‘GNU, a disguised ANC-DA coalition’

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has confirmed the first sitting of Parliament, which is scheduled to take place on Friday. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has confirmed the first sitting of Parliament, which is scheduled to take place on Friday. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 10, 2024


At Pixley ka Isaka Seme Street, the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg, the party’s biggest names are at loggerheads over the national executive committee’s (NEC) decision to form a Government of National Unity (GNU) as the country’s official government.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that the ruling ANC has invited other political parties to create a GNU – a broad coalition of multiple parties working together to form a new Cabinet and government instead of a direct coalition of two parties with majority votes. A GNU is usually formed during a state of emergency or instability in government.

Ramaphosa now faces a rip in his top seven as ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe and Deputy President Paul Mashatile are dead set against the GNU.

Sources inside the NEC have revealed to The Star that many in the NEC believe the GNU is a disguised ANC-DA coalition. Mashatile is allegedly said to believe that the GNU project is an old strategy between Ramaphosa and the DA to weaken the party.

The common feeling among some in the NEC is that the disguised coalition would strengthen Ramaphosa’s grip on the government while further distancing the ANC from its voters.

“This isn’t a GNU, it’s a DA coalition. We all know it. The DA will not oppose Ramaphosa, because they are comfortable with him. Our voters will flood to the EFF and MK because the ANC will not be in charge of this coalition. There will never be implementation of ANC policy beyond this point. If we cannot keep our promises to our voters, why will they vote for us? This is effectively the death of our movement at Cyril’s hands” the source said.

“Since he became president in 2017 we have not fulfilled any of our policies. Not even one. If we couldn’t deliver to our people when we were in charge of government, how will we deliver in a DA-ANC coalition? We are afraid to speak at NEC. If the man can charge his own ally Zizi (Kodwa), what will he do to his detractors?” the source said.

Mantashe and Mashatile were not available for comment.

The GNU establishment is set to follow the election of a National Assembly Speaker and president of the Republic. Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has confirmed the first sitting of Parliament, which is scheduled to take place on Friday.

This comes after Secretary of Parliament Xolile George cancelled travel accommodation arrangements for all the candidates belonging to the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) after the party threatened to boycott the first sitting and after petitioning the Constitutional Court in a bid to interdict the first sitting.

“In light of the MK Party’s expressed decision, through their legal representatives, not to attend the first sitting, Parliament has cancelled all arrangements for accommodation and flights for the party’s elected members,” Parliament said in a statement.

On Monday, the MKP said it intends to interdict Zondo from presiding over the first sitting of the National Assembly following the May 29 elections. “In defence of our people’s constitutional rights, the MKP will file papers with the Constitutional Court to interdict the swearing-in of party-nominated candidates as members of the National Assembly until our grievances, which are premised on allegations of election fraud and rigging, are thoroughly addressed by the courts.

“Legally, the absence of the MKP members will prevent achieving the composition of the 350 members required to lawfully constitute the National Assembly, further invalidating the session which aims to appoint the president and therefore the government of the party,” spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said in a statement.

Political analyst Goodenough Mashego said the MKP’s move to take the matter to the apex court was a great move as it needed to satisfy itself that whatever it was pursuing was constitutional.

Mashego said the validity of the complaints lies within whether it contravenes any of the provisions of the Constitution.

“In the 14 days after the announcement of the election results, a government needed to be formed. That is the Constitution that says that, and if you want to challenge that, the Constitutional Court is where you can do that, because its sole mandate is to interpret the Constitution.

“I hope the MK will be given an audience before the date and before the 14 days can lapse and judgment can be granted, because if they are going to be given a further date, then that will create more challenges,” he said.

Mashego said whether the National Assembly would postpone or sit on that day was immaterial as the NA was a matter of the Constitution, adding that one doesn’t wake up in the morning and decide to postpone the judicial provision.

In a letter by MKP’s lawyers, Zungu Incorporated, the lawyers said: “Our client intends to challenge the validity of the declaration of results by the IEC (Electoral Commission of SA) pursuant to which the aforementioned lists were compiled.

“If the said decision is reviewed and set aside then the envisaged process will be legally incompetent … We are instructed to demand as we hereby do that either or both offices which are currently seized with the convening of the aforesaid sitting, must refrain from doing so as this will infringe on the constitutional rights of our clients, its nominees, its members and more importantly, its voters and indeed the South African people as a whole.”