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Uncertainty preceded formation of new South African government

June 11, 2024 4:32 pm by: Category: Featured, Local, National, NEWS Leave a comment A+ / A-

by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – BY now, South Africans ought to have an idea of the character of the next government. They hardly have a clue.

Instead, they have been subjected to a war of words by rival political parties that are expected to be aiming for unity to revive a country that deserves an administration to hit the ground running to resolve a myriad of problems.

These challenges include the renewed random mass shootings, as reported this weekend after children were among those shot dead in separate incidents around the country.

The tragedies are a reminder of what awaits the new administration whose composition has left South Africans guessing a fortnight after braving the chilly weather and hours spent in slow-moving queues to make their mark.

Citizens can only conjecture if this will be a coalition administration or a government of national unity (GNU).

There is now apprehension around the election of the next president and speaker of the National Assembly, as expected on Friday, amid threats of legal action by one of the leading opposition parties.

Amid the wrangles and uncertain political times, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has announced that these will be elected on Friday in the legislative capital, Cape Town.

Prior, that day, 400 Members of Parliament are to be sworn in to set in motion the seventh administration.

Those processes though have been shrouded in uncertainty after the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party of the former president, Jacob Zuma, threatened legal action.

Already, the party has appealed to the courts citing allegations of rigging in the elections.

Zuma and Zondo are fierce rivals. A commission led by Zondo campaigned for the jailing of Zuma in 2021 after he refused to appear to answer to charges of corruption, or State Capture, under his presidency from 2009 to 2018.

Zuma’s new party, which came third in the polls, has threatened to interdict the inauguration of the seventh Parliament.

An analyst this week described Zuma as “the Lionel Messi of South African politics” owing to his holding the country spellbound always through his party’s meteoric rise and his testing the might of the judiciary.

MK Party’s 58 officials that were to be sworn in as MPs will boycott the sitting of Parliament. It remains to be seen which other parties will boycott, as some other smaller parties that amassed seats have also alleged vote rigging. The Constitution states at least one third of the members of the National Assembly needs to be present before a vote may be taken

Parliament has since cancelled all arrangements for accommodation and flights for MK Party’s elected members.

“This measure is to avoid incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure, in compliance with the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2009,” Parliament stated.

Time is running out.

By law, South Africa’s first sitting of Parliament must hold its first sitting, at most, two weeks after the announcement of the election results, paving way for the establishment of a new government.

However, with the failure by the African National Congress (ANC, in power since independence in 1994), to garner a majority, this is no plain process.

Nonetheless losing a majority but still the main party after securing slightly over 40 percent of the vote, ANC is scrambling for coalition partners and in recent days advocated for a GNU.

In 1994, after the first democratic elections, then president, Nelson Mandela, led a GNU, until 1997.

The centre-left ANC, despite securing a majority, advocated for the GNU as a form of ensuring inclusivity during the transition from apartheid to democracy.

Mandela was seen as a unifying figure. The ANC was cohesive. Thirty years later, Cyril Ramaphosa is a divisive president and ANC best known for infighting.

The latter has been palpable during coalition talks with some possible coalition partners putting forward a condition that Ramaphosa steps down for deals to be reached.

MK Party has reportedly come with the demand owing to the enmity between Ramaphosa and Zuma, after the latter’s replacement as party and national president in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

A faction of the ANC is also reportedly against a possible coalition or unity deal with the centrist Democratic Alliance (DA) which despite emerging again as the biggest opposition in the country, is maligned in some sections of the majority black community for its roots to the National Party, responsible for the introduction of the
globally-condemned apartheid system.

A coalition or alliance of the ANC, DA and the third largest opposition, the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has sent shockwaves and raised concern it is a betrayal of the struggle against apartheid.

EFF has been engaged in a public spat with ANC and DA lately, and rejected a GNU, especially involving DA.

It accused the ANC of “arrogance” for its proposing GNU despite its losing a majority.

“You can’t dictate the way forward as if you have won elections,” Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, lashed.

It has denounced DA as an “enemy” and “land thieves” hence it has denounced a GNU and prefers a coalition government.

“We are not going to sit alongside the people who got to benefit unlawfully for a very long time from colonialism and apartheid,” EFF deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, said.

Last year, DA leader, John Steenhuisen, branded EFF as “public enemy number one.”

How a GNU featuring DA alongside ANC and EFF can function is hard to fathom regarding the parallel ideologies also on international relations.

For example, on the genocide committed by Israel in Gaza and Rafah, ANC and EFF support Palestine. The DA is accused of supporting Israel.

DA supports the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies while the ANC aligned itself with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) blocs.

Meanwhile, a security think-tank warned increased security concerns would remain high through mid-June following, especially in KwaZulu-Natal Province, where MK Party dominated. This after the party took legal action against the election results and now the sitting of Parliament.

– CAJ News

Uncertainty preceded formation of new South African government Reviewed by on . by SAVIOUS KWINIKA JOHANNESBURG - BY now, South Africans ought to have an idea of the character of the next government. They hardly have a clue. Tricky South Af by SAVIOUS KWINIKA JOHANNESBURG - BY now, South Africans ought to have an idea of the character of the next government. They hardly have a clue. Tricky South Af Rating: 0
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