will marry’. They do not understand the repercussion of what they are busy doing. The first repercussion is that they are making Jacob Zuma the most powerful man in this country again. I can tell you, 25 to 30 percent of the ANC will leave instantly and they will go to MK (uMkhontho weSizwe Party led by Zuma). For him (Zuma), that is the best situation.”

Former president Jacob Zuma with uMkhonto weSizwe Party members. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

McKenzie said the “forced marriage” being pushed between the ANC and the DA is that it seeks to disenfranchise the 45% voters who chose the MK party in KwaZulu-Natal, and the consequences would be dire. He said there is a “sick obsession” to exclude Zuma from all avenues of governance.

“They are trying to put a coalition that excludes Jacob Zuma. Business needs to leave its obsession to see Jacob Zuma hanging from a tree. Make peace with the fact that people love Jacob Zuma, despite all the efforts that have been done, let us move on. Let us put the country first.

“For business, the country can go to hell, as long as Jacob Zuma is not part of it (the government). People are so scared to talk about them. Political parties see it and they only say it behind closed doors. They cannot say it like I do because they get funded by these people.”

Zuma’s new political home, the newly-formed MK Party has had a meteoric rise on South Africa’s political landscape, out-maneuvering the ANC out its KwaZulu-Natal stronghold where the MK party garnered 45% of the vote. The ANC was reduced from its previous majority in the province, to a humbling 18% of the vote.

The uMkhonto weSizwe logo. File Picture