Masoka Dube

By Masoka Dube

Journalist


‘Leave Zondo out of new government talks’ – analyst

Political parties' call for Chief Justice Zondo's intervention in government formation termed premature by analysts.


The calls by political parties on Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to intervene in the formation of a government of national unity (GNU) is “a panic move at the wrong time”, according to a political analyst.

“The parties are panicking, hence they now asked the judiciary to intervene,” said independent political analyst Goodenough Mashego.

ALSO READ: Time to consolidate coalition government and make it work – BLSA

“And the constitution does not grant Zondo a platform to intervene in the coalition negotiations.”

Parties request intervention

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, with Build One SA’s Mmusi Maimane and leaders of the African Transformation Movement, the Pan Africanist Congress, the African Christian Democratic Party and United African Transformation, have sent a letter to Zondo requesting him to convene a meeting between all parties represented in parliament to discuss the GNU – instead of allowing the ANC to decide alone.

“According to the constitution, Zondo and the Constitutional Court should intervene only if the parties fail to form the government within the stipulated 14 days after the elections,” said Mashego.

“In that case, the judiciary will be seeking answers why there is no government and take it from there.

“The parties should allow the coalition process to proceed and they will have a chance to complain later when the time is right.”

However, Holomisa yesterday insisted the parties have the right to contact Zondo. “Currently there is no speaker.

Zondo is a de facto speaker. He can delegate a retired judge. We could not ask [ANC president] Cyril [Ramaphosa], for obvious reasons.”

ALSO READ: National Assembly set to elect SA’s president on Friday

Holomisa’s letter stated the ANC does not have the right to be the only party leading the process of forming the GNU because it did not get the majority at the polls.

“Given the new terrain where no one party has an outright mandate to form a government, it is imperative that a critical meeting be convened promptly.

“This meeting must serve as a platform for fostering a transparent collaborative agenda for South Africa,” it reads in part.

Thabang Motswaledi, a political analyst from North-West University said the judiciary was in a better position to intervene.

“Interventions like these need an independent body that is not expecting any benefit from the upcoming government,” he said.