Politics & Legal

Cyril Ramaphosa Calls Out John Steenhuisen and Helen Zille in Scathing Letter

In a leaked letter, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticizes Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen for his party’s demands and negotiation tactics, which he claims jeopardize the formation of a Government of National Unity.

In a recent development that has sent ripples through South Africa’s political landscape, President Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress (ANC) has openly criticized Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen in a leaked letter. The letter, made public via a tweet from @samkelemaseko, highlights Ramaphosa’s dissatisfaction with the DA’s recent demands and negotiation tactics amid the ongoing efforts to establish a Government of National Unity (GNU).

The primary point of contention, as outlined in the letter, revolves around the DA’s request for key government portfolios. Initially, the DA had requested six portfolios, including Home Affairs, Basic Education, and Trade, Industry and Competition. However, a subsequent letter from the DA raised this demand to eight portfolios, adding departments such as Sports, Arts and Culture, and Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform. This shift, according to Ramaphosa, undermines the foundational principles agreed upon in the Statement of Intent to form a GNU.

Ramaphosa’s letter articulates his frustration with what he perceives as the DA’s negotiation through correspondence, a method he finds counterproductive. He emphasizes that such an approach tends to play to public opinion rather than focusing on substantive negotiations. The letter also expresses discontent with a previous communication from the DA’s Federal Chairperson, which Ramaphosa described as offensive and inconsistent with constitutional values.

Ramaphosa underscores the importance of face-to-face negotiations for matters of national significance, stating that such discussions should only be documented once both parties agree on their maturity and advancement. He criticizes Steenhuisen for jeopardizing the GNU’s foundation by moving the goalposts and making new demands that deviate from previously agreed principles.

The ANC president also highlights the broader context of negotiations involving multiple parties, including the DA, PA, IFP, Good, PAC, UDM, Al Jama’ah, Freedom Front Plus, and Rise Mzansi. He notes that these discussions have generally fostered an appreciation for constitutional values and effective governance, a sentiment he feels has been compromised by the DA’s recent proposals.

In conclusion, Ramaphosa asserts that the DA’s latest demands do not align with the agreed principles and undermine the collective goal of creating a government reflective of the people’s will. He reaffirms his commitment to concluding all negotiations promptly, while remaining open to further discussions with the DA, provided they adhere to the established principles.

This letter and the publicized disagreements highlight the volatile relationship between the ANC and DA, casting uncertainty on the future of the GNU and South Africa’s political stability.

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