Gan­gin ’ up on the ANC

OP­PO­SI­TION UNITES

Sunday World - - World Of Politics - ANNA MA­JAVU

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

’ lead­er­ship.

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

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