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ANC denies FF+ demands over Orania independence

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The ANC has denied reports that it has agreed to the demands made by the Freedom Front Plus to have the ANC recognise the independence of the Afrikaner enclave Orania.

A signpost in Orania, Northern Cape. File picture: Boxer Ngwenya, Independent Newspapers

THE ANC has denied reports that it had agreed to the demands made by the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) to have the ANC recognise the independence of the Afrikaner enclave Orania, in the Northern Cape.

This comes after numerous news reports suggesting that the ANC had agreed to the demands made by the FF+ as part of its agreement to form part of the ANC-led government of national unity (GNU).

On Friday, the FF Plus became the seventh party to sign the Statement of Intent to become part of the GNU.

Last week, the working relationship which the FF+ forged with the ANC in the Northern Cape, following the re-election of Zamani Saul as premier of the Province, was seen as beneficial to the FF+ and its quest to have Orania declared an independent state.

It was reported also that Orania’s right to self-determination would not be undermined by the ANC, as chairperson of the provincial committee on public accounts in the Northern Cape legislature.

On Friday, SABC News reported that FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald had confirmed that one of the party’s preconditions to negotiations with the ANC in joining the GNU was the recognition of Orania, the Afrikaner nationalist town in the Northern Cape.

“A couple of weeks ago, we had discussions with the national level of the ANC. I explicitly asked about the Northern Cape and whether they have the authority to accept or not. And it was said to us ‘Yes’ they do have the authority to accept or not and they did accept,” Groenewald was quoted as saying.

“The agreement that we put forward in the Northern Cape was accepted. That agreement states, for instance, that all the documents and, for instance, court cases where they re-emphasise the fact that they recognise those actions taken and recognise the status of Orania.”

However, ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said on Sunday that such reports were untrue.

“There is absolutely no truth in these reports. I was physically at that meeting the day before yesterday and the Freedom Front Plus made no such a demand as quoted by 702. Even if there was such a demand, the ANC would not have agreed to it as the Constitution is clear that South Africa is a unitary state,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.

The same reports were also denied by ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.

On the issue of the GNU, Bhengu-Motsiri said President Cyril Ramaphosa would be making an announcement soon about his Cabinet.

“We extended the invitation to all political parties and we can’t single out any parties. We now await the decision by the president on his appointments,” she said.

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