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ANC and the Democratic Alliance agree to form South African coalition government

THE African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) agreed to form South Africa’s first coalition government alongside the Inkatha Freedom Party today.

The coalition, which will be known as the Government of National Unity, paved the way for Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected for a second term as the country’s president.

Many supporters of the ANC still see DA as a racist party trying to make sure that white people hang on to the economic privileges they built up during the apartheid years.

DA leader John Steenhuisen told reporters that no deal on cabinet positions had been agreed and discussions would begin soon.

“We recognise there is a need for democratic inclusivity and the president will bear this in mind when he appoints his cabinet,” Mr Steenhuisen said.

Two other major parties, the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters and the new MK Party of former president Jacob Zuma – once the leader of the ANC – refused to be part of the coalition.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula described the deal as a “remarkable step.”

He said: “We are engaging beyond this sitting on what needs to be done to constitute the government of national unity. Our work doesn’t stop.”

The ANC lost its long-held parliamentary majority in the May 29 general election.

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