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Opposition parties could join forces for elections

The UDM says it is in talks with two other opposition parties about whether to form an alliance.

The UDM says it is in talks with Cope and the Freedom Front plus about whether to form an alliance aheda of next year's elections. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says it is in talks with two other opposition parties about whether to form an alliance to contest 2014's general elections.

The UDM, Congress of the People (Cope) and the Freedom Front Plus could decide to form an umbrella body.

The UDM's spokesperson, Stanley Ntapane, said: "We still need to sit down and agree on many aspects, but there is intent to do that."

In an unprecedented move last year, eight parties tabled a motion of no confidence in sitting President Jacob Zuma.

They have also showed unity in their opposition to the Protection of State Information Bill, dubbed the Secrecy Bill.

Meanwhile, Cope has expressed a willingness to work with academic and activist Mamphela Ramphele, should she decide to enter politics.

Ramphele is due to announce her political plans on Monday amidst speculation of a new party being launched.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota on Friday said it was important for opposition parties to unite.

"Somehow, we believe that it is possible for us to engage with Dr Mamphela Ramphele once we know for sure what the direction she thinks she will take is."

Earlier this week, Ramphele resigned as chairperson of Gold Fields Mine, having already stepped down from the board of Remgro Limited.

She has kept her plans a closely guarded secret, but has dropped hints by asking whether South Africa is ready to redefine the nature of its politics.