LIVE BLOG | BREAKING: ANC reaches 'breakthrough' with political parties to form a GNU

Published Jun 13, 2024


ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula says a breakthrough has been reached

ANC Secretary General, Fikile Mbalula speaking at a press briefing in Cape Town ahead of the National Assembly sitting on Friday where the new president will be elected said the ANC said they had engaged with all the political parties and “agreed on the need to gravitate towards the centre”

“Except for a few who did not support the Government of National Unity (GNU). For us, the GNU reflects the outcome of the elections. We are in no position to govern alone. Where we are not in charge, we will defer to those above us."

Mbalula mentioned that all the agreements will be made public but could not go into details

He added:"We have approached these discussions with an open mind. We have engaged all parties on the concept of the GNU and are not afraid to work within it. We believe we have reached a significant breakthrough and that we need to work together, not as a melting pot, but to move the country forward."

Mbalula said party president Cyril Ramaphosa has met with Economic Freedom Fighters leader, Julius Malema as well as Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen and other political parties.

"We have met all political parties, we are not closing the door to anybody," he said.

"What is discussed behind closed doors between leaders is not a matter sometimes of public consumption because you have got to respect each other, those are the parameters." Mbalula said the parties could not address the media prematurely before they reached agreements.

"We are negotiating. We are engaging with everybody but not with a cap in the hat."He said the ANC was engaging all parties, even those with one seat.

Report by Devereaux Morkel

GNU does not mean the ANC is dying: Mbalula

A Government of National Unity (GNU) does not signify the death of the African National Congress, ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday.

"This moment itself is not like we are going into something or conceptualising something that defines the death of the ANC," he said briefing the media after a special ANC NEC meeting.

He said the negotiations with other parties should be looked at for what it was as the ANC not winning the elections.

Mbalula said it was not the mandate of any political party to change the Constitution which guarantees the rights of South Africans.He said the GNU was safeguarded by the Constitution.

EFF rejects working with DA in GNU

EFF leader Julius Malema, addressing a press conference in Cape Town said that EFF is not against the Government of National Unity (GNU) but rather against the inclusion of the DA and FF+ in it.

“As we said before, the EFF will not participate in a government that includes right-wing and reactionary political parties,” he said.

Malema says they are of the view that former President Jacob Zuma’s MK Party should be given an opportunity to run the province after its performance in the 2024 elections.

“We as the EFF will support all processes to constitute the legislature that is led and guided by MKP as the political party that has received the highest number of votes in the Province,” he said.

Malema said the MK Party will overcome its internal leadership squabbles.

“It comes with the territory. There is no single organisation that was formed and never faced leadership challenges,” says Malema.

Kamogelo Moichela

MK Party says no to National Assembly yes to Provincial Legislatures

The MK Party will not send its 58 MPs to be sworn in at the National Assembly on Friday but will send MPs to be sworn in at the provincial legislatures.

This is according to MK Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela, who was speaking to news channel eNCA. He said they would not send their MPs to the National Assembly as they were still protesting the IEC’s election results and would continue to pursue legal options.

“Even if it means we have to go to international courts, we will protest within the law as a party. Again, as a peaceful party, contrary to popular belief, we would not have taken up arms,” he said.

When asked why they had decided to send their members to be sworn in at the provincial legislatures, Ndhlela said that while they were still protesting, they were still part of an election campaign to serve the needs of the people.

“We didn't contest elections to be protesting. We didn't contest elections for them to be rigged in the first place. We didn't contest elections for individuals to infringe on our rights. We contested elections so that we could serve, but serve on the back of free and fair elections. Were these elections free and fair? No, but we find ourselves in the back of a rigged system that continues to oppress small parties and the rights of South Africans.”

When asked about his party’s response to news that the National Freedom Party would join the ANC, DA, and IFP to form a government in KwaZulu-Natal despite the MK Party receiving the majority of votes (45%), Ndhlela said,

“The reality is that MK is the only party loved by the majority of people in KZN; the rest have been rejected. So, what you have here is a conglomeration of rejects. It's going to be very difficult for them to govern. That's just the situation they find themselves in. It's going to be unfortunate because this will affect the majority who didn't want them and who rejected them when it comes to service delivery. That's just the reality. You can tell this coalition is just based on positions and accumulating wealth, nothing else. It has nothing to do with serving the people of KZN,” he said


NFP joins ANC, DA and IFP in GNU

National Freedom Party leader, Ivan Barnes, and the leadership of the party held a press briefing in Umhlanga on Thursday where he announced “supports and prescribes” to the Government of National Unity.

