Some of Zimbabwe’s great minds, Professor Jonathan Moyo and Brighton Mutebuka have clashed over African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA) marriage of convenience.

Moyo insinuates that ANC surrendered political power to DA, but Mutebuka begs to differ.

Moyo writes:


On the eve of Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration as South Africa’s president for an uncertain second term he’s unlikely to complete; a term certain to be remembered as the lowest moment for the ANC since 1994; the white-led opposition DA is poised to take control of the new coalition government – wrongly called a ‘GNU’ – after the DA effectively secured veto power in the ‘Statement of Intent and Modalities’ pact, a Faustian bargain it signed with the ANC, in which Africa’s oldest liberation movement inexplicably traded everything to benefit Ramaphosa’s standing with white monopoly capital.

The DA’s effective veto power in the decision matrix of South Africa’s incoming coalition government is apparent under paragraphs 18 to 23 of the ‘Statement of Intent and Modalities’ pact.

Paragraphs 18 to 23 of the pact are about how decisions will be taken or made in the or by the so-called GNU; and they provide as follows:

“18. The GNU shall take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus. Where no consensus is possible, the principle of sufficient consensus shall apply.

  1. Sufficient consensus exists when;
    19.1 All parties have had the opportunity to express their views; 19.2 Despite reasonable attempts to resolve disagreements, and find common ground, there is no general consensus;
    19.3 Parties to the GNU representing 60% of seats in the National Assembly agree; and 19.4 Any party that disagrees has been able to formally record their objections.”

In summary, the ANC/DA coalition government will “take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus”, which basically means decisions will be made by general agreement or by unanimous consent.

Where such consent or consensus is not achieved, decisions will be made in terms of what the ANC/DA Statement of Intent and Modalities describes as “the principle of sufficient consensus”; which, under paragraph 19.3, means a decision that does not have general consensus or unanimous consent will need or require the support or agreement of political parties in the coalition pact that represent 60% of seats in the National Assembly.

‘Sufficient consensus’ is therefore political parties in the coalition pact that represent 60% of seats in the National Assembly. With the ‘GNU” doors effectively closed for the MK and EFF, there is no way under the sun that the ANC can muster such ‘sufficient consensus’ without the DA.

As such, by agreeing to the 60% figure as the threshold of sufficient consensus for taking or making decisions in the ‘GNU’ government, the ANC effectively handed the DA veto power. Ramaphosa’s ‘government’ will not be able to make decisions without the agreement of the DA.

Put differently, ‘sufficient consensus’ is the DA’s veto power in the so-called GNU.

This means that, effectively, the ANC has handed back power, essentially freedom, to the DA: a white-led minority political party, reminiscent of the white-led minority National Party in the apartheid years.

What this means is that the ANC, the first liberation movement to be formed in Africa way back over a century ago in 1912 when Chairman Mao was a schoolboy; and the last on the Continent to reclaim freedom in 1994; has made history yet again as the first liberation movement in Africa to voluntarily hand back power or freedom back to the white minority on a silver platter.

Finish and klaar.

This is why so many across the progressive world in the global south are genuinely concerned about the unfolding situation in South Africa.

It is breathtaking!

Mutebuka’s response to Moyo:

  1. This is a pedestrian, antiquated & half-baked contribution from Professor Moyo.

  2. The insinuation that @MYANC has surrendered power to the @Our_DA directly flies in the face of the grim political reality they were confronted with followed their diminished returns from the elections.

  3. Realistically speaking, there was simply no other political choice than to compromise. Such a course of action needed a good dose of humility, sober reflection & maturity grounded in working in the national interest to achieve stability and progress.

  4. I am not in any doubt that the @MYANC gave serious consideration to what was available and could only have taken the political choice they did out of desperation & knowing fully well the political sensitivities involved & the vulnerability that would arise from the weaponisation of the race & class dynamics involved as a direct legacy of Apartheid.

  5. The way Moyo writes leaves one speculating whether or not he is subtly trying to suggest that ANC should have considered pursuing the shameless barbarism, script & scourge of rank authoritarianism that he was central to as part of the ZANU PF’s brutal & disastrous rule between 2000 & 2005 & his 2nd stint.

  6. In all this exhortation to the ANC to ignore the democratic will of all South Africans, the irony is not lost on the fact that Moyo is currently in forced exile, away from Zimbabwe after he was forced to flee from the murderous zero sum game – cum scotched earth rule book of ZANU PF.

  7. It would be remiss of me to fail to remind Moyo that a lop sided Mbeki negotiated GNU in Zimbabwe in 2009 managed to pull Zimbabwe from the brink of catastrophe, stabilised it and injected a modicum of growth.

  8. Consequently, it follows that compromise & consensus are not a weaknesses. A threshold of 60% is within a margin of what is reasonable and proportionate given the respective tallies of both parties in the election.

  9. Compromise & consensus necessarily & intrinsically forces both parties to the centre of politics & means only less polarising policies are likely to be pursued, which will likely lower down the political temperature & afford SA the best possible chance of setting on a trajectory of an uptick in local and foreign investment.

  10. Is the situation perfect? Eerm, no! Is it what both parties wanted? No? Are both parties oblivious to the almost inevitable mischief making & orchestrated shenanigans likely to come from MK & EFF? I don’t think so. In any event, genuine democracy entitles the latter to be as vehement as they want to be in opposing what others may perceive as an unwieldy political arrangement.


Given the divisive legacy of Apartheid, it is not surprising that there is visceral opposition to the political union between the ANC & DA – particularly amongst the majority black population of SA.

It is inevitable that the ANC will bleed support from that constituency, with the process perhaps lubricated by the orchestration of EFF & MK, (with Malema & Zuma the arch conductors) who will be chomping at the bit to see an accelerated & historic demise of the ANC in tandem with the collapse of the GNU government.

Whatever one’s views on the subject, the political reality is that this is what is there – a creature of necessity. And tell you what, with the power of incumbency, – “performance legitimacy” could buy it more time than many currently believe is possible!