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Fikile Mbalula drops big hint on status of GNU talks

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula has dropped a hint that talks on the government of national unity (GNU) might be concluded soon.

Mbalula’s statement comes as the ANC and other political parties are still negotiating as there are significant disagreements about Cabinet positions.

GNU NEGOTIATIONS TO BE CONCLUDED SOON?

On Friday, Mbalula took to X (formerly Twitter) to provide an update on the negotiations.

“Good morning South Africa almost done with GNU discussions, In the best interest of all south africans . It will be done as promised,” he wrote on X.

As previously reported, Ramaphosa was elected as president of the country by members of Parliament (MPs) on 14 June and last Wednesday, he took his oath of office during his inauguration at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

This means South Africa has been without a Cabinet and executive for two weeks, marking a pedestrian start to Ramaphosa’s second term as president.

Ramaphosa’s delay in naming an executive is a consequence of tough negotiations between parties making up the GNU, namely the DA, Inkatha Freedom Party, Patriotic Alliance, Good party and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania. However, the wrangling seems to be specifically between the Ramaphosa-led ANC and the John Steenhuisen-led DA, with letters from both parties this week revealing a nasty fight for Cabinet and executive positions.

‘NO SELF-RESPECTING ORGANISATION WOULD MEET THE DA’S DEMANDS’

Earlier this week, ANC first deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane said no self-respecting organisation can agree to the DA’s demands regarding ministerial positions in the Government of National Unity (GNU). 

In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, ANC first DSG Nomvula Mokonyane criticised the DA, saying it only imposes what is suitable for it. 

Mokonyane said the DA should accept that everyone serves at the President’s and the Constitution’s behest. In addition, some parties have to be accommodated too. 

“In terms of rule 23 of the Statement of Intention [which parties in the GNU signed], we intend to embrace everybody. Therefore, we are not responding to the demands of the DA,” she said. 

Mokonyane said the DA’s demands prove that the party’s intention is not to be inclusive but an assumption that the GNU is a coalition between the DA and ANC and maybe one other party because they signed earlier. 

In a leaked letter to Fikile Mbalula, Helen Zille said they want the DA to be represented across the board. This would include key departments such as mineral resources and energy, transport, trade, and industry, as well as public works, higher education and public service and administration, home affairs, justice, international relations and communication, and digital technologies. 

Zille also said they want a review of all tenders awarded since the elections in departments where it will have ministerial control. 

The party also insists that the contracts of director generals in these departments be terminated in favour of DA-approved appointments. 

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