He said the agreement to join the GNU was that service delivery must be put at the forefront.

This has dealt a blow to former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party’s chances of governing KwaZulu-Natal despite getting the most votes - 45% of the electorate in the province.

Barnes said they were encouraged by the level of engagement with the ANC and other political parties. "The spirit of partnership and the maturity that have characterised negotiations are a source of inspirations for millions of people."

To govern KZN, a party must have 41 seats.

Jolene Marriah -Maharaj

Security cluster confident of incident free sitting of National Assemble 

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) is confident that Friday's first sitting of the National Assembly will go ahead without any disruptions.

Natjoints co-chairperson, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, said along with its provincial structures, they are ready to ensure the continued smooth running of all events that are yet to be held including Friday's first sitting in Cape Town, and all Provincial Legislature sittings taking place simultaneously in all provinces.

Report by Se-Anne Rall

The ANC has announced its list of Premier candidates.

The party's secretary general, Fikile Mbalula, said this comes after a series of interviews with the respective candidates.

"All interviews were observed by the Chairperson of the ANC Electoral Committee, Cde Kgalema Motlanthe, or a member of the Committee nominated by him," Mbalula said.

The candidates are:

  • Eastern Cape: Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane
  • Free State: Maqueen Letsoha-Mathae
  • Gauteng: Andrek Hendrick “Panyaza” Lesufi
  • Limpopo: Phophi Constance Ramathuba
  • Mpumalanga: Mandla Ndlovu
  • North West: Kagiso Lazarus Mokgosi
  • Northern Cape: Zamani Saul

- Report by Se-Anne Rall

African National Congress members arrived at the Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town on Thursday ahead of the ANC’s special National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

- Report and pictures by Kim Kay

ANC members arrive at the Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town on Thursday ahead of the ANC’s special NEC meeting. Picture: Kim Kay/IOL
ANC members arrive at the Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town on Thursday ahead of the ANC’s special NEC meeting. Picture: Kim Kay/IOL
ANC members arrive at the Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town on Thursday ahead of the ANC’s special NEC meeting. Picture: Kim Kay/IOL

Jabulani Khumalo dealt a blow by Western Cape High Court

The Western Cape High Court dismisses expelled MK Party founder Jabulani Khumalo’s second bid to be included on the party’s parliamentary list.

Read the full story here.

Will the seventh administration see Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as president?

With only a day left for the first sitting of parliament, all eyes are on who will be elected president of the country.

Many have shown confidence in Ramaphosa being elected president, while others are not convinced.

On Monday, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo announced the opening of Parliament will be held on Friday.

This is where the National Assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and President will be elected. Party members who have been accredited will be sworn in as members of parliament (MP).

The first sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will be on Saturday.

After all the processes are completed, Zondo will then preside over the election of the president.

According to Parliament, the inauguration of the president will be on June 19.

- Report by Kamogelo Moichela

MK Party will not attend sitting

George said the MK Party had communicated that they would not be attending, and Parliament accepted this communication.

However, if they later decide to attend and send correspondence to that effect, Parliament will accommodate them and make all necessary arrangements.

He urged all parties to communicate with Parliament to ensure that all logistics are sorted out, avoiding any last-minute issues on Friday.

- Report by Robin-Lee Francke

Presidential Inauguration date announced

On first sitting of National Assembly, it will be swearing in of all members by Chief Justice. The National Speaker of Assembly will be elected and sworn in. A Deputy Speaker will also be elected and sworn in.

"Nominations for candidates to be president elect will also take place. After a candidate has been elected as President elect. That person must be sworn in after five days. Our duty will be to ensure to prepare all members to attend the inauguration. June 19 will be the day of the inauguration," George said.

Saturday: 54 members will be elected for the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Each province will have 10 representatives including special candidates as representatives in the NCOP. A chairperson, Deputy chairperson and chief whip of the NCOP will also be elected.

