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Malema warns that a multi-party coalition without MK in KZN, spells trouble

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Simon Nare

THE IFP with the help of a multi-party coalition is on the verge of reclaiming the premiership of KwaZulu-Natal in a deal that has left out the MK Party –  a party that won the most votes in the province but set for relegation to the opposition bench.

The agreement between IFP, ANC, DA and NFP has concluded that the IFP’s Thami Ntuli will be taking over as Premier –  a first for the party since 2004 when it lost the seat to the ANC.

The KwaZulu-Natal coalition was sealed when the NFP, which had also held talks with MKP leader and former President Jacob Zuma,  joined the other three parties in a move that raised concerns that the wishes of most people in the province who had voted MK would not be realised.

However, EFF leader Julius Malema has called out President Cyril Ramaphosa for endorsing a deal that left out the MK, saying this could be troublesome. Malema told a press conference in Cape Town on Thursday night that in a private one-on-one meeting with Ramaphosa he has raised these concerns. 

“I indicated to the President this morning that any other move outside the MKP is a provocation to the people of KZN, and we must not blame them if they were to react to what these reactionaries would have agreed to,” warned Malema.

Malema said his party will support MKP even though there is no formal agreement between the parties and EFF doesn’t want any positions from the MKP even if it was elected to the premiership position.

“I am really pleading, whether we like MKP or we don’t like MKP, if you want peace in KwaZulu-Natal, which is not instigated by MKP, which is not going to be instigated by EFF that violence, the people are going to rise.

“I told President Cyril Ramaphosa that your own coalition rules say a party with the highest number must be the one that leads. Please allow MKP to lead. Do not undermine the voice of the people of KZN if we respect democracy. And we make that appeal, please allow MKP to lead KZN,” appealed Malema.

However, former ANC MP and one of the MKP leaders Nathi Nhleko, in a television interview on Thursday night said nothing was cast in stone and no door was closed and negotiations could still continue even in the last hour before the decisions are taken to the legislature.

“A lot can still happen in a few hours. What happens if tomorrow (Friday) the IFP and NFP can wake up and say they have changed their mind. We accept that they (IFP and NFP) have chosen the other side but it doesn’t mean finality on the matter. Parties continue to engage,” he said. 

The legislature will sit on Friday morning where members of legislature will be sworn in and with the coalition wielding 41 seats and MKP 39 including the two seats of the EFF who have publicly said they will throw their weight behind them.

With only two votes separating the two and in a secret ballot election, MPLs in the multi-party coalition will have to vote along the coalition lines and any deviation could turn the whole process on its head. 

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