‘It’s just teething problems: IFP weighs in on Zille, Mbalula GNU spat

The ANC’s Fikile Mbalula and Helen Zille of the DA have been locked in a war of words.

The ANC’s Fikile Mbalula and Helen Zille of the DA have been locked in a war of words.

Published Jun 21, 2024


The Inkatha Freedom Party's Velenkonisi Hlabisa believes the public spat between ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, and chairperson of the DA’s federal council, Helen Zille, was merely teething problems.

Hlabisa said the party has taken note of the ongoing disagreements between Mbalula and Zille pertaining to Clause 24 of the Government of National Unity (GNU) statements of intent.

Clause 24 states: “In keeping with the spirit of an inclusive GNU it is agreed that the composition shall be discussed and agreed amongst the existing parties, whenever new parties desire to be part of the GNU”.

And according to Zille, the African National Congress (ANC) cannot make decisions on its own.

Speaking to Clement Manyathala on the SABC’s "Face the Nation" show, Zille said the ANC was not the deciding party in the new GNU-led government.

She said all parties in the GNU must reach consensus.

“So they must first of all be parties to the GNU, and then those parties have to represent 60% of the seats in the National Assembly,” Zille said.

She added that Mbalula must first discuss with the Democratic Alliance (DA), which parties should join the GNU.

Hlabisa has tasked the party's coalition negotiations task team to engage with both parties.

“We are of the opinion that there is an urgent need to iron out the differences through a joint meeting by the members of the GNU,” Hlabisa said.

“We do not believe that the current situation is a crisis. It is necessary teething problems for a new GNU dispensation. The GNU is a coalition government.”

He added that one of the elements for a successful coalition government was that whenever there were differences of opinions, there must be joint engagement by GNU partners in order to find common ground, and in order to speak with one voice.

Hlabisa said constant engagement will remain the only way to strengthen the foundations for the current and future coalition government arrangements.

“Evidently, more difficult issues and questions will arise in the next five years. But the solution will be how the GNU partners rise to meet these challenges, and iron them out amicably,” Hlabisa said.

“The IFP, as a responsible GNU Partner, is committed to playing an active role in order to ensure that we to always reach common ground, in order to take our country forward.”

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