July 13, 2024

President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has described the Democratic Alliance’ s (DA) letter for additional two portfolios as offensive, condescending, and inconsistent with the Constitution.

According to the president of African National Congress (ANC) the DA has jeopardized the foundation of setting up a Government of National Unity by moving the goalposts in your letter of 24 June 2024 to me.

“Unfortunately, this has not been the case with the DA. In its recent proposals, I believe the DA has jeopardized the foundation of setting up a Government of National Unity by moving the goalposts in your letter of 24 June 2024 to me. I am truly taken aback by how you now want two more portfolios to bring the DA’s portfolios to 8.” Ramaphosa said.

His comment comes after the DA who are in coalition with ANC and other political parties are demanding another two portfolios to bring the DA’s portfolios to 8.

“In order to therefore clear the final hurdle, I would like to propose the following two steps: That, in addition to the six existing Cabinet portfolios which we accept, another two portfolios be allocated to the DA out of the options of Sports, Arts and Culture, Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform or Public Service and Administration (we would accept the need for public sector wage negotiations to be moved from this portfolio to the Minister of Finance).” The DA leader John Steenhuisen said in a statement.

“I am proposing these three options as alternatives to a Minister in the Presidency, Transport and International Relations, as I accept your rationale for assigning these to the ANC. Assigning two of these portfolios to the DA would take our quantum in Cabinet from six to eight, which would satisfy clause 16 by better reflecting the will of the people as expressed in the electoral outcome, while also taking into account the national interest.” He added.

 

BELOW IS THE ANC RESPONSE TO DA

 

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT – ANC

Honourable John Steenhuisen
Federal Leader
Democratic Alliance
P.O. 1475
Cape Town
8000                                                                                  25 June 2024

Dear John,

Thank you for the meeting we had yesterday. I thought we had a very good constructive discussion. Following the recent exchange of letters between the DA and the ANC, I indicated to you that I did not believe it is appropriate to negotiate, through correspondence, the important agreement that the parties to the Statement of Intent to form a Government of National Unity are trying to put together.

Matters of national importance such as these are best conducted in face-to-face negotiations and only when both sides agree that the discussions between them have reached a level of maturity and advance should they be reduced to writing, to live up to the principle of transparency.

I informed you that the habit of negotiating through correspondence, as adopted by the DA, can be problematic. It can for example make parties play to the gallery of public opinion through media leakages resulting in the loss of focus on the real substance of the negotiations. I also informed you that we found the letter from your Federal Chairperson offensive, condescending, and inconsistent with the Constitution.

Notwithstanding all this, I believed that the parties to the Statement of Intent were close to an agreement and that through it we would usher in a new era in the politics of our country. I genuinely believe that this will be the era that will consolidate stability and enable us to address the challenges our country faces which are inequality, unemployment, and poverty.

To date, our discussions with the DA, PA, IFP, Good, PAC, UDM, Al Jama’ah, Freedom Front Plus, and Rise Mzansi have been geared towards building and consolidating the Government of National Unity, in the national interest The discussions with all 10 parties to the Statement of Intent have served to entrench an appreciation for the Constitution, and its values, as well as an understanding of the rules and protocols that facilitate effective and lawful government.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case with the DA. In its recent proposals, I believe the DA has jeopardized the foundation of setting up a Government of National Unity by moving the goalposts in your letter of 24 June 2024 to me. I am truly taken aback by how you now want two more portfolios to bring the DA’s portfolios to 8.

You have said that you would like new portfolios to be allocated to the DA out of the options of Sports, Arts and Culture, Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform, or Public Service and Administration. You go on to say that you are certain that assigning two additional portfolios to the DA, which would take your quantum and cabinet from 6 to 8, would satisfy clause 16 of the Statement of Intent by better reflecting the will of the people as expressed in the electoral outcomes, while also taking into account the national interest

I regard your approach in moving the goalposts as a continuation of what was articulated in your Federal Chair’s letter of 22 June 2024 on issues such as “sealed mandates” of Ministries, through which the DA seemed to want to set up a parallel government that would operate outside the framework and parameters of the constitution-based method and protocols of running the government of the Republic of South Africa.

I also prefer not to deal further with the legally incompetent proposals to unilaterally redetermine contractual arrangements of Directors General and other contracts. I did inform you that I felt we should not dwell on the misguided propositions contained in that letter as paying attention to the contents of that letter would divert us from the task at hand of constituting a Government of National Unity.

In seeking to justify your changing position you refer to the terms set out in the Statement of Intent. The principles agreed to amongst all 10 parties to the Statement of Intent are in my view clear. Clause 16 of the Statement of Intent makes plain that the Government of National Unity shall be constituted in a manner that reflects genuine inclusiveness of all the political parties that are party to the Statement of Intent and are represented in the National Assembly broadly taking into account (my emphasis) the number of seats parties have in the National Assembly and the need to advance the national interest.

The clause further provides that the President shall, in constituting the Executive, take into account the electoral outcomes. These commitments are set out in full appreciation of the President retaining discretion to constitute the Cabinet — a prerogative I believe I have duly and sufficiently tempered to fulfil the commitment of the Statement of Intent

Furthermore, the constitutional requirement that the Cabinet work as a collective under the President’s leadership is reflected in a focus on national interest, consensus on the above principles, inclusivity, and accountability. It is not respected if we divert our focus from the national interest and broad will of South Africans to the strictness of numerical representation.

The latest proposals by the DA do not, I am afraid, align with the principles adopted and encapsulated in the Statement of Intent. The way they have been submitted undermines the process we had committed to following — open, grounded, consistent, constitutionally compliant, engagements, honouring the collective understanding of our goal to create a government that reflects the will of the people.

We are unable to accede to the DA’s latest proposals, nor its continuously changing interpretation of the meaning of the Statement of Intent and moving the goalposts. Any discussions with the DA must therefore start with a need for an understanding of the principles embraced by all the parties to the Statement of Intent.

I am sure that you are aware that the DA is not the only party we are negotiating with on the setting up of the Government of National Unity. Following my meeting with you yesterday we have continued our negotiations with other parties that wish to be part of the GNU.

As the ANC is leading the process of these negotiations, we have had to consider the proposals from other parties and therefore what we discussed yesterday stands to be reconsidered as you made clear to me that “you would not be able to get less than the number of portfolios the DA desired over the line with your Fedex”. I must advise that we are continuing to hold discussions with other parties over the portfolios they could occupy as we seek to finalise the agreement on the GNU.

I need to advise that the task of setting up government is quite urgent as we cannot continue with this paralysis. I intend to conclude all negotiations and consultations this week. Until then I remain open to having further discussions with you.

Best regards

MC Ramaphosa

President — AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

ENDS

 

Source: Elvisanokyenews.com

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