William Gumede chairman of multi-party convention


Prof. William Gumede was named independent chairman of seven political parties’ upcoming national convention on Thursday, during which the possibility of a pact government will be discussed.

The DA, IVP, FF Plus, ActionSA, UIM and SNP welcomed Gumede, associate professor at the School of Management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and founder of the Democracy Works Foundation, in a joint statement.

“Given Professor Gumede’s significant contributions to South Africa and various democracies around the world, it is clear that there is no person better positioned to lead our multi-party process.”

For the pact negotiations, Gumede will work with a specialist team of technical advisors. They include Nerine Kahn, former chief executive of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (KVBA), prof. Uwe Jun, director of the Trier Institute for Democracy and Party Research (TIDuP) in Germany, and Zamayirha Peter, journalism and communication specialist.

However, Gumede has already started his work as chairman by leading weekly meetings between relevant political parties with a view to concluding a multi-party agreement during the convention that will take place on August 16 and 17 at Emperors Palace.

The basis of this cooperation agreement is to “address the biggest challenges facing our country” in order to “inspire millions of South African citizens who have lost hope”.

The multi-party grouping intends to offer “a compelling alternative vision and direction” for South African politics during the summit and through later collaboration.

“The agreement must lay the foundation for a new multi-party government in 2024 that can begin the work of taking our country forward again.”