“The important issue is that in 2024 we will get one chance to remove the ANC from the government and every opportunity that works in that direction should be welcomed,” says Dr. Corné Mulder, FF Plus MP.
His comments come after DA leader John Steenhuisen announced at the party’s federal congress last weekend that the party is launching a process to form a so-called “Moonshot” pact with like-minded political parties, civil rights groups and civil organizations so that the ANC can be deposed, the EFF remains out of government, and a new national opposition coalition government can be established.
“The invitation is broad and open to the leaders of all civil organizations and opposition parties who are opposed to the ANC and the EFF as a matter of principle,” said Steenhuisen.
“The purpose of the pact will be to form cooperation and a single-minded goal between all the organizations that want to defeat the ANC and keep the EFF out.”
The DA’s proposal is to agree on the rules within which different organizations can retain their own identity, but also to put an end to the petty cross-dressing and division that only benefits the ANC.
“In its pursuit of this goal, the DA is taking the bold and unprecedented step of leading a united ‘Moonshot’ pact from the opposition,” said Steenhuisen. He then wrote letters to parties inviting them to become part of the agreement.
Dr. Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, has already indicated that the party would like to participate in this.
Mulder says that the initiatives the party is already working on regarding a broad coalition, i.e. a “rainbow coalition”, are also not in opposition to this intended cooperation.
I reiterate my call for all organisations who want to defeat the ANC and EFF to cease playing petty politics amongst each other. Now is the time for maturity. We must make the Moonshot Pact work, because the alternative is to abandon SA to an ANC-EFF Doomsday.
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) April 4, 2023
“These are complementary issues. I am convinced that we will be able to coordinate this in a joint strategy to reach the goal we would like to achieve.”
However, Bantu Holomisa, leader of the UDM, says in response to the DA’s invitation that the party must not use other parties as “pawns” and cannot choose with whom it wants to form an alliance while others are rejected.
“It is not too late for the DA to reconsider its big brother mentality and the UDM will continue to consult with all role players regarding coalition formation,” said Holomisa.
Herman Mashaba, president of ActionSA, welcomed the initiative and says the party fundamentally believes that the ANC can be replaced by a grouping of political parties that can find important common ground on the country’s most pressing issues.
However, the instability in local government coalitions has not exactly inspired confidence, but can probably be rectified with a proposed national convention.
Mashaba says he is concerned, however, that it seems that the DA wants to unilaterally decide on important issues during such a convention which include which parties may attend, where it takes place, how the secretariat is constituted and even who from each party may attend.
He warns that the plan will fall into the trap if one party “behaves irresponsibly” and argues that he has ownership of such a plan. However, Mashaba also says too much is at stake for cooperation to fail.
He says the project must be considered a multi-lateral one over which no single party can claim a monopoly and all future public communications must also be sent out jointly. Mashaba suggests that three members of a party, including the leader, attend the convention and that technical meetings should consist of designated members of the parties.
ActionSA will participate in the convention, provided that these points can be agreed upon.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) would therefore ask the Democratic Alliance (DA) to not use other parties as pawns and cherry pick those with whom they wish to form an alliance with and rejecting others. pic.twitter.com/yDxvLBzlCm
— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) April 4, 2023
The ACDP, for its part, has made it clear that it will not enter into any coalition agreements before the 2024 elections.
“It is the ACDP’s view that in any coalition agreement there are negotiations on terms and conditions, structures, meetings, strategies and the like. No single party can assume that it has the monopoly on it,” says Wayne Thring, deputy leader of the ACDP.
The ACDP has always been receptive to discussions with other political parties that have the interests of all South Africans at heart, prioritize service delivery and fight crime and corruption, he says.
“Any opposition party’s ‘Moonshot’ project that fails to be inclusive and consult properly and where a single party positions itself as above others, will fail.”
Rise Mzansi says that he has also taken note of the DA’s plan, but that he has not yet been formally approached to become part of a coalition.
Songezo Zibi, national convener of Rise Mzansi, says South Africa’s crisis requires that all South Africans unite behind a common vision, shared values and guided by clear principles that form the basis of any broader coalition.
“We believe that no single political party, or even a collection of them, has the ability to steer South Africa through this crisis alone.”
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