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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

Indecision over Zuma cost us at the polls, says ANC leader

This was why party didn’t get an outright majority, says ANCVL president Snuki Zikalala.

While political parties are keeping mum over talks regarding a government of national unity (GNU), the ANC Veterans League (ANCVL) yesterday said it was upbeat about negotiations producing a positive outcome for the country.

Federal council chair of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Helen Zille said South Africa’s second-largest opposition was “not giving comment to the media at this stage”.

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She referred inquiries to the Freedom Front Plus “about their negotiations”. But its leader, Dr Pieter Groenewald, also remained tight-lipped.

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Despite expressing confidence in the ANC’s GNU negotiators brokering a good deal for South Africa – ANCVL president Snuki Zikalala said state capture and indecision in taking quick disciplinary measures against former president Jacob Zuma, had cost the ANC votes, which prevented it from getting an outright majority.

‘We never saw it coming’

In a wide-ranging interview with Newzroom Afrika, Zikalala said the league supported last week’s outcome of the party’s national executive committee meeting, which endorsed a resolution for the formation of the GNU to govern South Africa for the next five years.

“We regret having lost 17% of our votes, mainly taken by the MK party – something we never saw coming. At the same time, we are saying people of South Africa have spoken against the ANC’s failure to address basic issues like service delivery and corruption.

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“The ANC is determined to ensure that those who are found to be involved in malfeasance should be dealt with by the law enforcement agencies.

“We fully support the GNU and the programme spelt out by the ANC president after the NEC meeting,” he said.

“We hope that parties will come together and share common values like stability, accountability, ethics, good governance and community participation.

“Constitutional democracy is sacrosanct and cannot be debated – the same goes for the rule of law in the country with our six priorities being adhered to,” said Zikalala.

GNU must be as inclusive as possible

Policy analyst Dr Nkosikhulule Nyembezi said cooperation among elected political parties involved in government formation talks were “in the best interests of all, is necessary for the long-term success of citizens’ collective efforts to end poverty, hunger, inequality, unemployment and other priority challenges that transcend narrow interests”.

“The GNU must be as inclusive as possible, taking into account the national and provincial election results in a way that ensures that all citizens benefit from this democracy, enjoying all human rights protection, enshrined in the constitution,” said Nyembezi.

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“Amid this national uncertainty, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that South Africans, with or without political party affiliation, support the option of a GNU.

“The bad news is that politicians are still falling short of the kinds of investments needed to look beyond the sharing of the spoils and getting the lion’s share of government positions.

“We are still not hearing loud enough assuring voices and not witnessing enough movements to improve public confidence,” added Nyembezi.