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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

ANC will not let other parties demand that Ramaphosa step down – Mbalula

Mbalula said the ANC will not forget its principles when it holds coalition talks with other parties.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said his party will have discussions with other parties in the next few days to form a national government.

Mbalula was speaking to the media on Sunday after it became clear that the ANC would get around 40% of the national vote in the 2024 elections.

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ANC to hold talks with other parties

Mbalula, however, emphasised that the ANC “has principles, and won’t give those up” during coalition talks.

He also said the ANC will not let other parties demand that President Cyril Ramaphosa step down.

“Ramaphosa is the president of the ANC. If you come to us with a demand that Ramaphosa must stand down as president, that is not going to happen.”

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa facing calls for his resignation after dismal ANC election results

The ANC secretary-general admitted the party has a lot of work to do – including the renewal of the organisation – to regain the support of South Africans.

“If we don’t strengthen the renewal, and many other things we need to do as a party, we will be gone,” he said.

He added that the ANC’s work towards the next election starts now.

Coalition talks: Ideologies and the Constitution

The ANC will have a meeting with its national executive committee (NEC) on Tuesday about what decision to make on coalitions. 

Mbalula said the ANC is open to working with any parties. “We are talking to everybody.”

“Those who don’t want to talk, don’t want to talk. We can’t force them.”

ALSO READ: Zuma at IEC: ‘Nobody is going to announce the results on Sunday’

Mbalula said the ideologies of each party will play an important role in coalition talks over the next few days.

The MK party has indicated that it wants to get rid of the constitution and give more power to Parliament.

The ANC secretary-general said that the “Constitution and rule of law” will guide the ANC in its discussions. “We can’t just throw the Constitution away.”

Deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane said the ANC will talk with any party that has respect for the Constitution and a “tolerance of the diversity” in South Africa.

Mbalula added that the ANC constitution also matters. “How will the six million people (that voted for ANC) be served by the working relations between parties?”

ALSO READ: ANC coalition? The pound of flesh EFF will demand from Luthuli House

He warned that coalitions have not worked in South Africa. “They have brought instability,” Mbalula said. “But we have to follow the will of the people.” 

On the subject of forming a coalition at a national level, Mbalula added that there must be stability in government.

He says South Africa has seen “some strange collisions” at a local government level where coalitions are formed.

No ‘blame game’ in the ANC

Mbalula also stressed that the ANC will accept the election setback as an organisation, rather than pointing fingers at particular people or starting a “blame game”.

He said the ANC’s poor election performance “will be corrected by the current leadership”.

The ANC secretary-general said that voter turnout in the elections “counted against us”.

“We knew that low voter turnout would not be in our favour.”

Mbalula also touched on the ANC’s poor support in Gauteng.

“In Gauteng, what we can say is that in some areas, such as Soweto, did not come out to vote for us.”

ALSO READ: ELECTIONS 2024 LIVE UPDATES: Mbalula speaks on ANC’s poll results

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