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By Sam Mkokeli, Semafor —

South Africa’s two biggest parties remain confident they will form a cabinet for their landmark coalition government before the end of the week, despite signs of tensions in negotiations over ministerial posts, three people involved in the talks told Semafor Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen held talks on Monday, their second meeting in three days. The party leaders are working to flesh out an agreement between their two parties — historically rivals in South Africa’s legislature.

The DA has said it wants 11 ministers and for Steenhuisen to be Ramaphosa’s deputy president.

Two leaked letters, one from the DA’s federal chair Helen Zille to ANC secretary Fikile Mbalula, and a counter salvo from Mbalula, created a picture of warring partners going through their first serious public disagreement.

Zille insisted power had to be shared in proportion to each party’s vote proportion in the May 29 poll. Her party claimed 22% to the ANC’s 40%.

Two ANC officials and one from the DA told Semafor Africa that, while the letters looked hostile, the parties were committed to reaching a conclusion this week.

The ANC officials said their party was opposed to giving the number of cabinet positions sought by Zille. Ramaphosa asked the DA to provide six names to be considered for inclusion in the cabinet, which is expected to be made up of 28 people, the sources said.

Source: Semafor
Featured image: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa shakes hands with DA politician Annelie Lotriet; Reuters/Nic Bothma


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