The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille has expressed disappointment that there are no “decent people” in the ANC to potentially form a new government with.
In a post on Twitter on Sunday (12 June), Zille referred to all ANC leaders as “African National Criminals.”
“I have to be honest and admit that, until fairly recently, I thought there were some decent people left in the ANC with whom we might, one day, be able to negotiate a new government. That hope is now well and truly dashed. They are all, indeed, the African National Criminals,” she tweeted.
Her tweet comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding the February 2020 theft, allegedly of $4 million, at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.
Former State Security Agency (SSA) boss Arthur Fraser, who exposed the theft in an affidavit filed with the police earlier this month, has accused Ramaphosa of concealing the crime, money laundering and violating anti-corruption laws.
Although Ramaphosa has denied involvement in criminality, he has failed to specifically address each allegation. He has instead insisted that due process must be allowed to unfold.
Possible coalition with ANC?
Zille’s comments seemingly confirm previous speculation that the DA was contemplating working with a Ramaphosa-led ANC after the 2024 national elections, where the ANC is widely expected to dip below 50 percent.
In February last year, DA leader John Steenhuisen told the Sunday Times that the DA was keen to work with “reformists” in the ANC, such as Ramaphosa, as opposed to the likes of David Mabuza or Ace Magashule.
“I believe there are reformers in the ANC who are pro the growth agenda, and I think there is potential for a realignment around the centre of South African politics, the rational centre of South African politics, which is where I think the DA should play,” Steenhuisen said.
However, the Phala Phala farm controversy appears to have changed Steenhuisen and Zille’s minds. In the Presidency Budget Vote debate in Parliament last week, Steenhuisen heavily criticised Ramaphosa for failing to address the allegations directly.
Reacting to Zille’s admission, political consultant Dawie Scholtz questioned what the DA’s plan for 2024 would be.
“An admission that, despite all the denials, the DA actually has been keen on a coalition with the ANC until recently. All the moves pointed to it: Try to hold at around 20, wait for the ANC to dip to below 50 as EFF and ActionSA grow, [and] form coalition with ANC. Where to now…?” he tweeted.