"Inclusion of small parties in GNU is to boost ANC’s support against DA"

Bantu Holomisa and Gayton Mckenzie at the first sitting of the seventh Parliament at the CTICC in Cape Town. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Bantu Holomisa and Gayton Mckenzie at the first sitting of the seventh Parliament at the CTICC in Cape Town. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 23, 2024


The reason the Democratic United Movement (UDM) joined the Government Of National Unity (GNU) was because it understood the terms and conditions set out in it, the party’s secretary-general Yongama Zigebe said on Sunday.

Zigebe told The Star that the party got the clarification it sought from the ANC following the letter it sent to the governing party seeking clarity on the GNU after the first invitation they received from the ANC.

“As you will recall, we wrote a letter on June 17, 2024, seeking clarity on certain elements of the statement of intent sent by the ANC.

“Following our meeting with the ANC on June 21, 2024, we received the necessary clarifications, as detailed in our response letter to the ANC SG,” he explained.

Zigebe, however, said the party’s decision to join the GNU should not be seen as reneging from its commitment to the Parliamentary Progressive Caucus.

He continued to say majority of political parties in the Progressive Caucus were in fact in support of the GNU.

“No, joining the GNU does not mean reneging on our commitment to the Progressive Caucus. No party from the Progressive Caucus opposed the GNU. Our primary concern was the lack of proper engagement and consultation.

“Some members were promised that an agreement or the statement of intent would be shared earlier in the week prior to the Friday National Assembly sitting, which did not happen.

“However, none of the parties are opposed to the GNU. In fact, we all believe that it represents the right kind of governance that South Africa needs, as reflected in the voice of the electorate,” UDM’s secretary General added.

He said that the UDM did not consult nor inform parties in the Progressive Caucus of its decision, adding that every party operated independently and carried its own mandate from the electorate.

“The Progressive Caucus we share similar ideologies. The UDM campaigned on a ticket of GNU as part of its manifesto. After the elections, we continued to make clarion call that all 18 political parties represented in Parliament to sit around the table and form part or this GNU.

“The ANC is also actively engaging with all political parties to join and sign the statement of intent to formalise the GNU.”

Political analyst Andre Duvenage said UDM joining the GNU made things more complicated since a number of other political parties came into play.

Duvenage said their inclusion brought nothing but complications inside the GNU founders.

“I understand the ANC’s strategy of bringing in as many as possible in order to undermine the influence of the main opposition which in this case was the Democratic Alliance (DA). The resistance we are picking up from the Helen Zille and others that the ANC did not follow the agreement,” he added.

Furthermore, the analyst said these could results in unstable coalition adding that the inclusion of these small parties was to support the ANC’s strong position against the DA.

The Star