BNF Endorses ANC in SA Elections

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BNF Endorses ANC in SA Elections
BNF Endorses ANC in SA Elections

Africa-Press – Botswana. The Botswana National Front (BNF) has endorsed the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of general elections scheduled for today (29 May) in South Africa.

The BNF has also dispatched a high-powered delegation to Botswana’s neighbour to the south to demonstrate its solidarity with the ANC.

In a statement issued by the Secretary General of the BNF, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, the party urges South Africans to vote ANC in large numbers to ensure that it retains power.

“The two parties share a historical and ideological relationship based on shared values of, inter-alia, pursuit of liberty, promotion of civil rights, (and) economic empowerment of the people,” says the statement.

Central focus

“The central focus of both parties’ policies is to address socio-economic disparities in communities for equality and social justice. We therefore urge South Africans to vote ANC.”

The BNF delegation dispatched to South Africa is led by the party’s Deputy Secretary General, Nelson Ramaotwana. The delegation will also observe the elections.

Today’s elections are South Africa’s seventh democratic poll since apartheid ended in 1994 and sees 70 political parties – the most ever – and 10 independent candidates registered to compete for the country’s 400 parliamentary seats.

Biggest array of opposition parties

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa, 27.79 million South Africans aged 18 and above have registered for the elections this year, up from 26.74 million in 2019.

After 30 years of dominance, the ruling ANC is reportedly facing its toughest elections from the biggest array of opposition parties.

Among them is newest kid on the block, the controversially named Umkhonto we Sizwe, which is led by the former president Jacob Zuma, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of radical Julius Malema.

Fallout

The EFF is an ANC offspring that was established in 2012 after Malema was expelled from for misconduct.

Meanwhile, sources say that the BNF has been keen to mend its relationship with the ANC after a near fallout between the two entities in 2019.

In an interview in July 2019, the ANC’s former head of international relations, Bongani Bongo, said his party’s attempts to seek clarification from the BNF about its relations with the Democratic Alliance (DA) were turned down.

“We really want to know how they are dealing with our main opposition (the DA),” Bongo said. “We hear that they have received some P3 million from the DA. We want to know all this and make a decision on our relationship with them.”

Botswana Movement for Democracy

However, then BNF secretary general Moeti Mohwasa denied that the BNF had any relations with the DA. “The UDC only had a relationship with the DA through the Botswana Movement for Democracy that was no longer under the UDC,” he said.

Even so, Mohwasa has admitted in the past that the relationship between the ANC and the BNF had waned in recent years but said the BNF could not dictate friendships to the ANC, prompting former ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe to retort: “We have a relationship with both parties. They must not behave like two wives married to one man who are jealous of each other. They must just manage the relationship.”

Mantashe was referring to “both” the BNF and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, which has also endorsed the ANC in this year’s elections. A BDP delegation was recently in South Africa to convey its message of support to the ANC leadership.

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