Zuma blue ticks ANC in coalition talks

05 June 2024 - 14:35
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The MKP's Jacob Zuma has threatened to challenge this year's election results. File photo.
The MKP's Jacob Zuma has threatened to challenge this year's election results. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Former president and MK Party (MKP) leader Jacob Zuma blue ticked the ANC when it approached the party for coalition talks, the ANC confirmed. 

This as the former ruling party ventures into uncharted waters, shopping for coalition partners at national level and in some provinces.

The ANC lost its majority in the country in last week's elections, dropping to 40%, 17 percentage points lower than its 2019 result of 57%. 

One ANC insider said secretary-general Fikile Mbalula’s office had reached out to Zuma at least twice this week with no response.

“When you reach out, some open the door and others don't. It is normal,” the insider said.

An MKP member said while Zuma had indicated he was not willing to meet with the ANC officially, owing to the MKP's demand for President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign, the former president was open to meeting ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

Mantashe is said to be against a coalition with the DA. He and Deputy President Paul Mashatile are said to be lobbying the national executive committee (NEC) in favour of a coalition that will see the ANC partner with left-leaning parties.

Mantashe previously confirmed to TimesLIVE that he would talk to Zuma's party.

The MKP has been clear it would not enter a coalition with an ANC led by Ramaphosa.

Zuma, who maintains he is still an ANC member, was suspended from the party.

The MKP was instrumental in the ANC’s defeat at the polls. Zuma’s party has the lion's share of votes in KwaZulu-Natal and is likely to leverage on its impressive electoral debut.

In a media briefing, party spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri confirmed the ANC had established talks with several other parties. She said these include the IFP, DA, EFF, PA and NFP.

“We have been meeting with all parties that are keen to contribute ideas on how we can collectively move our country forward to form a government that ensures national unity and stability, continues the transformation of South Africa, and safeguards our constitutional democracy,” she said.

Bhengu-Motsiri said the idea was to act in the interests of the country and its people to build a national consensus on the form of government to be taken.

“The results indicate South Africans want all parties to work together because no party received an absolute majority to form a government alone at national level and in Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The ANC is determined to engage all parties and unite the broadest range of sectors of our population behind the urgent need to move our country out of the current potential electoral stalemate.”

The spokesperson said her party is driven by the need to maintain national unity and stability and to put in place a government that will speedily tackle the pressing socio-economic challenges the country faces.

It appears the MKP remains unresponsive to coalition talks because it is waging war with the Electoral Commission of South Africa over the elections results and is calling for a re-run of the polls.

MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela previously told TimesLIVE that while the party “deals with their stolen votes” it is conducting coalition talks.

Despite the MKP turning a blind eye to the ANC's advances, Bhengu-Motsiri said the ANC has hope it will be able to consolidate a view after its upcoming NEC meeting and further talks.

“We believe despite any differences we may have, working together as South Africans we can seize this moment to usher our country into a new era of hope. Informed by these imperatives, the ANC has started engagements with political parties in the country.”

The ANC is conducting interviews of its premier candidates who will form governments across most provinces.

The party had instructed its structures to elect two women as part of their lists of three potential candidates to serve as ANC premier. 

Bhengu-Motsiri said the ANC would announce its selection of premiers next week, adding the party expected provincial legislatures to sit on June 17 and 18 to elect new executives.


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