Business must stay out of coalition talks, says McKenzie

Patriotic Alliance Leader Gayton McKenzie. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Patriotic Alliance Leader Gayton McKenzie. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 4, 2024


Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie has confirmed that they have held a coalition talks meeting with nine top ANC national executive committee (NEC) leaders amid his party clinching nine seats in Parliament.

McKenzie revealed that from the PA it was himself, his deputy Kenny Kunene and two others, and from the ANC there was secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, chairperson Gwede Mantashe, treasurer-general Gwen Ramokgopa, first deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane, second deputy secretary-general Maropene Ramokgopa, David Makhura, and NEC members Ronald Lamola and Parks Tau.

“It was the ‘crème de la crème’ of the ANC in that room, they take that very seriously. I was impressed that the approach this time was very different from the last approach (where they just told us), this time they were calm.

“They were honest and told us that other parties want to talk to them. I laughed when they told us that they did not get 50% but they are the most wanted, which is true,” McKenzie told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika.

He said the ANC came knocking on their door, and that the meeting was not too long because they said they are looking for three types of government – they are considering a government of national unity, a grand coalition and a minority government.

McKenzie said the ANC looked at their results and saw that they may be able to play a significant role and they would want to know what they are looking at.

McKenzie said he told them that they cannot put the horse before the cart because they (PA) cannot say to them what they want in such an arrangement without even knowing what type of house they are building.

He said he told them that they need to get back and tell them if they have decided on a government of national unity because the PA has different demands for different types of government.

“We all agree that the meeting was cordial and jovial and we all agreed that we will have another meeting on Thursday. This time, they would have consulted the ANC whereby they will know what type of government they want,” said McKenzie.

He said he spoke with uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party leader Jacob Zuma, who said they will not work with the ANC of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

McKenzie said no party has a right to tell another party who their president should be.

“We will come with demands, we hope to get the position for Minister of Home Affairs because we have campaigned on that ticket. If we do not get that, I will not go to Parliament simply because what I have realised is the war here in South Africa … what makes the ANC’s Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s fight null and void is the fact that these people (illegal foreigners) have lawyers on standby, so I want to start different law groups to deal with that,” he said.

McKenzie said these demands did not come up at all during their meeting with the ANC because they will come back on Thursday.

He said he cautioned the delegates that the country is facing imminent riots and anarchy.

“The closer this country came to … (inaudible) was during the death of Chris Hani, I think we are right back there.

“Business needs to stay out of these talks. Business has been dominating these talks, they want their agenda to be pushed in these talks. Business has been relentless in arranging the forced marriage between the ANC and the DA, none of them really wants that. Believe me when I tell you that I speak with the people in the DA and the ANC, but business is putting its foot down that they will marry,” he said.

McKenzie said the “forced marriage” being pushed between the ANC and the DA is that it seeks to disenfranchise the 45% of 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.”

Attempts to get get comment from ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, MK Party and the DA were not successful at the time of print.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said there are a few options available to form the government.

Speaking to The Star on Tuesday evening, Seepe said so far, there are options that seem to carry traction.

“The first that is touted is the ANC and the DA. There are a lot of concerns that have been raised by ANC members and their allies, including Cosatu. This coalition will be fraught with policy challenges such as land, BBB-EE, foreign policy, and the role of the state in the economy,” said Seepe.

He further said: “The second involves different permutations involving the ANC, MK Party, EFF and IFP. The last one is a government of national unity comprising parties that have gained political traction. The ANC will remain a senior partner in such an arrangement.” | Additional reporting by Jonisayi Maromo

The Star

[email protected]