IFP Agrees to Join South African Unity Government, Aiming to Break Political Impasse

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) of South Africa has announced its intention to join a proposed government of national unity, potentially breaking the political deadlock that emerged after the African National Congress (ANC) lost its parliamentary majority in the recent election. Velenkosini Hlabisa, the leader of the IFP, stated that the party will participate in the unity government alongside the ANC and the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party, for the sake of the country’s stability.

Following 30 years of uninterrupted rule since the end of apartheid in 1994, the ANC secured only 40% of the vote in the May 29 election. As the largest party in Parliament, the ANC requires support from other parties to form a government and reelect President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term. The ANC had proposed a government of national unity, inviting all 17 parties represented in Parliament to participate, with some refusing the offer.

The Democratic Alliance has indicated its willingness to join the unity government, pending further discussions with the ANC. Together, the ANC, DA, and IFP would hold a clear majority in Parliament. However, the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters and the newly formed MK Party, led by former President Jacob Zuma, have refused to join the agreement. The MK Party has filed court papers to halt the first meeting of Parliament, citing alleged irregularities in the election, despite the electoral commission and independent observers declaring the election free and fair.