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Did the DA Orchestrate the Cabinet Leak as a Psychological Operation?



The leaked letter detailing the DA’s cabinet position demands within the Government of National Unity (GNU) coalition has ignited speculation and analysis, suggesting it might be part of a deliberate negotiation strategy.

Psychological Strategy

The apparent demands from the DA can be viewed as a psychological operation:

  1. Portrayal of the DA: By making seemingly unreasonable demands, the DA can set its negotiation agenda and manage public perception.
  2. ANC’s Position: This allows the ANC to depict the DA as demanding, thus justifying any pushback or rejection of the demands.

The True Intentions

The DA likely doesn’t expect to secure the exact positions outlined in the leaked document. Instead, their strategy may involve:

  • Negotiation Leverage: By making bold demands, they can secure more significant concessions in other areas.
  • Public Preparation: The leak prepares the public for a potential “clean-up” operation regarding tenders and governance.

The Real Prize

The DA’s true objective appears to be:

  • Departmental Control: Gaining full control over specific departments, potentially influencing positions at the Director-General or Deputy Director-General level.
  • Review of Tenders: Highlighting the intent to scrutinize tenders issued post-election to address any last-minute economic adjustments by ministries.

Coordinated Effort

The apparent coordination between the ANC and DA:

  • Silent Agreement: Both parties help each other save face and sell the coalition model to their support bases.
  • ANC’s Responsibility: As the majority party, the ANC must manage the allocation of positions while dealing with internal fallout.

Impact on ANC

President Ramaphosa faces the challenge of:

  • Managing Expectations: Delivering unwelcome news to some ANC members about losing positions.
  • Backdoor Negotiation Tactic: Using the leak as a soft landing for difficult conversations within the ANC.

Public Perception

The public focus on the DA’s demands may distract from:

  • Other Conditions: The more critical terms set by the DA, such as the total control of departments and the review of tenders.
  • Subtle Power Shifts: The quiet concessions and subtle shifts of power that the leak aims to set in motion.


The leaked letter is not a political misstep but a sophisticated move in a complex political negotiation. It sets the stage for a broader political drama and potential shifts in South Africa’s political landscape. The real impact will likely unfold in the nuanced negotiations and the strategic concessions made by both parties.


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