ANC Caucus Response On NP As An Opposition

Issued by: African National Congress

23 January 1997

The ANC KwaZulu-Natal Caucus met today in Pietermaritzburg. It was surprised by the KwaZulu-Natal NP`s insistence that it becomes the official opposition party since it decided to pull out of the Government of Provincial Unity. The NP must be having an exaggerated opinion of itself. Its historical task is not to be an official opposition but actually to vanish from the South African political scene.

The NP`s demand betrays its extreme opportunism and inconsistency. When the NP was part of the GNU and F.W. De Klerk was the Deputy-President, the NP never demanded that Mr Tony Leon of the DP, the then biggest party outside the GNU, to be an official opposition leader.

Similarly, in KwaZulu-Natal when the NP was part of the GPU, it never demanded that the DP becomes the official opposition.

The question of an official opposition is not a technical issue but a political one. The official opposition is the second biggest party and the ANC is the second biggest party in KwaZulu-Natal and the official opposition. When the NP was still in the GNU it was an official opposition because it was the second biggest party in parliament.

Instead of the NP trying to create artificial excuses to become an official opposition in KZN, it must work to increase its support.

The ANC Caucus notes that the NP outlived the reason for its existence.

Issued by: ANC KwaZulu-Natal Caucus

Contact Dumisani Makhaye, ANC Caucus Spokesperson at 082 5519 192