Nine parties cosy up in unity plan to oppose ANC

2011-11-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Delegates from nine opposition parties met at the Pepper Club in Cape Town yesterday to discuss closer co-operation against the ANC.

The so-called “round table” gathering was called by Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota. The Democratic Alliance, Cope, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus, the ACDP, the PAC, Azapo, the UDM and Dikwankwetla attended.

It is expected that the meeting will work towards 10 points of consensus.

By lunchtime yesterday there were already five points of agreement, more or less as follows:

• To uphold and defend constitutional, democratic governance;

• To support better service delivery and poverty alleviation;

• To fight corruption and the abuse of power;

• To promote a better electoral system;

• To establish a formal mechanism for better opposition co-operation.

It is understood that there were some areas of friction between the various parties.

The DA apparently asked whether a party that serves in the government (as the FF+ does) can be considered an opposition party. The FF+ pointed out that DA members serve as ambassadors for South Africa.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi merely read prepared remarks and left to attend to other appointments. The UDM’s delegates also left early, to catch a flight.

But after the conclusion of the talks all parties expressed their satisfaction. Azapo said it has long operated on its own, but would rather co-operate with other parties.

DA national chairperson Dr Wilmot James said the talks built on DA leader Helen Zille’s initiative for better co-operation, while Lekota called it an historic day.

Buthelezi said the opposition parties must provide the moral leadership that the ANC lacks, while FF+ leader Pieter Mulder said the country has ever more crises to handle, and a platform for co-operation could offer hope for success.

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