Mamphela Ramphele: ‘This country deserves better than BEE’

2014-01-28 11:19

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DA presidential candidate Mamphela Ramphele says South Africa deserves better than Black Economic Empowerment, even though it was a noble idea.

“In that greatness that is us, there are better ways of creating a more inclusive (economic) system,” she said.

Ramphele was speaking shortly after DA leader Helen Zille had announced that Ramphele would be the party’s presidential candidate for the 2014 general election.

Zille also announced that a joint technical committee would “manage the integration” of the DA and Ramphele’s Agang SA.

Ramphele was quizzed about her previous criticism of the DA, when she attacked the party for its stance on employment equity laws and also stated, in her biography, that the majority of voters could not associate with the DA, a “white party”.

But Ramphele responded by saying that she was describing the “traditional DA”.

“As Helen Zille said in her remarks today, we are building a new platform, a place where all South Africans will feel at home.

“Today we are building a bridge between divisions and the unity in diversity of our people.”

Ramphele also said “this country deserves better then BEE”.

“The are many ways we can deal with this economic (inclusion) ... we must not be stuck like a record on something we agreed to some time ago.”

Responding to questions about whether Ramphele had betrayed her Agang followers, she stressed that the political landscape in the country had changed to such an extent that the decision was justified.

She said the fact that the ANC was “fracturing along all broad church lines” presented a unique opportunity for South Africans to rise above identity politics.

Ramphele said that “people who are booing at (Nelson Mandela’s memorial service at) FNB Stadium, were saying the emperor has no clothes".

“The iconic figure who they were hiding behind (Mandela) has gone to his rest, he has done his job. They (ANC members) must be judged on their own merit.

“Now people are saying I now have permission to make political choices I want to make without feeling that I’m betraying Madiba.”

Responding to questions about how a prominent candidate could bypass the DA’s ordinary selection process, Zille said there was a special provision for someone to be allowed to bypass selection processes if approved by a two-thirds majority of the party’s federal executive.

She said that this was similar to Glynnis Breytenbach joining the party.

“When it became clear (to Breytenbach) that political interference in the NPA made it impossible for her to do her job, she realised she had to come to Parliament to fight for the independence of that institution.”

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