"A balloting infrastructure is being erected as voting for speakers, president will be done secretly," George said.

- Report by Robin-Lee Francke

Why the CTICC?

Seating at the City Hall was largely designated for the State of the Nation Address. For the first sitting, however, other engagements are planned, necessitating infrastructure that can accommodate these activities. Consequently, a more suitable venue was required. This new venue will accommodate 400 members of the National Assembly and their guests.

Regarding the reception of new members, Parliament has been interfacing with new members and their parties, with registration taking place yesterday. "So far, 180 members have boarded. Suffice to say, we are ready, and smooth operations are running as expected," Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George said.

He mentioned that additional measures are being taken, such as orientation sessions to ensure new members are well-prepared and informed about the procedures of the sittings. Additionally, a help desk has been established to assist members with any questions they might have.

- Report by Robin-Lee Francke

Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George will brief media on the readiness for the first sitting of Parliament on Friday for the National Assembly and Saturday, for the National Council of Provinces at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

The briefing is expected to start at 1pm.

- Report by Robin-Lee Francke

The Democratic Alliance’s Alan Winde was re-elected as Western Cape Premier on Thursday.

“It is a profound honour and privilege that I have been given,” he said of his five-year term.

“In my first term of office, we achieved so much in our efforts to address the wicked problems facing this province, but I know that many of those still remain.”

Winde said as he criss-crossed the province, he saw what challenges residents were faced with, adding that it was the “responsibility that we as government have to step in and provide that critical social safety net for each of them”.

— Premier Alan Winde (@alanwinde) June 13, 2024

Winde was re-elected at the first sitting of the seventh administration of the Western Cape provincial legislature.

The DA’s Daylin Mitchell was elected as Speaker.

GOOD general secretary Brett Herron was also sworn in as member of Western Cape legislature.

Herron said it was an honour to be re-elected and that the GOOD party was looking forward to serving as constructive opposition in the Western Cape.

“With that privilege comes a great responsibility to work towards a society and a province that radically reduces inequality and suffering,” Herron said.

“This work will no doubt include fighting tirelessly for the provincial government to recognise that the lived reality of the majority of the people of this province is not of a ‘well-run’ government,” he said.

“Poverty, unemployment, and inhuman living conditions know nothing about the ‘best run province’. When called to fight, we will do so in a constructive manner as called upon by those who put their vote behind GOOD.”

Meanwhile, Winde said that with the help of his team and the Western Cape residents they could “fulfil the pledges we have made to keep growing our economy, enabling more jobs, making our province energy secure and a dignified place where all residents have the opportunities and support that they need to thrive”.

“I owe it to you our residents to work even harder as I lead this government once more.”

Report by Devereaux Morkel

Tony Leon on GNU: Things are delicate at this stage, but some matters are ironed out in final hours

Former leader of the Democratic Alliance, Tony Leon, who is among the party’s top brass leading the inter-party negotiations to form the government of national unity says the talks have been rigorous but not centred around personalities and positions.

IOL reported earlier this month that Leon and Helen Zille are part of the “talented and experienced” team that is leading the talks on behalf of the DA, in a bid bring about a new coalition government in South Africa.

Read the full story here.

GNU could rattle economy, markets: Consumers must prepare for possible stormy economy

As Parliament prepares for its first sitting on June 14, the South African economy faces uncertainty after the proposal from the African National Congress (ANC) for a government of national unity (GNU), according to Sebastien Alexanderson, head of National Debt Advisors.

Alexanderson said that the GNU announcement has sent mixed signals through the SA economy, having an impact on both the stock market and investor confidence.

Read the full story here.

Who’s going to be Gauteng premier? ANC in Gauteng insists it will not be blackmailed

The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng on Thursday said it will be putting forward a premier candidate when the provincial legislature sits for the first time on Friday to elect key functionaries following the May 29 elections.

IOL reported on Thursday that while various political parties are scrambling to conclude coalition negotiation talks leading up to Friday’s swearing in of incoming members of Parliament, there is uncertainty over who will govern South Africa’s economic hub of Gauteng.

Read the full story here.