Three weeks ago, the very idea of an ANC and DA coalition may have seemed as unlikely as the Israel/Palestine two-state solution. But as Tony Leon regularly reminds us, the ANC, under Nelson Mandela, courted the then Democratic Party to join his government of national unity (GNU) after the National Party withdrew from it in 1996. Still, the ANC has a far longer history of collaboration with what many term “white liberals”.

The ANC has its origins in the Eastern Cape, with the formation of the South African Native Congress in about 1890. Its first leaders, Nathaniel Mhala, Walter Rubusana and AK Soga, were all mission-educated men; Mhala and Soga were educated in the UK. And it should be noted that all three men had the vote in the Cape colony. As such, in 1898, they took the dramatic decision to support Cecil John Rhodes’s Progressive Party against the Afrikaner Bond. In fact, Rhodes helped finance their newspaper, Izwi Labantu...

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