(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s National Freedom Party said it has agreed to cooperate with three bigger rivals to form a government in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, a deal that would effectively lock out a new party led by former President Jacob Zuma, which won the most support in the region in last month’s elections. 

The NFP had agreed to work with the African National Congress, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal, which is Zuma’s home province, according to its president, Ivan Barnes.

“The NFP supports and subscribes to the formation of the government of national unity at the national level, and the government of provincial unity in KwaZulu-Natal,” he told a briefing on Thursday. “We are encouraged by the level of engagement of all the political parties, such as the IFP, ANC, the DA and ourselves.”

Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party got 45% of the votes in KwaZula-Natal in the May 29 election, but the NFP, IFP, ANC and DA jointly secured control of 41 of the 80 seats in the provincial legislature.


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