Power tussle between DA and ANC might lead to collapse of GNU

Power struggle between DA and ANC might lead to collapse of GNU. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Power struggle between DA and ANC might lead to collapse of GNU. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 24, 2024


ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula has chastised other political parties for making “outrageous demands” for Cabinet positions.

Mbalula said the ANC was very concerned about the behaviour of some leaders who were part of the Government of National Unity (GNU).

“The African National Congress (ANC) notes with concern that some parties have been making outlandish and outrageous demands for specific Cabinet positions in the media.

“Negotiating through leaking demands to the media is an act of bad faith and this practice will not help the cause of any party. It is only the president who has the final say on the appointment of his Cabinet,” he added.

Mbalula said the GNU would not be held to ransom by any single party, adding that South Africans needed a government to be established sooner, rather than later.

Mbalula’s frustration could be attributed to reports of the DA’s no-compromise stance on positions of having its leader, John Steenhuisen, as either the country’s deputy president or minister in the Presidency.

The party has held the ANC to the Statement of Intent that both parties had signed which set out that parties in the GNU would be allocated ministerial positions based on proportional representation.

Speaking to The Star on Monday, DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said his party remained committed to the Statement of Intent which sought to set up a GNU.

“The purpose of our negotiations now is to give expression to that statement so that we are able to make a positive impact on the lives of South Africans.

“We obviously cannot enter a government if we do not have the means to effect positive change. We are hopeful that we can reach a satisfactory agreement with the ANC,” said Malatsi.

The DA was obliged to respect the mandate the party got from voters and put the people of South Africa first, he said.

This comes as there were disagreements between the “big brothers” of the GNU on how ministerial positions should be shared.

According, to Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie the delay in announcing the GNU Cabinet was due to political parties’ quest for power.

“The delay and fight is now about positions in the GNU, let no one lie to you. Politicians and political parties exist for the accumulation of power, stop acting like you exist for ambience, the delay is about who occupies which positions now. We should all be honest about this obvious point,” McKenzie said.

This publication reported on Monday that the DA had set its eyes on the minister in the Presidency post.

The position is the most powerful and includes the key portfolio of State Security, which controls, monitors and provides the state with domestic and foreign threats.

The DA was championing this position for its leader John Steenhuisen as the party’s federal chairperson Helen Zille had hinted.

According to the Statement of Intent, both the ANC and DA had signed, the arrangement of working together would trickle down to provincial and local government.

This arrangement saw Gauteng’s newly-elected Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s postponement of his scheduled media conference where he was to announce members of his executive committee (MECs) which was however cancelled abruptly.

Later on Sunday afternoon, it was reported that the reason Lesufi postponed the announcement was due to an intervention by the ANC and the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

However, Lesufi denied there was ever an intervention from the president, citing his reasons for postponing as allowing negotiators to iron out a few outstanding issues.

“The negotiators requested more time. Unfortunately, these are not usual negotiations. They’re extremely complicated and difficult,” he added.

Lesufi also disputed reports that he was instructed to include members of the DA in his cabinet.

The ANC failed to garner enough votes to secure an outright majority in Gauteng, requiring the buy-in from other parties to form a government.

The Star

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