ANC slams 'outlandish and outrageous' demands as GNU cabinet announcement approaches

The ANC said Ramaphosa will announce his cabinet in the coming days

The ANC said President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce his cabinet in the coming days. File photo.
The ANC said President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce his cabinet in the coming days. File photo.
Image: Werner Hills

The ANC has slammed the “outlandish and outrageous demands” being made for specific cabinet posts, criticising the leaking of talks between parties.

The former ruling party, which finds itself in a precarious position after its loss in the recent polls, says its government of national unity (GNU) cannot be held to ransom by any party.

Party spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said on Monday the president has the final say on cabinet appointments.

“Negotiating through leaking demands to the media is an act of bad faith and this practice will not help the cause of any party. The people need a government to be established sooner, rather than later,” she said.

This follows the latest demands detailed in a leaked letter from DA federal chairperson Helen Zille addressed to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. 

In the letter Zille said the DA's allocation should “rightly” include the post of deputy president, “as is standard practice in similar governments around the world” — alongside representation in all clusters, 12 cabinet posts and preference in selection of directors-general.

Despite the infighting and political wrangle over positions, the ANC has confirmed that the announcement of the cabinet draws closer.

“The second phase of the process, to appoint the national executive (cabinet) in line with the constitution is under way.” 

The ANC said the cabinet would be based on an inclusive approach taking into consideration electoral outcomes, the national interest, as well as national groups, gender, social sectors and related elements of representativity, and experience and competence with regards to governance and specific portfolios.

It said parties to the GNU may be considered for assignment of responsibilities in the Legislature and/or in cabinet.

“Consultations with leaders of parties included in the GNU by the president of the republic is under way, based on the constitutional prerogative of the president,” it said, adding that the constitution confers the executive authority of the republic on the president as head of state and the national executive.

Bhengu-Motsiri said though the president appoints a cabinet and assigns functions to ministers, they report to the cabinet and operate as a collective.

“Once the GNU cabinet is formed, ministers act as members of cabinet, responsible for their portfolios and collectively in the interest of the nation, not their parties or sectors.

“The president will announce cabinet in the coming days, based on the above principles. Once cabinet is formed, parliament will then start its work to establish its structures, including portfolio committees and other structures of responsibility as prescribed by the constitution.”

She said the ANC's wish was that the processes were not “unnecessarily delayed”' so that the seventh administration could get down to work.

As things stand, the GNU has rallied 10 out of 18 political parties, making up 287 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly.

Gauteng, currently deadlocked with negotiators asking for more time, is also expected to announce the executive members to lead the province alongside premier Panyaza Lesufi this week.



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