'Moonshot pact' encounters trouble days after announcement by DA leader John Steenhuisen
ACDP, Rise Mzansi distance themselves from proposed opposition coalition
Two political parties have distanced themselves from the proposed “moonshot pact” to unseat the governing ANC, barely three days after it was announced by DA leader John Steenhuisen.
New kid on the block Rise Mzansi in a statement said they have not been formally approached to be part of such a coalition.
However, their disapproval doesn't seem to hinge on just a formal approach. National convener Songezo Zibi explained: “We do not believe that the mere desire to remove the ANC, which has and continues to fail South Africans, is a sustainable basis upon which to create a coalition that enjoys broad support.
“These coalitions of convenience have shown themselves in various metros and municipalities to be generally unprincipled and driven by a naked desire for power and positions for party leaders.”
He said Rise Mzansi will present a clear vision of the South Africa “we deserve, the values that should bind us together in nation-building, and a political consultative programme that will result in a broad and inclusive coalition for change while mobilising South Africans to vote for change in 2024 and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the ACDP — whose logo featured prominently in graphics of a collective of opposition parties belonging to the moonshot pact — has also spoken out.
Its deputy president Wayne Thring said the party will not enter into any 2024 national election coalition agreements prior to the elections. But Thring also registered concern about the DA's position in the proposed pact, going as far as alleging that the main opposition was appropriating the idea as their own.
“On March 15, General Holomisa, the leader of the UDM, hosted a meeting of opposition parties, in central Cape Town, with the purpose of these parties putting together a framework to save South Africa from the ANC. The guest speaker at this meeting was political economist and analyst Mr Moeletsi Mbeki.
Any opposition party 'moonshot' political process that fails to be inclusive and fails to properly consult, and where one single party positions itself as superior to others, will be left hanging in spaceACDP deputy president Wayne Thring
“The DA was present at this meeting, and it appears that they now seek to take this initiative from Gen Holomisa. Mr Steenhuisen should have taken a leaf from the general's book by consulting party leaders first, thereby bringing them into his confidence. The general also did not announce a coalition pact from his elective conference.”
Thring said in any coalition agreement there are negotiations about terms and conditions, structures, meetings and strategies, for example. and so on “No one party can assume to have the monopoly on all of these.”
He said the ACDP has always been open to talk to political parties who have the interests of all South Africans at heart, who will prioritise service delivery and not just pay lip service to dealing with crime and corruption.
“In these talks, we are guided by our constitution, policies, vision and manifesto.
“Any opposition party 'moonshot' political process that fails to be inclusive and fails to properly consult, and where one single party positions itself as superior to others, will be left hanging in space.”
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