Political analyst says moonshot pact parties are putting their interests above those of the country

Political analyst Thabani Khumalo says the Multi-Party Charter should have agreed on one leader. Photo: Kailene Pillay/IOL

Political analyst Thabani Khumalo says the Multi-Party Charter should have agreed on one leader. Photo: Kailene Pillay/IOL

Published Aug 19, 2023


While the seven political parties that met at Kempton Park under the moonshot pact convention hailed the two-day gathering as a success, one political analyst says they did not achieve the desired results to save South Africa.

Durban-based independent political analyst, Thabani Khumalo, says the parties are still beholden to their narrow party interests more than the national ones.

Khumalo says the parties are still trying to protect their identities and their interest instead of forming a truly united front.

He said that was evident in the fact that they did not agree on who should be the face of their campaign ahead of next year’s provincial and national government elections.

Among the major parties that are part of the pact are the DA, Inkatha Freedom Party, ActionSA and Freedom Front Plus.

They met to map a charter that will see them forming a coalition government to unseat the ANC which they accuse of ruining South Africa.

“IFP's Leader Hlabisa explained the Multi-Party Charter (MPC) did not take a decision on who should be the leader and face of the intended coalition because they did not want to give an advantage to that leader's party ahead of the 2024 election campaigning.

“It became clear to me that the seven participants approached the meeting, first to protect their identities and narrow interests ahead of national interests and commitment to be a united and credible alternative government,” Khumalo said.

He added that they have missed a golden opportunity to unseat the ANC.

“It is unfortunate that the opposition parties remain divided and committed to driving their narrow interests agendas despite having an opportunity to grab power from the ANC.

“South Africans need a patriotic and credible alternative formation before the 2024 elections or else the ANC stands a good chance of retaining its dominance. But that victory will be secured at a very slim margin,” he said.

According to Khumalo, the actions of these parties means that the number of voters staying away from the voting booth was likely to grow as people think that there is no alternative to the ANC.

“The number of non-voters is likely to continue growing as citizens have no choice at the polls.

“The MPC has been another "political talk show" of parties that are "hoodwinked" by opposition politics and another expression of an "ANC fear and hatred,” he added.

Khumalo also said it was worrying that the charter failed to at least unite all the major opposition parties with parliamentary seats.

“Despite the MPC's failure to get the support of all opposition parties, as close to 10 parliamentary parties, old and new parties did not participate, the 7 parties failed to agree on important coalition decisions such as one organisation, one constitution, one leader, one programme, and a common election campaign and messages.”

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