Mbhazima Shilowa | Spare us the spectacle in negotiating coalitions, or face voters' wrath in 2024

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It appears as if political parties negotiating in hung municipalities have failed to hear what voters really want, writes the author.
It appears as if political parties negotiating in hung municipalities have failed to hear what voters really want, writes the author.
Photo by Gallo Images/Fani Mahuntsi

Political parties that are scrambling for positions of power as they negotiate coalitions in 66 hung municipalities across the country, have forgotten the lessons from the past, writes Mbhazima Shilowa. 

Following intractable negotiations and a deadlock at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa), Joe Slovo, then chairperson of the South African Communist Party (SACP), penned a seminal document titled: "Negotiations: What room for compromise?" that sparked fierce debates within the ANC-led tripartite alliance. 

Except for a lunatic fringe, many agreed that it was an important intervention aimed at forcing the tripartite alliance to confront head-on the extent to which it was willing to go to secure a breakthrough in the negotiations that would pave the way for democratic elections, without compromising the powers of a democratically elected Constituent Assembly (Parliament) to adopt a new Constitution.

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