"IFP Leader Velenkosini Hlabisa will be appointed as Deputy President and DA will get whatever position they want"


Speculation is rife that the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president, Velenkosini Hlabisa, could be appointed as the second deputy president under a potential Government of National Unity (GNU) in South Africa.

According to sources close to the ongoing coalition negotiations, an ANC-DA-IFP alliance is being strongly considered, which would see Hlabisa take on the role of second deputy president alongside the ANC's Paul Mashatile.

"This Friday, we will elect the president… National Assembly Speaker, and deputy speaker. But, later on, we might change the executive to have two deputy presidents, Paul Mashatile and Velenkosini Hlabisa, and then give the DA whatever they want," a source close to the arrangements told News24.

The first sitting of Parliament to elect the president and National Assembly Speaker is scheduled for Friday, 14 June, as announced by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday. The inauguration is expected to take place on 19 June.

Notably, former president FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki served as deputy presidents under the revered Nelson Mandela in 1994, exemplifying the potential for effective collaboration across party lines. Now, Hlabisa could step into this position alongside Paul Mashatile, further diversifying the leadership and fostering a spirit of inclusivity within the highest echelons of power.

The insider added: "You know they are smart, they will want the economy, trade and industry, and other key positions. The ANC is strongly leaning toward a DA and IFP coalition."

The reported ANC-DA-IFP coalition suggests the Democratic Alliance (DA) is angling for a significant role in the new administration, likely seeking key oversight positions and strategic ministerial posts.

"The DA wants to play an oversight role and hold strategic ministerial positions in the GNU," the source added.

While the IFP's potential ascent to a prominent position in the GNU may surprise some, insiders suggest that the ANC is seeking to accommodate other parties and foster wide-ranging collaboration. The Democratic Alliance (DA), another key player in the negotiations, is reportedly vying for strategic ministerial positions and an oversight role within the GNU.

The specifics of the GNU's formation and the potential reduction of the Cabinet to 24 or 26 members are still being discussed behind closed doors. However, the ANC's willingness to engage in talks and explore various possibilities signals a departure from traditional partisan politics, highlighting a commitment to finding common ground and driving progress for the nation.

While Hlabisa and other party representatives remain tight-lipped about the ongoing negotiations, the rumblings within political circles have not gone unnoticed. With the inauguration of the seventh administration scheduled for June 19 and the commemoration of Youth Day on June 16, the timeline for finalizing political alliances is rapidly approaching.

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