LISTEN: Helen Zille says DA should aim for 20% of the vote and then enter into a coalition with the ANC

A recording has surfaced in which the Democratic Alliance’s chairperson of its federal council Helen Zille is, in summary, heard saying that her party should aim for getting 20% of the vote at the polls and that should the governing African National Congress (ANC) drop its voter share to 40%, the DA should enter into a coalition with the ANC.

Zille was purportedly recorded in 2019 in Johannesburg, Gauteng, when she made the comment.

In the recording, Zille is heard saying that the DA should not try to be populist but “must get people who really understand it, intelligent people to understand the complexity of the argument,” adding that “black, brown, indian, white, whatever” should pull together.

“That’s the most powerful part in the context of coalitions,” Zille says.

The former DA leader says if the ANC’s voter share were to decline to 40%, her party should “make tough demands on Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC” and enter into a coalition with the governing party “and make strict conditions on them”.

Zille is heard saying that should be the DA’s aim for the next elections.

“We must not try to be a 30% party, we want 20% of South Africans; and remember there’s only 8% of white voters,” Zille says.

Listen to the recording below:

Following the 2019 general elections, the ANC lost 19 seats in parliament, dropping to 230, dipping below 60% for the first time to 57.5%. The DA lost five seats in parliament and ended up with 84. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gained 19 seats in parliament, going up to 44, registering an almost 10% increase of the voter share.

In the 2014 local government elections, the ANC garnered 55.68% of the votes, the DA, 24.57% and the EFF, 8.31%.

Meanwhile, the current DA leader John Steenhuisen has publicly stated that his party will not enter into coalitions with parties which do not share the DA’s core values and principles following the local government elections of 1 November 2021.

In a tweet last Sunday, Steenhuisen said that under his leadership the DA will not enter into any coalition with the EFF because Julius Malema‘s Red Berets “do not share our values and we learnt a valuable lesson over the last five years”.

The DA and EFF entered into a coalition to govern the city of Johannesburg following the 2014 local government elections. But the ANC took back the metro in 2019 after Herman Mashaba, the founder of ActionSA, stepped down as city mayor and resigned from the DA citing tensions within that party. The late Geoff Makhubo of the ANC succeeded Mashaba.

Last Sunday, Steenhuisen tweeted: “We would rather serve our voters as an excellent opposition than compromise our values (non racialism, respect for the rule of law, a capable state and a social market economy) in a government with corrupt and rent-seeking partners who do not share these.”

During a three way dialogue last Thursday on Cliff Central.Com between host Gareth Cliff, Mudzuli Rakhivhane from the One South Africa movement founded by former DA leader Mmusi Maimane, and Steenhuisen, the DA leader said that during Mashaba’s tenure at the helm of the city of Johannesburg, his party had learned “a lot of lessons”.

Steenhuisen said during this time it became clear to the DA that stable coalitions are possible only if the parties that enter into them share core values and principles.

“It has been very clear to us in the last five years that the EFF do not share those values and we got our fingers very badly burnt in Johannesburg, we ended up with a Manchurian candidate for a mayor there who was essentially being controlled by the EFF.

“I mean Julius Malema was on the SABC just this last fortnight where he said very clearly that they were pulling the strings behind the scenes and we ended up getting involved in things which are not the core to our values and principles and they ended up costing us,” Steenhuisen said.

The DA leader added that change in South Africa will only be possible once the ANC’s voter share falls below 50%, urging that political parties should unite to take votes from the governing one.

The Nando’s sponsored CliffCentral dialogue has since gone viral after a clip from the conversation was shared on social media in which Cliff dismisses and talks over Rakhivhane.

Watch the controversial clip below:

Nando’s has since terminated “with immediate effect” its sponsorship of Cliff’s The Burning Platform.

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