Gangin ’ up on the ANC
OPPOSITION parties have taken their unusual show of unity against the Secrecy Bill forward by forming a new
vehicle that could put up “” joint opposition to the ANC in the 2014 elections.
This emerged at a round-table meeting of opposition parties called by the Congress of the People s
’ (Cope) Mosiuoa Lekota in Cape Town on Friday.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the passing of the Protection of State Information Bill last week was a watershed moment in “” South African politics and that opposition parties must build on the momentum “created by this event ”.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Cope, the Democratic Alliance (DA), IFP, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Pan African Congress (PAC), the United Democratic Front (UDF), the Azanian People s Organisa
’ tion (Azapo), Freedom Front Plus (FF+) and the tiny Dikwankwetla Party of South Africa, which has no seats in Parliament.
Lekota told the media they had agreed on five key principles but nothing specific.
They all want to protect the constitution, support community programmes for better service delivery, oppose corruption, work towards a more accountable electoral system and set up a
vehicle of co-ordination “” among themselves, he said.
While they did not specifically discuss joint opposition to the ANC in 2014, they recognised that they
“must work feverishly to put up joint co-operation among parties ”.
But there are already a few cracks in the new coalition. Lekota said he would lead the new vehicle of co-ordination
“” to be made up of one representative per political party.
But DA federal chairman Wilmot James said he and Lekota would lead it together.
This vehicle is led by his “office and my office,” James told the Sunday Times.
And Independent Democrats general secretary Haniff Hoosen released a statement saying he reject
“ed reports that Lekota was elected to lead the group ”.
The meeting was also boycotted by Themba Godi, leader of the African People s
’ Convention and the chairman of Parliament s watch
’ dog standing committee on public accounts. We have consistently “said that merely ganging up against the ANC is a non-starter for us,” he said. We can t unite with “’ parties that are not peoplecentred or neo-liberal. Those who find common cause can proceed. We have our own focus and programme.”
Lekota, Buthelezi and DA federal chairperson Wilmot James were the only party leaders at the meeting the
– other parties sent junior representatives.
A squabble reportedly broke out between the DA s
’ Anchen Dreyer and Pieter Mulder of the FF+ during the meeting after Dreyer said the parties should clarify their
“relationships with the ANC
” in reference to Mulder being part of the ANC government as deputy agriculture minister. Mulder said that was unfair as DA members had been made ambassadors. In a swipe at both parties, Buthelezi
– a former cabinet minister in the ANC government said the opposition must
– “make a commitment not to break ranks as the ANC increases the price of political bribes, whether they are ambassadorial positions or cabinet posts ”. The PAC s representative at
’ the meeting, Bennet Joko, is also facing a High Court challenge along with PAC leader Letlapa Mphahlele on December 12 by an opposing group within the PAC that doesn t recognise their
The opposition structure is yet to set a date for another meeting.
BOYCOTTED: The APC’S Themba Godi
‘CO-LEADER’: The DA’S Wilmot James
IN A TIFF: The FF+’S Pieter Mulder