Gayton McKenzie, Hersov’s “Prez”, explains PA’s switch: ‘DA had to be taught a lesson’ ahead of 2024 Election.

In this no-holds-barred interview Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie opens a window into what South Africans can expect from coalition rule after the 2024 National Election. At the very least, it promises to be exciting. The PA’s co-founder says his ‘kingmaking’ moves that reinstated power for the ANC in Johannesburg and Knysna, are deliberate lessons for erstwhile allies – especially the Democratic Alliance whose leader he again meets with tomorrow. Arguing the end justifies his means, McKenzie maintains if allowed to continue, current bickering between anti-ANC parties threatens to snatch defeat from the jaws of 2024’s probable victory. He maintains the PA’s switching sides will prove the point that coalitions must be run as true partnerships – and is confirmation he will always follow through on what he promises. In this interview with Alec Hogg of BizNews, McKenzie also explains the reasons why the PA rejected formal offers of funding from ‘my friend’ Rob Hersov and like-minded tycoons. At BNC#4, in Hersov’s suggested post-2024 cabinet he proposed McKenzie as SA’s President.

Excerpts from the interview with Gayton McKenzie

Gayton McKenzie on the ANC and his troubles with the DA 

Let’s start with the ANC. The ANC has let this country down terribly. The ANC came with so much hope, promise of goodwill, they’ve squandered goodwill. The ANC has done none of what they intended when they went into the struggle. They’ve done none of those things. The ANC has failed South Africa. Let us make no mistake about it. I despise the fact that the people think the DA has succeeded. Go to Mannenberg, go to Khayelitsha, go to Elsies. Go to Hanover park. Go to Mitchells Plain and tell me what is different between the DA and the ANC where the DA beat the ANC. Where I think the DA is better than ANC, is the DA has looked after rich whites and rich blacks. If you go to where we are staying in DA municipalities, they’ve made sure these potholes are fixed. They look after the people on the other side of the mountain. Now people should not impose their views on me. I look at the DA and the ANC as the same organisation not caring about the people, the people I represent. Most of them come from the DA. Now people expect me to have that all-round love while the majority of my constituency got fed up with the DA. So I cannot be having that laugh and this thing where they say there is power to the DA in the city of Joburg. That’s not entirely true. Let me explain to you what happened. And no one can dispute this because this is a fact. We had coffee one night with John Steenhuisen. I said to him, “John, you know what? You’re going to lose Knysna.” Because we are being underestimated there. He didn’t believe me; they ran roughshod over our guys there. Our decisions were not even … they didn’t even listen to us. And then we hit a firing shot in Knysna. We removed them from power. I thought at that particular moment they will realise that when we say we will remove you, we mean it.  

On the decision to put the ANC back into power in Joburg

We went to the city of Joburg. They can blame Herman Mashaba all they like. Let me tell you, I hold no beef for Mashaba. But ActionSA heard the rumblings between the IFP and the PA, which are the two parties, and the IFP must be honest. ActionSA never said IFP should take the seat itself. ActionSA said IFP and you guys will decide who will take the seat between the two of you. The president of IFP then spoke to me on two occasions. Trying to convince me they should take the seat, the speaker said. I then said, “Alright, let’s do this because I didn’t want to.” We also wanted to be speakers. We wanted to be the speaker of the Patriotic Alliance. I didn’t realise that if these guys don’t get the speaker. I told my guys, these guys want to be speakers very badly, just like us, but if they don’t get it, they might leave. Let us look for something else and give them the speaker. We got back to the IFP. I said, “You guys can have a speaker, we will take something else.” We then wrote a letter, which I can forward to you, to everybody and said, “Listen guys, we met with the IFP, they will take the speaker and we will take economic development. You guys can decide, but if you think we can’t have that, let us know where you want us, what you want us to have.” In the arrogance of the DA, they didn’t even honour that. They sent us a lawyer’s letter. They sent us a threatening letter. I mean, who threatens anybody during a negotiation? I am not one to lie down, be threatened and sell out my people who voted for me. I wrote a letter back to Helen Zille , “You’re taking us to court. Be our guest. Do it. We will show you.” They thought we were bluffing. The morning of the vote, when they realised we were not bluffing, they were willing to give us everything Herman Mashaba told them for the sake of concretising the coalition. Now nobody speaks about the fact we have voted with the DA. We had a choice between the DA and ANC. We went with the ANC. We went with it because I am the only politician in this country, the only one who came out very clearly and said, “I will work with anybody.” This is before the coalitions were formed. I was the only politician. No other politicians. Helen Zille said she will not work with the EFF. Herman Mashaba said over his dead body; he will not work with the ANC. The Patriotic Alliance, through me, said we will even work with the AWB because we know we want power to service our people. 

On the dangerous precedent the DA is setting and the outcome for the ANC

They are setting a very very dangerous precedent that South Africa is not seeing. What they are doing is stupid. It is beyond. It is. It is insanely stupid. I’ve never in the history of politics seen such stupidity as what Mpho Phalatse is doing at the moment with the DA. They are not relinquishing power. They’re going to court for power. That is exactly what the ANC is going to do in 2024. Mark my words and keep it. You heard it for the first time here on BizNews what they are doing. Somebody needs to tell them, drop this case. Because I can tell you now. Whether it’s academic, they have no point to prove here because we are going to go back to council and I’m still going to vote with the ANC in the next one. We are the kingmakers, so they have nothing to gain. Come 2024, when the ANC … and if you want to know if somebody is a fool … if anybody tells you the following thing that the ANC will get above 50%, that person is an absolute political imbecile. The ANC will not even smell 40%.  

On his hopes for 2024

We also want to play. I want 10% of the vote in 2024. I know I’m going to get 10% of the vote for the Patriotic Alliance. We know the Western Cape is going to be a coalition. The only problem why I will not go with the DA in the Western Cape, if we do get 20 … if we do go into coalition is simply because I see this Cape independent initiative as absolute racism of the worst kind. It is totally not what Nelson Mandela stood for. I will make sure cars, wheels get taken off. It will not go anywhere. As the Patriotic Alliance, we will fight that because in this country we need to forget about black, white, Indian and coloured. That’s the only way to build this country. We must forget about race. Separation is not our future. Our future is together. Now, anything that seeks to separate us, we will fight against. The ANC has blocked those walls and I am going around the country and getting criticised. I start every speech of mine by saying the time for white people to be blamed has expired. There is an expiry date to blaming anybody. We could have blamed white people for 15 years, but we are three decades into power. Singapore, Japan, Malaysia were built within three decades. The ANC must stop blaming white people for their inability and people must stop voting. 

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