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President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: X/@CyrilRamaphosa.

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GNU power struggles: Ramaphosa urges unity

President Ramaphosa has called on political parties in the GNU to prioritise collaboration over internal competition.

24-06-24 16:25
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President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: X/@CyrilRamaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday called on political parties in the Government of National Unity (GNU) to prioritise collaboration over internal competition. This appeal comes as two new parties, Rise Mzansi and Al Jama-ah, joined the GNU, expanding the coalition to 10 of the 18 parties in the National Assembly.


The inclusion of Rise Mzansi and Al Jama-ah marks a pivotal moment in South African politics, as the GNU now encompasses a broader spectrum of parties. These new members join the African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Patriotic Alliance (PA), Good, Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Freedom Front Plus (FF+), and United Democratic Movement (UDM).


In his weekly newsletter, President Ramaphosa emphasised that the focus should be on improving the lives of South Africans rather than on internal power dynamics.

“South Africans made clear with their votes in last month’s elections that they want their elected representatives to put aside narrow interests and work together to build the country,” he noted.

Ramaphosa warned against internal disputes and power struggles within the GNU, highlighting that success would be determined by the coalition’s ability to govern collectively.

“The success of the GNU will be measured by the extent to which we are prepared to focus not on who will govern, but on how we will govern, together,” he added.


President Ramaphosa’s second-term inauguration last week marked the end of the sixth administration. However, the announcement of the new cabinet for the seventh administration has been delayed.

According to TimesLIVE, Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie has been vocal about the internal power struggles within the GNU. He candidly acknowledged that the delay in announcing the cabinet is due to negotiations over positions.

“The delay and fight is about positions in the GNU, let no-one lie to you. Politicians and political parties exist for accumulation of power. Stop acting like you exist for ambience,” McKenzie stated.

He emphasised, “Do you think I am there seeking autographs? I’m there for power. Policy comes second.”

Despite these challenges, McKenzie emphasised the importance of honest negotiations within the framework of the constitution, which grants the president the authority to decide cabinet positions.

“We [PA] are advancing our reasons without arrogance and threats. We do understand the constitution [says] the president has the right to decide who will occupy which positions. You can’t negotiate against the constitution,” he remarked.

Additionally, President Ramaphosa’s appeal for unity and cooperation within the GNU aims to steer the coalition away from destructive infighting, urging a focus on effective governance to address South Africa’s pressing issues. “Our stated commitment to work together constructively and for South Africa’s benefit has generated a great deal of goodwill that we should not squander,” he stated.