Coalition possibilities for political parties now under way as counting reaches 50%

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe at the Results Operation Centre in Midrand. Picture: Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe at the Results Operation Centre in Midrand. Picture: Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

Published May 30, 2024


As the 2024 counting of votes neared the 50% mark by Thursday evening, a great deal of jostling for coalition possibilities had already begun among political parties contesting the governing of South Africa.

About 26 million South Africans were registered in Wednesday’s elections for a new governing party, among 52 contesting, while scores of others came out to make their mark during special votes on Monday and Tuesday.

“The Star’’ heard that during the trickling of votes at the Results Operation Centre (Roc) in Midrand on Thursday, there was an unprecedented push to force the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) to play open cards on who they would be getting in bed with post the results announcement.

The ANC breakaway party, led by former president Jacob Zuma, seemed to be leaning towards kingmaker after their performance following the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) had counted about 27% of the vote.

The MKP, after nearly three million votes were counted nationally, had received nearly 270 000 votes, putting it in fourth place after the EFF, who were in third place.

Speaking to “The Star” on Thursday, MKP national spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the MKP did not enter the elections to be in any coalitions as the mandate was a clear two-thirds majority. However, he said it was still too early to paint the real picture of their performance.

“Remember we came into this thing to win it. We didn’t come into this to form any coalitions. But I understand their eagerness, and it’s important to demonstrate that in four months to arrive at this point is truly remarkable, there’s no doubt about that. So we are happy so far, but we will be happier when we see ourselves right at the top,“ he said.

On what the party will be bringing should it take KwaZulu-Natal, Ndhlela said a lot needed to be done to get the City of eThekwini and the entire province of KZN back to where it belongs.

“South Africans are fed up and tired. And with that being the case, the reality is that people are going to respond. This is people responding to the arrogance of those that they had been in leadership positions.

“President Zuma is a president that people trust. He is the people’s president, they know that under Jacob Zuma things were happening. Unlike this current state of Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC and government,“ he said.

The governing ANC was in first place with 1.3 million votes, followed by the DA on approximately 900 000 votes.

EFF spokesperson Sixolise Gcilishe refused to be drawn to comment on the numbers, saying even though they were promising, it was still too early to make conclusive remarks.

“The numbers do look promising. We, however, do not want to comment on the numbers just yet. Maybe in a day or two, we will be able to comment,” she said.

While parties were looking to team up with the MKP, the ANC did not want to talk about coalitions, saying they were confident of a straight win.

Speaking to “The Star’ on Thursday morning, ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe instead changed tack, blaming journalists for “punting” a theme to “force a change”, and “behaving like politicians”.

“I have no complaints, but all I’m saying is I expect better from journalists … I’m expecting journalists to do an objective analysis and that people make their choices.

“But once journalists punt a particular line, they cease to be journalists and become political parties themselves,” he said.

Mantashe singled out Newzroom Afrika, saying during voting day, they were targeting the ANC.

“If you look on Wednesday on Newzroom Afrika, they were punting a theme of vote for change … Even at interviews when they went to Wits, those who were in ANC colours were not interviewed. They were interviewing people selectively …They were punting to vote for change. They are being unfair and it’s not journalistic,” he said.

However, the National Press Club condemned Mantashe’s attack on journalists.

“We condemn these allegations, because journalists don’t make an impact on how political parties perform … the media have no role to play in their performance.

“Parties know where to complain if they have grievances against the media,” the NPC’s Frans Machate said.

Neil de Beer, leader of the United Independent Movement (UIM), said all the members of the Multi-Party Charter alongside the DA, ActionSA, ACDP and others said all the parties in the charter will go back to the drawing board for a new way forward.

“The Multi-Party Charter closed last night. The MPC agreed that we will reconvene after the calculation of the ballots and form a coalition that will allow us to get to the 50%. We will then decide on who else we can approach and say here are the numbers and let us work together,” he said.

Newzroom Afrika were unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.

The Star