Minority parties warn of a ‘return of white rule’ and weakened opposition

Minority parties elected to parliament have warned that the proposed government of national unity could result in a weakening of the opposition.

After failing to get an outright majority at the just-ended general elections, the ANC — which received most of the votes — has called on all the political parties that made it to parliament to join a government of national unity.

While some parties scorned the invitation, others like the DA are warming to it. 

Al Jama-ah, which is in a coalition with the ANC to run the Joburg city metro, also warned the unity government could mark “a return of white rule”.

Al Jama-ah leader Ganief Hendricks said he was invited by the ANC to talks at the weekend to engage in a consultative process on the way ahead, but warned the former liberation movement about working with the DA.

Al Jama-ah rejects a GNU because it will include the values of the DA’s pact, which he claimed were “antihumanitarian” and supports the “genocide of Palestinians”.

He claimed the DA’s policies were “antipoor” leaving most South Africans out in the cold. 

“The ANC was given a mandate to govern and serve, though with 40% as a minority government, but we warned against joining hands with parties that are hell-bent to return the country to ‘white rule’.

“Less dependence on white monopoly is the only way to prosperity for all South Africans. The country’s economy should be controlled by blacks; the reparation of land will not be achieved by a GNU,” he said.

“Codesa delayed true freedom and a GNU will further bury these aspirations which would eventually lead to a bloodbath,” said Hendricks.

“SA must govern and serve her people without any interference from the former colonial masters [who are] against the ANC’s policy of nonracialism.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said he expected the proposal of a GNU would be a strong possibility but they would need clarity on the preconditions and principles before joining it.

“It will also matter which other political parties they are willing to form a GNU with. We are waiting to see a proposal from the ANC on national level, but on provincial level, particularly in the Northern Cape, we are in discussions. We are looking at certain aspects and we will follow up,” Groenewald said.

The party will do everything to ensure there is a government in the best interests of the people of SA.

Groenewald said they were unwilling to negotiate about principles such as the recognition of the constitution and expropriation without compensation.

ActionSA said it would accept the idea of talking.

Our numbers would not be mathematically required for such an entity and the GNU would realise the terms of sufficient consensus will exist exclusively between the DA and the ANC. They will come to learn that the remaining parties would remain extraneous to the decision-making process,” national chair Michael Beaumont said. 

ActionSA believed it is best for them to become the unofficial opposition, he said.

Rise Mzansi’s Songezo Zibi said his party was willing to talk, but all parties must work together to ensure stability. 

“It’s difficult to develop a position. We would have to hear what they say so we can take a decision. 

“There is a mistaken belief in SA that governing only involves the government executive and parliament is not governing. Our position is government in our constitution is not the executive only, it is the government executive and the legislative branch.

Zibi said for some the best role might be in parliament, not in the executive, to ensure oversight and accountability.

Build One SA’s (Bosa) Mmusi Maimane said his party would have to consider what a GNU does, saying it will not work without an inclusive plan.

It cannot be the ANC’s plan we execute. To not foreground any arrangement with a plan that addresses the issues of 16-million South Africans is futile. Bosa went into politics for the interests of a plan. We have a 10-point plan and we have been consistent on that.”


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