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Talks between MK Party and IFP to govern KwaZulu-Natal said to be ‘promising’

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The strategic and unofficial coalition talks between the Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) and the IFP are said to be “positive” at this stage.

The strategic and unofficial coalition talks between the Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) and the IFP are said to be “positive” at this stage.

THE strategic and unofficial coalition talks between the Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) and the IFP are said to be “positive” at this stage.

The Daily News understands from multiple sources, independent of each other, that the talks between the MKP and the IFP to govern the KZN with a budget of R150 billion are going well at this stage despite desperate attempts to derail them by other opposition parties.

In spite of this, none of the parties would be drawn into commenting directly about the coalition talks.

Asked for a comment, the IFP’s secretary-general Siphosethu Ngcobo said the party was having “unofficial talks” with many parties.

“As the IFP, we want a party that will put the interests of South Africans first. I can confirm that unofficially, we are speaking with a lot of parties,” he said.

Ngcobo said the IFP has assembled a group of senior leaders to discuss coalition with would-be partners in KZN and nationally. He said the ANC through its secretary-general Fikile Mbalula had reached out to them.

“However, nothing is final at this stage. All parties are talking with potential partners. We are also doing the same hence we entertained the call from Mbalula,” said Ngcobo.

But he would not comment about any meeting between the senior leaders of these two key political players in KZN.

Playing their cards close to their chests, no leader from the MKP wanted to comment on talks with the IFP.

Up for grabs in KZN, is the control of the provincial budget of R150bn.

In KZN, the MKP won 37 seats, so it needs five more. Talks abound that the former president Jacob Zuma is actively part of some talks that the MKP is having with possible coalition partners, including the IFP, which won 15 seats in KZN. The legislature has 80 seats.

The horse-trading happening behind closed doors is expected to end in the coming days as the Constitution stipulates that the government should be formulated in 14 days following elections.

The ANC, which is fighting to lead nationally, was locked in a marathon special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday, at Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni, to discuss the issue of coalitions and premier candidates.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the meeting on Thursday amid a protest by a group of disgruntled party supporters, who are against the rumoured coalition of the ANC and the DA nationally.

Many party members have openly chastised senior leaders who are warming to the DA.

A senior leader of the ANC said: “If senior leaders forge ahead with the plan to co-govern with the DA, it will be the end of our party. That is why our members are openly revolving against this.”

Some of Ramaphosa’s ANC internal opponents are said to be planning to use the party’s poor faring in last week’s elections to force him to resign.

The ANC dropped below the outright majority of 50+1% to 40.1% and lost 71 seats in the National Assembly, sliding from 230 seats to 159.

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