gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); South Africa’s GNU government on the rocks as Boers’ party demand top Ministries – The Zimbabwe Mail

South Africa’s GNU government on the rocks as Boers’ party demand top Ministries

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The African National Congress (ANC) has asserted that President Cyril Ramaphosa has the ultimate authority in appointing the cabinet, following the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) request for 12 ministerial positions, including that of Deputy President, in the Government of National Unity (GNU).

On Sunday, Helen Zille, the DA federal chair, sent a letter to ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula, stating the DA’s desire to secure approximately 12 cabinet posts in the GNU. The letter, seen by IOL, also outlined the DA’s stipulation that it should approve the appointment of directors-general for all departments under its control—a move many have likened to “cadre deployment.”

Zille’s letter emphasized, “Directors-General in departments reporting to Democratic Alliance ministers are selected by panels consisting of Democratic Alliance ministers, submitted to the President for approval, and such approval cannot reasonably be withheld.”

The DA has expressed preferences for the following portfolios:

  • Economic Sectors, Investment, Employment, and Infrastructure Development
  • Social Protection, Community and Human Development
  • Governance, State Capacity, and Institutional Development
  • Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security
  • International Cooperation, Trade, and Security

The DA has indicated it would relinquish the Deputy President position if it is compensated with both a Minister in the Presidency and a Deputy Minister of Finance. The party envisions the Deputy President, also serving as the Leader of Government Business, playing a significant role in policy development and monitoring within the Presidency. Additionally, they seek a Deputy Minister of Finance to actively participate in budget development.

Richard Newton from the DA confirmed the letter’s authenticity to IOL, mentioning that some demands had already been negotiated. However, he did not specify which demands had been resolved.

In response, the ANC dismissed the DA’s demands as “outlandish and outrageous,” asserting that no single party could dictate terms to the GNU. The ANC criticized the DA’s method of negotiating through media leaks, labeling it as an act of bad faith that undermines constructive dialogue.

“The final say on the Cabinet appointments rests with the President. The GNU cannot be held hostage by any single party,” the ANC stated. Despite the stalled cabinet announcements, the ANC reiterated the urgent need to establish a government promptly.

The ANC confirmed that Phase Two of the GNU formation is progressing, with President Ramaphosa’s announcement of the cabinet imminent. Ramaphosa was inaugurated last week at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, following the ANC’s loss of its majority in parliament with 45% of the national vote in the 2024 elections, down from over 50%.

The GNU includes ten parties: the ANC, DA, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Patriotic Alliance (PA), Freedom Front Plus (FF+), United Democratic Movement (UDM), RISE Mzansi, Al Jama-ah, Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), and GOOD. Collectively, these parties hold over 70% (287) of the 400 seats in the National Assembly. Discussions are ongoing, with social media speculating about potential deals excluding the DA as more smaller parties join the GNU.

The ANC remains committed to collaboration with all parties, emphasizing unity and collective governance.