National 13.8.2016 05:00 am

Political parties are in ‘coalition penalty shoot-out’

Picture: Alaister Russell

Picture: Alaister Russell

Analysts are wondering if the DA and EFF can focus on their similarities, not differences, while Zuma alone is preventing an EFF-ANC reconciliation.

There appears to be an interesting dynamic in which smaller opposition parties and the EFF are saying that they can work together as coalition partners going into the bigger coalition talks, a political analyst says.

“All these opposition parties seem to be talking the same language, prioritising service delivery, governance, economy, the e-tolls and Jacob Zuma,” Andre Duvenhage said. “They are using this as a prerequisite, which could in turn have far-reaching implications, as we have already heard [ANC secretary-general] Gwede Mantashe saying the name Zuma will not dominate the ANC’s current NEC meeting,” he added.

The questions on many South Africans’ lips though, another analyst, Elvis Masoga, said, was whether the EFF and the DA could forget their vast differences, or the ANC and the EFF could compromise their deepening tensions to form coalitions.

Speaking to Saturday Citizen, Masoga said: “All these political parties are confronted with a political nightmare that compels them to enter into an unholy alliance and the only options available to them are to either work together or go for an election re-run.

“The DA and EFF are fundamentally different from one another, hence the deafening silence from them post last week’s local government elections.”

In last week’s local government election, the DA received the most votes in the most fiercely contested municipalities, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane, while the ANC took the lion’s share in Johannesburg.

Masoga likened the coalition talks to a cup final in which the opponents they have battled it out in open play and extra time and are now forced to go through a penalty shoot-out.

Duvenhage said: “In a nutshell, I don’t see the opposition working with the ANC just because of one man … Zuma. “However, I must also add that the president is currently on the spot, as we have seen during the Khwezi protest, which means he can no longer act as president in ‘real terms’…

“He is persona non grata in the public space.”

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