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Cold shoulder: Parties abandon Progressive Caucus

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The EFF, African Transformation Movement (ATM) and United Africans Transformation (UAT) have been given the cold shoulder, after the quick exit from the Progressive Caucus of the UDM and Al Jama-ah.

The UDM and Al Jama-ah made a quick exit of the Progressive Caucus on the weekend, this is after the PAC also abandoned the faction. The caucus is now a trio, with only the EFF, African Transformation Movement (ATM) and United Africans Transformation (UAT). Picture: Leon Lestrade, Independent Newspapers

THE EFF, Vuyo Zungular’s African Transformation Movement (ATM) and United Africans Transformation (UAT) have been given the cold shoulder, after the quick exit from the Progressive Caucus of the UDM and Al Jama-ah.

On Saturday, the ANC confirmed that, thus far, 10 parties have joined the government of national unity (GNU), including the UDM and Al Jama-ah.

“The first phase for parties to join the GNU initiative has therefore been concluded. The parties constituting the GNU together secured over 70% of the vote in the 2024 elections, ensuring broad representativity and a strong mandate to govern. These parties have agreed to be bound by the foundational principles outlined in the Statement of Intent, and to work together to pursue its objectives,” the ANC said.

Changing its tune, the UDM joined the GNU follows the party’s leader, Bantu Holomisa, writing a letter to the ANC’s secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, on Friday.

In the letter, Holomisa said his party held an executive meeting discussing its queries in a letter it had written to the ANC on June 17, about the “Draft Statement of Intent of the 2024 GNU”.

However, three days prior to the letter, amid the first sitting of the National Assembly, the UDM, Al Jama-ah and other parties in the Progressive Caucus held a media briefing claiming the ANC isolated them from the GNU.

This also includes the leader of Al Jama-ah, Ganief Hendricks, who had rubbished and condemned the GNU, saying an ANC and DA pact meant the return of apartheid.

“Although Al Jama-ah welcomed the ANC’s wide consultation process with political parties, Hendricks made it clear that the party is strongly opposed to a GNU. Hendricks said the ANC was given a mandate to govern and serve – even though with 40% as a minority government – but warned the former liberation movement against joining hands with parties that are hell-bent to return the country to white rule,” said Al Jama-ah.

Holomisa furthermore wrote that the UDM had predicted no party would win an outright majority, both nationally and provincially, which indicated a “flourishing democracy”.

For ethical leadership and cleaning up corruption in government, Holomisa demanded the GNU formulate a Technical Committee.

“Take note of our proposal that a Technical Committee be established after the GNU is in place to scrutinise all members’ manifestos in order to formulate policy. This committee should consider the manifestos of those parties outside the GNU, who are in Parliament, as they have been given a mandate by voters to effect change in South Africa,” said Holomisa.

The ANC alluded to Clause 24 of the GNU Statement of Intent for the remaining parties, who wish to join the multiparty government.

“The ANC remains in open communication with the parties that have not joined the GNU, exploring various ways in which there can be collaboration on building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa,” said the ANC.

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