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ANC talking to all parties keen to be part of government

The African National Congress has been talking to all political parties that are keen to contribute to a new government, the party’s spokesperson said after it lost its majority in last week’s election.

The ANC, which is still the largest party but can no longer govern alone, said it was determined to unite the broadest range of sectors in society as it addressed what it described as the urgent need to move out of the current stalemate.

“We have been meeting with all parties that are keen to contribute ideas on how we can collectively move our country forward to form a government that ensures national unity and stability, continues the transformation of South Africa, and safeguards our constitutional democracy,” said Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri in a statement at the start of a news briefing.

The ANC has run South Africa since Nelson Mandela led it to power in the 1994 elections that marked the end of apartheid, but voters punished it this time over persistent poverty and joblessness, rampant crime, corruption and frequent power cuts.

An ANC spokesperson said they were meeting with all parties to discuss how they could collectively move South Africa forward

Voters, politicians and financial markets have been on tenterhooks for clues as to which party or parties will form the next national government.

Ms Bhengu-Motsiri said the ANC had held meetings with the free-marketeer Democratic Alliance (DA), the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and two smaller parties.

She added that it had approached uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a party led by former president Jacob Zuma, but had been rebuffed.

“Our door remains open,” she said.

MK came third in the election after the ANC and the DA, a surprisingly strong performance for a new party, but Mr Zuma is an implacable enemy of the ANC leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mr Zuma was forced to quit as president in 2018 following a series of corruption scandals, and was later jailed for contempt of court after refusing to participate in an inquiry into corruption. He remains popular in his home province, populous KwaZulu-Natal.

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