With both parties in attendance at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral on Saturday, it was clear that the EFF and ANC had decided to call a truce for the day.
Both President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC’s head of elections Fikile Mbalula made repeated public efforts to reach out to EFF leader Julius Malema during their speeches, with Mbalula telling the Sunday Times that a reconciliation between the two parties was “Mama’s last wish – and it is right”.
However, the Sunday Times also reports that there have been informal discussions between senior leaders of both parties.
Speaking to the paper, Malema said that he did not want to speculate on the possibility of a pre- or post-election alliance, but that he had spoken to Ramaphosa about what was necessary for co-operation.
Another senior EFF leader said there was no possibility of his party collapsing, but that there could be co-operation after the election “based on certain fundamental principles”.
While it is unlikely that the two parties will see any reconciliation or partnerships before the 2019 elections, the move could prove important in the long-term when looking at the wider political landscape .
The ANC and EFF have joined forces before (notably earlier this year when they voted towards reviewing the Constitution for land compensation), and a more formal partnership would give the ANC access to a two-thirds majority in parliament.
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee, tasked with amending the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation, officially begun its work at the end of March.
On Friday, it called for written public submissions as to whether section 25 of the Constitution, and any other sections focusing on land, needed to be changed.