South Africa

WATCH: ANC deserves enormous credit for respecting the voices of voters – Brigety

Reuben Brigety

United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety said the African National Congress (ANC) deserves enormous credit for respecting the voices of South Africans.

Brigety is among several dignitaries who attended the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa was sworn in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Wednesday. His second term comes after a Government of National Unity (GNU) agreement between the ANC and several political parties.

Watch Reuben Brigety speaking about the ANC deserving credit

Test for democracy  

Brigety said Ramaphosa’s inauguration was a “historic” moment for the country, for the people of South Africa and for democracy.

“The real test for any democracy is when the voters choose to change political leadership and the political parties respect that choice and I think the ANC deserves enormous credit for respecting the voices of voters, and also as expected, for upholding constitutional democracy.

“So, this is a fantastic moment, not only for South African democracy but even for democracy around the world,” Brigety said.

US President Joe Biden congratulated Ramaphosa on his re-election.

“I send my warm wishes to the people of South Africa. This year—as South Africa celebrates 30 years of all citizens having the right to vote—they have demonstrated the enduring power of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Biden also commended South Africa’s political parties for “working together to form a Government of National Unity (GNU).”

Selective GNU

Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman believes the incoming new GNU has “made a mistake”, saying it’s a “government of selective unity”.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘There is no GNU, it’s a government of selective unity’ − Sooliman

While six parties including the Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+), among others, make up the GNU, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and former President Jacob Zuma’s Umkhonto WeSizwe (MK) party are not part of the new government.

Sooliman said they should have been part of the GNU.

“I think the government has made a mistake. I don’t think it’s a government of national unity, it’s a government of selective unity. And I don’t think, I know, I am saying they should bring in the EFF, the MK, because essentially, it’s one party.

“EFF, Cope, MK, and ANC were one party. This was the liberation movement. Why have you divided and split yourselves in that manner? We need to overcome the egos, the differences and go back to our roots and values for humanity. They need to sit together and solve the problems together,” said Sooliman.

No GNU

On Tuesday, Zuma’s MK party said it would be boycotting Ramaphosa’s inauguration as the “puppet DA-sponsored president”.

“We need to educate our people that there is no government of national unity in South Africa. There is a white-led unholy alliance between the DA and the ANC of Ramaphosa. It is sponsored by big business and it is for the benefit of the markets and not the people.  It must be crushed before it finds its feet,” said the MK party.

Zuma also claimed the media is selling the story of the government of national unity” when they know there is no such thing.”

ALSO READ: Zuma’s MK party to boycott Ramaphosa’s inauguration