Zimbabwe, SA to push for a prosperous Africa: President

19 Jun, 2024 - 08:06 0 Views
Zimbabwe, SA to push for a prosperous Africa: President President Mnangagwa inspects a Guard of Honour on his arrival at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday ahead of the inauguration of his counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, at Union Buildings today. — Picture: Presidential Photographer Tawanda Mudimu.

Fungi Kwaramba in JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

ZIMBABWE and South Africa, which have a shared and enduring bond, will continue working together, bilaterally and multi-laterally, for the realisation of a prosperous Africa, President Mnangagwa has said.

The President arrived here yesterday to attend the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), who garnered 283 votes ahead of Mr Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters who received 44 votes during last Friday’s Presidential election at Parliament in Cape Town.

After failing to obtain the 50 plus percent threshold in a general election that was held on May 29, the ANC was forced into a Government of National Unity that includes the white-dominated Democratic Alliance and three other political parties.

That notwithstanding, the ANC, which obtained the lion share of votes, still controls the key levers of power, and the re-election of President Ramaphosa is testament to that.

Posting on his X handle yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe and South Africa will continue pushing for a prosperous Africa.

“Today, I arrived at Waterkloof Airforce Base in South Africa and will have the honour of attending President @CyrilRamaphosa’s inauguration. President Ramaphosa’s re-election underscores the enduring bond and shared aspirations between our two nations. Together, we continue to strive for a prosperous and united Africa.”

In a statement, the South African Presidency said dignitaries from across the world — including current and former Heads of State and Government — are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony.

“The ceremony will be witnessed by South African and international guests, including South African royalty, Members of Parliament, representatives of political parties, leaders of organised labour, business and civil society organisations, religious leaders and South Africans who have excelled in various capacities and endeavours.

“Attendees will include representatives of regional, continental and international organisations and bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN),” the statement read.

The Presidency said at least 18 Heads of State and Government, three former Heads of State and Government and nine heads of delegation are expected to attend.

Unlike in Zimbabwe, where Members of Parliament are elected directly by the people, in South Africa MPs are elected from party lists and the percentage of votes each party wins results in the same percentage of MPs in parliament. 

Parliament then elects a president, as was the case last Friday when the ANC-DA coalition elected President Ramaphosa.

In the May general elections, the ANC got 40,18 percent, the DA 21,81 percent, while the former President Jacob Zuma-led uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) got 14,58 percent.

The Economic Freedom Fighters garnered 9.52 percent of the vote, with the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) getting 3,85 percent.

The remaining spoils were shared among smaller political formations.

Critically, it remains to be seen how the ANC will govern along with its former bitter rivals the DA, especially on the distribution of ministerial posts, and how it will deal with the thorny issue of inequalities between blacks, who are the majority, and the whites who are in the minority.

The key but thorny issue of land redistribution and redressing historical inequalities bordering on race will be another acid test for the coalition government.

Recently, Al Jazeera quoted some South African experts as saying the marriage between two ideologically opposite parties would present challenges for Africa’s biggest economy.

Mr Pierre de Vos, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Cape Town, said he was wary about what a coalition government might mean for the country’s governance.

“It is difficult to be confident in what’s to come,” he said.

Prof De Vos said that while a coalition government was “good on paper”, South Africa had a fractious society that the ANC kept together for three decades. 

“When it comes to difficult issues like inequality and racism, the two parties are polar opposite sides,” he said.

The DA has fought against race-based transformation policies, which the ANC has pushed for three decades.

Other analysts said they believe the coalition government would force parties to the ideological centre.

“This coalition agreement is a good thing. It will force the ANC away from the left to the centre and the DA away from the extreme right,” said political analyst JP Landman, as per Al Jazeera.

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