ANC finally gets historic majority

THE INCOMING African National Congress government secured the coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority needed to change aspects of the South African constitution when it made a deal yesterday with a small Indian-led party.

Through a coalition agreement with the Minority Front, the ANC secured the single extra seat it needed after last week's national election, taking it to 267 seats out of 400. Crucially, it also wrested control of KwaZulu- Natal province from Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inka-tha Freedom Party.

In the run-up to the announcement, expected on Monday, of the cabinet chosen by the next president, Thabo Mbeki, a flurry of deals are being struck behind the scenes. Priorities in the mind of Mr Mbeki, who will formally succeed President Nelson Mandela next Wednesday, are said to be finding a role for Chief Buthelezi - possibly as his deputy - and enhancing the role of women.

His inauguration in Pretoria next Wednesday, a pounds 4.5m event that will also mark Mr Mandela's farewell after five years as President, is expected to be attended by 27 African presidents and a panoply of pop stars. Britain will be represented by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, as Tony Blair will be at the G8 summit in Cologne. Hillary Clinton is expected to act for the United States.

President Slobodan Milosevic, after being invited in March with the leaders of all countries with which South Africa had diplomatic relations, has been told he can come at his own risk. The Yugoslav leader, whose son has interests in South Africa, would be arrested as soon as he touched down here and turned over to the United Nations tribunal, which has indicted him as a war criminal.

Yesterday's deal giving the ANC a two-thirds majority in the national parliament is mainly symbolic, because on any given issue the government would have been able to obtain the support of one or more smaller parties. Nevertheless, the 267th seat now secured by the ANC is a psychological fillip that can be used by the ruling party to keep in check what is likely to be a rowdy opposition under the Democratic Party leader, Tony Leon.

Even though the government can make adjustments to the constitution with its two-thirds majority, fundamental changes require the support of three- quarters of all MPs.

The biggest victory for the ANC in yesterday's deal with the Minority Front is to have forced Inkatha to relinquish control of KwaZulu-Natal's provincial legislature. Last Wednesday, Inkatha won 41.9 per cent (34 seats) in the province against the ANC's 39.3 per cent (32 seats). Under yesterday's deal, the Durban-based Minority Front, led by Amichand Rajbansi, in effect handed over its two provincial seats to the ANC, giving it parity with Inkatha.

The deal - described by Mr Rajbansi as a "roar for non-racialism" - emasculates Chief Buthelezi's party in its own home province and surely marks the end of the IFP-ANC political rivalry, which has claimed at least 10,000 lives in the past 15 years. It is not clear who will be chosen as provincial premier of KwaZulu-Natal.

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

MI Analyst and SQL Developer (SQL, SSAS, SSRS)

£28000 - £32500 Per Annum + 28 days holiday, pension, discounts and more: Clea...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Systems & Data Lead – Oxfordshire – Permanent – Up to £24k

£20000 - £24000 Per Annum 28 days holiday, free parking, pension: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?