STORY: ::South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance says it has reached a deal to form a unity government

::June 14, 2024

::Cape Town, South Africa

:: John Steenhuisen, Democratic Alliance leader

?"It is my privilege to report to you, that after two weeks of thorough negotiations, that only concluded after today's sitting of parliament had already started, the DA has reached agreement on the statement of intent for the formation of a government of national unity."

"The government of national unity's presidential candidate will come from the largest party inside the grouping, being President Cyril Ramaphosa. Following his election today, President Ramaphosa will then exercise his prerogative to appoint his new cabinet, from among the members of the government of national unity, in consultation with the leaders of the constituent parties".

Once unthinkable, the deal between two sharply antagonistic parties is the most momentous political shift in South Africa since Nelson Mandela led the ANC to victory in the 1994 elections that marked the end of apartheid.

The ANC lost its majority for the first time in an election on May 29 and has spent two weeks locked in intensive behind-the-scenes talks with other parties, which came down to the wire on Friday morning as the new parliament was convening.

Two smaller parties, the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party and the right-wing Patriotic Alliance, will also take part in the unity government.