Moonshot Pact 2.0: Is the ANC willing to compromise its principles and align with the DA?

The proposed GNU is a troubling indication of the ANC’s willingness to compromise its principles and align with the DA, a party that has been vehemently rejected by the majority of voters. Graphic: Sizwe Dlamini

The proposed GNU is a troubling indication of the ANC’s willingness to compromise its principles and align with the DA, a party that has been vehemently rejected by the majority of voters. Graphic: Sizwe Dlamini

Published Jun 14, 2024


AS South Africa stands on the cusp of a pivotal moment in its political landscape, the prospect of a Government of National Unity (GNU) looms large, shrouded in both hope and scepticism.

With no single party securing a majority in the recent elections, the stage is set for unprecedented coalition-building efforts.

However, the proposed GNU is a troubling indication of the ANC’s willingness to compromise its principles and align with the DA, a party that has been vehemently rejected by the majority of voters.

This move is largely seen as essentially resurrecting the failed Moonshot Pact under a different guise, and the ruling ANC may be engaging in a dangerous game of political manoeuvring that prioritises party interests over the welfare of the nation.

It is deeply concerning that the DA, a party with a track record of divisive politics and ideological rigidity, has been given such significant influence in shaping coalition discussions.

By insisting on the exclusion of certain parties from the GNU, the DA is further entrenching its agenda of polarisation and marginalisation, effectively undermining the spirit of inclusivity and unity that a true GNU should embody.

The exclusion of other opposition parties such as the EFF and uMkhonto weSizwe (MK Party) from the proposed GNU in South Africa raises serious concerns about the effectiveness and inclusivity of the coalition government.

On the flip side, by refusing to participate in a coalition with the DA, these parties have highlighted the deep-seated divisions and ideological differences that threaten to undermine the unity and cohesion of the GNU.

The absence of the EFF and MK Party from the GNU not only diminishes the diversity of voices within the coalition but also deprives the electorate of crucial representation and accountability mechanisms.

These parties, with their distinct perspectives and grassroots support bases, play a vital role in advocating for the interests of marginalised and oppressed communities in South African society.

Without their presence, there is a real risk that the concerns and needs of these communities will be overlooked or marginalised in the decision-making processes of the coalition government.

Furthermore, their exclusion creates a power imbalance that tilts the scales in favour of the larger, more established parties like the ANC and DA. This dominance by the ANC and DA threatens to stifle dissent and dissenting voices within the coalition, undermining the principles of democracy and pluralism upon which South Africa’s political system is founded.

The concerns expressed by smaller parties like Al Jama-ah about the effectiveness of their opposition in a GNU without the EFF and MK Party are valid and should not be dismissed lightly.

A coalition government that lacks a robust opposition risks becoming complacent and unaccountable, failing to adequately represent the diverse interests and perspectives of the South African electorate.

The renaming of events and the deployment of propaganda tactics by the DA only serve to highlight the deceptive nature of this alliance. By vilifying black political parties and exploiting racial tensions, the DA is actively working to divide rather than unite South Africans, all in pursuit of its own narrow political agenda.

Moreover, the ideological shifts and strategic manoeuvres of both the ANC and the DA raise serious questions about the integrity and sincerity of the proposed GNU. It appears that both parties are more concerned with securing their own positions of power than with addressing the pressing challenges facing South Africa.

The proposed GNU is seen by some as a code name for a coalition between the ANC and the DA for several reasons:

  • The DA has been at the forefront of shaping the coalition discussions and has stipulated that it will only agree to the proposed GNU if the MK Party, EFF, and PA are excluded. This condition reveals the underlying deception, as the DA aims to secure a coalition without officially labelling it as such.
  • The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) announced the GNU as its preferred model instead of a direct coalition with other parties, suggesting it is a way to bring the DA into a coalition while sidestepping public outrage that rejects a direct ANC-DA coalition.
  • Prominent ANC leaders and stalwarts have been working to convince the ANC’s rank and file to accept this “deadly marriage of convenience” with the DA, indicating that the coalition between the two parties may have been already planned.
  • The DA’s propaganda strategy aims to create confusion, set the coalition agenda, and polarise the debate within the ANC, vilifying black political parties to mobilise South Africans towards an ANC-DA coalition, even if it is under a different name.
  • Together, the ANC, DA and IFP would have enough support in the National Assembly (66%) to form a government and elect a president and Speaker, suggesting the GNU is a way for these parties to govern together.

However, the EFF has already indicated that it will not participate in a coalition with the DA, and the MK Party has rejected the GNU offer as racist. The GNU’s success will depend on whether these parties can overcome their differences and work together effectively.

In light of these troubling developments, it is imperative that South Africans remain vigilant and critical of the ANC-DA alliance. The legitimacy and motives behind this coalition must be called into question, and citizens must demand transparency and accountability from their elected leaders.

Genuine unity cannot be achieved through political manipulation and back-room deals; it requires a commitment to dialogue, compromise, and genuine representation of the diverse voices within South African society.

* Dlamini is editor of the Sunday Independent