Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘Cherry picking’: DA and Steenhuisen’s ‘moonshot pact’ rebuffed by UDM, ACDP

'It is not too late for the DA to reconsider its big brother mentality.'

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been criticised by other political parties for its “condescending” approach regarding coalition partnership.

DA leader John Steenhuisen, during his victory speech after his re-election over weekend, vowed to prevent ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) “doomsday coalition” from taking power of the country in next year’s national elections.

In order to do this, Steenhuisen proposed a “moonshot pact” with smaller parties, much to the dismay of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

He also declared the EFF and its leader Julius Malema as the DA’s ultimate enemy.

‘Big brother mentality’

In a letter to Steenhuisen, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa asked the DA not to “use other parties as pawns” to lure voters in its favour.

“The UDM advises that it is not too late for the DA to reconsider its big brother mentality,” he said.

Holomisa said rather than “cherry picking” whom the UDM wish to form an alliance with, the party would continue to engage all political formations.

The ACDP has also rejected the DA’s early proposal to enter into a coalition agreement before the 2024 elections.

“It is the ACDP’s view that in any coalition agreement there are negotiations about terms and conditions, structures, meetings, strategies and so on. No one party can assume to have the monopoly on all of these.

ALSO READ: Steenhuisen declares war: DA’s number one priority to stop ANC-EFF doomsday

“The ACDP has always been open to talk to political parties, who have the interests of all South Africans at heart, who will prioritise service delivery and will not just pay lip service to dealing with crime and corruption. In these talks, we are guided by our Constitution, policies, vision, and manifesto,” ACDP deputy president Wayne Thring said in a statement on Wednesday.

Thring added: “Any opposition [party’s] ‘moonshot’ political process that fails to be inclusive, to consult properly, and where one single party positions itself as superior to others, will be left hanging in space”.

Rise Mzansi, a new political movement, said they have not been formally approached to be part of any coalition.

“We do not believe that the mere desire to remove the ANC, which has and continues to fail South Africans, is a sustainable basis upon which to create a coalition that enjoys broad support.

“These coalitions of convenience have shown themselves in various metros and municipalities to be generally unprincipled and driven by a naked desire for power and positions for party leaders,” national convener Songezo Zibi said.

‘Political self-interest’

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba also weighed in on the matter.

“I’ve offered suggestions about how the approach can be improved. It cannot be a DA process. It must be owned by all parties who must jointly determine which parties are invited among other things.

“This project is too important to fail because of political self-interest,” he said in a tweet.

READ MORE: Rise of DA-led government in 2024 is inevitable, says Steenhuisen

Mashaba, however, expressed willingness to meet and engage further with the DA over developing a multiparty opposition platform to unseat the ANC.

“It is evident that the ANC will fall far below 50% in 2024. It’s time that like-minded opposition parties unite to provide an alternative that can offer solutions to [South Africa’s] greatest challenges. We can [and] must inspire confidence in stable and effective coalition governance,” he continued.

“ActionSA commits to this project. The alternative is stronger together.”