Vukile Dlwati10 June 2024 | 12:45

Nkosi Sikelela uMzansi | ANC's GNU - SA's governance not at the mercy of egotistic MK Party

Political analysts weigh in on the South Africa's politcal future amid a hung National Assembly.

Nkosi Sikelela uMzansi | ANC's GNU - SA's governance not at the mercy of egotistic MK Party

Picture: A man wearing an MK Party shirt attends the Shekainah Healing Ministries Prophetic Pillowcase service where Former President Jacob Zuma was present, in Phillipi, near Cape Town, on March 10, 2024. Picture: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The electorate’s voice seems to be dissipating but unfortunately, there’s an important document called the Constitution – which espouses the law of the land.

Right now, South Africa is on tenterhooks because paving the way for governance is a catch-22.

This is due to the African National Congress (ANC) not clinching a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The ANC has since proposed a government of national unity (GNU) - which means different parties can hold Cabinet positions.

The ideological differences are at the gist of the current political landscape, but there needs to be political maturity for the power-sharing game.

Political parties have been engaging, but they are not singing from the same hymn book owing to policy differences.

NA SITTNG NEEDS A THIRD OF MEMBERS TO HOLD FIRST SITTING

While not speaking specifically on the MK Party, secretary to Parliament Xolile George said only a third of members needed to be present in the house for the election of the executive.

“For sittings of the National Assembly to decide any matter, it must be the majority of members. It also says in Subsection 2 [of Section 53(1b) of the Constitution] for decisions of passing of legislation and bills and so on, and then you need one-third for any other decision.

“It’s written there for passing bills and any matters you need a majority of members, but for any other question or matter, one-third of members of that house, that house being the National Assembly. It governs the election of the speaker, the deputy speaker, and the president-elect. The same procedure applies in the National Council of Provinces.”

At the same time, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo - who will preside over Parliament’s first sitting, said he was confident it would take place.

Political analyst Sanusha Naidu said for political parties, “it’s all about the way in which you play the game”.

She added that parties want to “maintain their sense of identity” with their games.
For example, she explained, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s response to the ANC’s GNU proposition “tells you about what you want to do in the public domain”.

The red berets are opposed to the hand in marriage with the previously powerful ANC – who lost their majority in Parliament.

Unfortunately, according to Naidu, it’s all about the citizens.

She asked: “What do ordinary South Africans want?”

“Ideological divides may have a very relevant space on how you interpret policies.”

This is while the ANC has raised its hands and exercising political maturity. Ideological differences are the zenith of Mzansi’s democracy, there’s a lack of cooperation from opposing parties.

At the same time, the voting outcomes on 29 May saw the new kid in the block – the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party – taking second place nationally after the ANC.

The very party, led by former statesman Jacob Zuma, who is still an ANC member is challenging the apex court.

They want to interdict the first sitting of the National Assembly.

The nub of MK Party’s release says: “We argue unresolved objections and the veracity of the substance by MK Party and other political parties who represent the will of the people, render this market-based declaration and consequently the sitting and all its activities unconstitutional.”

On Friday, the party dropped a similar bombshell that reiterates their position.

“Attending the first seating of Parliament without all our votes and voices being counted would betray our commitment to unity and democratic values where every voice and wish deserves to be heard.”

Meanwhile, Parliament has cancelled all travel and accommodation arrangements for MK Party members due to be sworn in this week as the party has indicated it will not attend. Parliament says the sitting will go ahead this week without MK members unless interdicted by a court.

MK Party spokesperson, Nhlamulo Ndlela says their legal heads are cooking with gas.

"Our lawyers have been hard at work since last week gathering evidence, not only on our end, but also on other political parties, and those papers will also come in the form of the evidence, and they will be presented to the Constitutional Court. We are filing directly to the Constitutional Court to raise these concerns."

The party is also calling for a re-election because they strongly believe that some of their votes were stolen.

Political analyst Lumkile Mondi says the MK Party is putting the cart before the horse - they only garnered 14.45% of the vote.

“Overwhelmingly South Africans voted over 85% for stability and progress for the new government that will be continually built…”

“It’s 100% about the electorate,” says Mondi – adding that “MK is preoccupied with its own importance and they think that they are able to influence the South African public without necessarily getting the required mandate from South Africans.

“I don’t think the markets take them very seriously…of course, we are concerned and worried about [possible] violence  as well as possible undermining of the democratic order.”

About the MK Party, he posited: “These are people really, who will do very well in chaos and disorder and that is how we must see them.”

MK Party beat the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) after taking the third spot as the opposition after the DA.

The red berets have pushed back against the GNU, saying they only want to work with “black” parties. This while they are still engaging on possible marriages with other parties.

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu said the party would not falter on its values.

"We should constitute a coalition government that includes black political parties. There is no other way to simplify that - no DA [Democratic Alliance], no Freedom Front Plus in government.

“Let them be in the opposition and then let us constitute a progressive government that will respond to the aspirations of our people."

THE MARKETS: ‘BIG BUSINESS DOESN’T WANT CHANGE’

Political economist Dr Dale McKinley spoke about the rigidity of the markets.
“There is not one homogenous market. If we are talking for example about international investors… the want to see stability, they want to see policy predictability, they want to see a continuation of the present macro-economic programme. And as a result, they are pushing for an ANC-DA coalition, with the IFP possibly.

“They are very afraid, obviously, of an MK-EFF coalition because of their particular policy… the are also ratings agencies putting pressure on the ANC.”
He said international investors and large-scale corporations “don’t want things to change”.

“They want things to be predictable and as such they are going to be against any kind of political coalition that would bring in potentially populist policies that would change the economic [path].”