Home South African Will DA drop ANC lawsuits in Government of National Unity?

Will DA drop ANC lawsuits in Government of National Unity?

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The DA is intent on forming a Government of National Unity (GNU) with the ANC even though it has several court cases pending against the party for policies, including the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and cadre deployment.

The DA Federal Council on Tuesday ‘unanimously endorsed’ a resolution affirming the mandate of its leader, John Steenhuisen, and the party’s negotiating team to continue with the process towards the formation of governments. Picture: Itumeleng English/Independent Newspaper

THE DA is intent on forming a Government of National Unity (GNU) with the ANC even though it has several court cases pending against the party for policies, including the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and cadre deployment.

This comes as experts weighed in, saying the DA would have to drop some of its legal challenges against its coalition partner if it wanted to preserve its interests.

The DA Federal Council on Tuesday “unanimously endorsed” a resolution affirming the mandate of its leader, John Steenhuisen, and the party’s negotiating team to continue with the process towards the formation of governments at national and provincial level with hung legislatures.

The DA’s legal challenge to policies include the Provincial Powers Bill, which the party is strongly pushing in the Western Cape; the Basic Education Law Amendments (Bela) Bill; the Land Expropriation Bill, and the Race Quotas Act, among others.

However, asked if the DA would drop the court and policy disputes as part of a compromise agreement to enable a GNU with the ANC, the DA said these issues would form part of negotiations.

“We will not provide comments at this stage,” said Solly Malatsi, DA national spokesperson.

The ANC has remained tight-lipped over the matter.

Party secretary-general Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter to state the ANC’s position.

“We have been meeting with all parties that are keen to contribute ideas on how we can collectively move our country forward to form a government that ensures national unity and stability, continues the transformation of South Africa, and safeguards our Constitutional democracy.

“ANC national officials have also been interviewing the final ANC premiers and premier candidates, which will be unveiled this week,” Mbalula said.

Political Science analyst and lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Siyabonga Ntombela, said the disputes will have to be discussed.

“I suspect they will put some acts under review and amend them where necessary. From the list, I think NHI is fairly new to even being talked about, but in my opinion, it should be reviewed,” said Ntombela.

Cadre deployment will not go away, he said, because all parties do deployments; however, it would be a different form of deployment that is based on merit and not party affiliation.

“I think the ANC will not have a problem regarding cadre deployment. As for the Bela Bill, it is one of those bills that can be discussed and debated, even annulled after forming the GNU,” said Ntombela.

“It should not be a difficult hurdle to jump. The land expropriation bill for the longest time has not gained traction, and I think it will be the most topical bill on the table. It will either make or break the GNU, and I think they will not find each other on that one, but certain conditionalities and guarantees will have to be put forward.”

Martin van Staden, Free Market Foundation (FMF) head of policy, said if the DA does decide to go into a coalition government with the ANC, it would have to drop some of its own policy preferences.

“The ANC would, on paper, likely agree to some policy reform, but in the absence of a pre-coalition process for turning these concessions into legislative realities, the party is likely to drag its feet.

“Where the DA is litigating against its ANC partners, they would almost certainly have to drop those cases.

“Given the contradictory foreign policy positions between the two parties, it is possible that the ANC will soften its hitherto rigidly anti-Israel stance, reverting back to its pre-7 October posture,” Van Staden said.

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