There Are No Permanent Friends Or Enemies In Politics; There Are Always Permanent Interests!!!

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Minkailu Koroma, Freetown.

Saturday 15th June, 2024.

The first sitting of the new South African Parliament and the swearing in ceremony of President Cyrill Ramaphosa of the ANC as a ‘Member of Parliament in Cape Town on the 14 June 2024 (yesterday) and the 1996 general elections in Sierra Leone that were rigged by James Jonah in favour of his former UN colleague, Ex President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, depriving John Karefa-Smart (both of blessed memory), are clear testaments justifying the assertion as posited above.

During the 1996 general elections in Sierra Leone, Thaimu Bangura’s PDP and our very own APC (then led by Edward Turay Esq of blessed memory and the controversial Victor Bockarie Foh), supported the SLPP to prevent the emergence and triumph of another political party in the north and western regions of Sierra Leone (the UNPP, the party that truly won the 1996 Presidential election) from governing the state and thereby weakening the APC in its traditional strongholds. This is called permanent interest in politics, no permanent enemies or friends.

Just yesterday in South Africa, the ANC stuck ‘a deal Friday’ with the nation’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) to form the nation’s first coalition government since the end of apartheid 30 years ago. This agreement will allow ANC leader Cyrill Ramaphosa to remain President but marks an end to the three decades of outright ANC dominance in the South African government. The ANC lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in the May 29th 2024 elections, securing only 40% of the votes with the center-right DA party obtaining 21%. The governing agreement was formally announced in a televised address by DA party leader John Steenhuisen. He noted that the agreement came after two weeks of intense but very mature negotiations.

In my considered opinion, the move by Cyrill Ramaphosa and the ANC should be regarded as very strategic and political savvy; it has somehow restored the respect of the ANC (which was already under public scrutiny).

However, the leader of EFF, the ever vibrant Julius Malema, has this to say during the first sitting of the SA Parliament and the swearing in ceremony of Cyrill Ramaphosa:

“1. Thank you very much madam Speaker, congratulations to you and you know very well that under normal circumstances we would have ordinarily supported you because we believe in your commitment to a parliament that is going to work effectively and efficiently.

  1. We have an experience with you even before and we do not doubt your capacity.
  2. Our contestation of you was necessarily to contest the betrayal of our people and it has nothing to do with you as an individual.
  3. ⁠Congratulations Mr. President, we accept the result and the voice of the people of South Africa which was expressed which was expressed on the 29th May and we also accept the result to this gathering because it’s a reflection of democratic practice.
  4. ⁠We contested because we wanted to demonstrate to South Africa that we do not agree to this marriage of convenience to consolidate the white monopoly power over the economy and the means of production in South Africa.
  5. ⁠This marriage, is a marriage that seeks to undermine the changing of property relations in South Africa.
  6. ⁠We refuse to sellout, we have never done so when we were young and we aren’t going to do so today.
  7. ⁠We don’t have a history of being collaborators; we are going to ensure that this parliament is functional.
  8. ⁠We can reassure you that both you and the DA are held accountable.
  9. ⁠This not a government of national unity; this is a grand coalition between the ANC and the white monopoly.
  10. ⁠History will judge you and judge you harshly”.

I share Malema’s pain but they were not strategic enough to have prevented a Cyrill Ramaphosa continuous political triumph. Malema’s EFF and Jacob Zuma’s MK party should have struck a deal to run under a single party and earn more votes that could have made it very difficult for the ANC to find a solution in the main opposition DA.

Indeed, in politics, there are always permanent interest and no permanent enemies or permanent friends.

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