Ramphele to launch platform

2013-02-17 10:00

Struggle heavyweight and academic Mamphela Ramphele is expected to launch a “political platform” tomorrow, which she will use to found a new political party in time for next year’s general elections.

An academic, who is part of the “brains trust” of academics, writers and NGO workers advising her, said Ramphele realised she could not start a party as an individual.

“You have to identify constituencies and work from there. She started it by getting together civil society (in the form of her Citizens’ Movement for Social Change) and from there she will go on to found a political party,” he said. “There is a lot of credibility in the civil movement at the moment.”

That way she would have a policy direction in which to move, rather than attract disgruntled members from other parties, he said.

“She didn’t want to be a splinter of any party or have breakaways from Cope (Congress of the People) or the ANC. She is looking for independent thinkers.”

He said starting a political party straight away could mean a lot of bad publicity, even before the initiative got off the ground, and it could fail.

But a political “platform” would give her enough space to attract the right people and leave those who do not belong there off the elections lists for next year.

Opposition parties in Parliament said on Friday, following President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address the day before, that they were ready to work with Ramphele.

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