Avatar photo

By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist

Elections: Independent candidate Zackie Achmat ‘won’t take a cabinet seat’ if offered one

Achmat says Parliament must be reclaimed to ensure that it holds the executive and other branches of the State accountable.

Activist Zackie Achmat, who is vying for a parliamentary seat, said he won’t join cabinet should he be offered a post after the May elections.

Achmat is contesting the upcoming general elections as a Western Cape independent candidate.

LIVE interactive map, latest news, multimedia and more!

View Map

The activist’s election campaign advocates a “competent, ethical, and accountable” State, equality and ending poverty, corruption and racism.

READ: ANC likely to crush opposition in Eastern Cape to regain control of traditional heartland

On Saturday, his supporters gathered in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, to celebrate his achievements as a long-serving activist.

‘Reclaim parliament’

Rivonia Circle director Tessa Dooms on Saturday took to social media platform X, asking Achmat whether he would accept a cabinet post after the elections.

“I have followed your strong (and necessary) focus on being elected into Parliament for oversight? Would you be open to a president inviting you to serve in cabinet?

“I ask this also to highlight that an independent MP qualifies to be appointed as a minister,” said Dooms.

Achmat replied that he won’t take a cabinet post, adding that Parliament must be “reclaimed to ensure that it is open, holds the executive and other organs of state accountable.”

He criticised the ANC-majority-led National Assembly.

“Parliament must hear and listen to the voices of people, movements and progressive experts.

“Since 1999, our Parliament has protected and promoted the corrupt. ANC MPs cheered for a government that deliberately allowed people to become infected, ill and die of HIV-related illnesses,” he said in his post.

Zackie Achmat: Social justice campaigner

Among his many social activism projects, Achmat founded #UniteBehind, an activist group challenging the corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).

Apart from his anti-apartheid protests as a student during 1970’s, Achmat is also known for campaigning for free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to millions of people living with HIV in South Africa,

By 1998, he had co-founded the country’s pre-eminent Aids organisation, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

He is Western’s Cape’s only independent candidate.

NOW READ: Magashule’s former PA arrested in US as multi-million rand asbestos trial postponed (VIDEO)