Johannesburg – The African Independent Congress' (AIC) president Mandla Galo says the party is still not prepared to help the ANC if the decision to incorporate Matatiele into the Eastern Cape is not reversed.
Recent reports claim the two parties are close to finalising a deal in Ekurhuleni but Galo denied this on Friday.
"We are only going to meet with the ANC in Pretoria on Sunday. There, we will discuss coalitions but only after the ANC commits to our demands," he said.
Galo said the AIC had four demands which were determined by its national leaders – the most important being reversing a previous decision by the ANC government to place the town of Matatiele under the Eastern Cape, removing it from under KwaZulu-Natal.
Other demands include the tarring of roads that link South Africa and Lesotho in the area, re-opening a college in the town, as well as declaring Matatiele, which once served as gateway for those seeking to get to exile during apartheid, a developmental node.
"The issue of positions in councils and how the political parties would work together lies in the hands of the regions, we will not be involved," Galo said.
The leader of the little-known party, which not only bears a resemblance to the ANC in name, but colours as well, is confident that the ANC will give into its demands.
"If they don't give us what we want, then we are not interested in co-operating with them."
Galo said both the community of Matatiele and the leaders of the AIC had been traumatised by their past experiences.
"The ANC said it would reverse its decision after the 2009 referendum and the president [Jacob Zuma] also promised to help us out in 2014 but nothing happened. We never resorted to violence. I told Zweli Mkhize [ANC treasurer general] that those who use violence and destroy property get their way."
He said he was happy coalition talks were forcing the ANC to take another look at the Matatiele issue.
"They undermined the intelligence of the people of Matatiele. This democracy we voted for is meant to benefit all the people in this country, this is exactly what’s happening now."
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