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African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) President the Reverend Dr Kenneth Meshoe has spoken out strongly against “the politics of enemies”. In an interview with BizNews he gives the reasons why his party rejected the Moonshot Pact; explains why the ACDP has now joined the Multi-Party Charter; and gives feedback on the recent trip to Germany by Multi-Party Charter leaders to study coalition governments. He lists the key factors needed to make a coalition government work. One of those is trust – which he says is going to be “a major, major issue”. – Chris Steyn
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- 00:00 – Introduction
- 00:32 – Why the ACDP did not want to initially join the Multiparty coalition
- 07:30 – On the Multiparty Charter’s trip to Germany
- 22:39 – How has the ACDP been performing in by-elections
- 26:26 – Conclusions
Highlights from the interview
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) President the Reverend Dr Kenneth Meshoe has spoken out strongly against “the politics of enemies”.
In an interview with BizNews he reveals that was one of the reasons his party did not want to join the Moonshot Pact.
He recalls Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen saying at the time that “the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) is public enemy number one and we want to treat them as such”.
“And so we in the ACDP said, no, we do not agree with the politics of enemies. As you know, in South Africa, there are eliminations for political reasons. There are assassinations for political reasons. And so we do not want to be regarded as enemies of any party. And we don’t want to regard any party as our enemy. Our contestation is about policies and not enemies.
“We also lost a councillor who was shot sadly while he was preaching in church as a number of our councillors are…So because of how we saw local councillors treated like that, we said no, the politics of enemies, we don’t want it.”
Another reason for the ACDP rejecting the Moonshot Pact was that “coalitions normally are formed after the elections, not before the elections, because you need to know the strength of each party; that you cannot tell before the elections”.
Dr Meshoe says the ACDP has now joined the Multi-Party Charter because it is not a coalition, but “a forum to discuss and decide on which way to take, how are we going to guide, govern ourselves”.
“We also want to be part of the rules, because if we don’t become part of the rules, we might be bound by rules we don’t agree with.”
He hails as a “massive success” the recent trip to Germany by Multi-Party Charter leaders to study coalitions. “We have seen why and where coalitions and governments are failing and what needs to be changed, what needs to be done.”
Dr Meshoe says the word trust was used by almost everybody. “…you cannot have a successful coalition if you don’t trust one another.
“And we raised questions as parties from South Africa because trust here is going to be a major, major issue. It’s going to be a major challenge because of the tendency of some people who just like being the first in the media…
“So the issue of trust might take us some time, might take us some time to resolve because at this stage some don’t trust, don’t trust one another. As you know there are some people who have said we will never work with this party, we will never work with this party because you saw how these people are behaving.”
Dr Meshoe lists respect and commitment as the other key requirements for a successful coalition.
“We have had situations where during negotiations, a leader of a party would say, what are you offering me? What are you offering me? What position? Which position are you offering me? If you offer me more than what the ANC (African National Congress) offers me, I’ll go with you. If you offer me this position, I will go with you. But if you don’t, I’ll move on and see if the ANC will offer me what I want. And if the ANC offers me what I want, then I’m gone. What are you offering me? Now that is a position and an attitude that is unworkable.”
Dr Meshoe says the most important thing is to have partners that will work together and improve service delivery. “…when you go into a partnership, do not look at what you can get out of the meetings, the agreements personally. It is not about you or your party, but it is about the electorate that votes.”
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