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Ramaphosa re-elected with a resounding majority

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Simon Nare

President Cyril Ramaphosa has been re-elected as president of the 7th administration with a resounding majority from the support of a coalition agreement by parties who have joined the call for a “government of national unity.”

Ramaphosa trounced EFF leader Julius Malema with an emphatic 283 to 44 votes in a contest Malema described as a move to send a message to the country that the ANC has betrayed the masses.

The ANC, after losing the majority in the house for the first time since the dawn of democracy only managed to garner 159 seats out of the 400 but with the support of 87 seats from the DA, 17 from the IFP 17 and 9 from the PA, there was really no contest as Malema’s EFF had only 39 seats.

But with the support of other small parties who are part of the newly -formed Progressive Caucus he managed to get 44 votes, five less than another EFF member Veronica Mente who took on newly-elected Speaker Thoko Didiza. Didiza won by 284 votes which was one more than Ramaphosa.

In the messages of support, Malema congratulated Ramaphosa for the re-election and said his party accepted the results of the house which he said reflected the democratic process.

“We contested because we wanted to demonstrate to South Africa that we do not agree to that marriage of convenience to consolidate the white monopoly power over the economy and the means of production of South Africa.

“This marriage is a marriage that seeks to undermine the changing of property relations in South Africa. We refuse to sell-out. We have never done so when we were young and we are not going to do so today. We don’t have a history of being collaborators,” said Malema.

Malema assured Parliament that his party has denounced its disruptive behavior and will now engage in positive opposition politics and be the best in doing so to which Ramaphosa could be seen applauding.

DA leader John Steenhuisen, whose party has now relinquished the official opposition title to the MK Party after the coalition agreement, said Friday marked a historic day and the beginning of a chapter of building co-operation and putting its future first.

Steenhuisen reminded political parties in the house that the electorate had decided not to give any party outright majority and therefore they should heed the call to work together as reflected in the election results.

“The DA looks forward to working with you Mr President [Cyril Ramaphosa],” said Steenhuisen who could become the first white Deputy President since the end of apartheid if Ramaphosa appointed him as part of the coalition agreement.

It is not clear in the letter of intent of the coalition agreement who will serve as Ramaphosa’s deputy but it only revealed the positions of President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker. 

The agreement states that although Ramaphosa has the prerogative to appoint the executive, he does so in consultations with parties in the coalition. 

Ramaphosa was also congratulated by other parties represented in the house. 

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