Editor's Note - 13 February 2014

By Drum Digital
07 February 2014

Khosi's take on the DA-Agang short lived marriage.

Twenty-four hours is a long time in politics, we’re told.  It’s just about the only thing we can trust in politics. So I’m not sure what Agang SA and the DA’s relationship status will be by the time you read this. I’m not sure if Helen Zille will still be the DA’s leader or if Dr Mamphela Ramphele will still have her loyal following.

What I am sure of, though, is the level of embarrassment and disappointment felt by members of both parties in these two. Personally, I’m disappointed in both of them as woman leaders – what a shame! Before she entered politics, Mamphela Ramphele was one of the most respected women of our time. Having been Vice-Chancellor of UCT, led the World Bank, written extensively on gender issues, poverty and youth empowerment, she stood tall above it all. Despite her indiscretion with married Black Consciousness leader, Bantu Biko, she was a symbol of moral authority for most South Africans, black and white. I’m haunted by an image of a regal-looking Ramphele at the launch of Agang SA last year. Thousands of people joined her in a quest for a new “political solution”. Less than a year later she would mislead and confuse them by publicly announcing she was to be the presidential candidate of another party while she was still their leader. With all her wisdom, she thought she could be presidential candidate of Agang SA and the DA at the same time!  Just like that – a lifetime’s work ruined by a massive ego. Helen Zille, on the other hand, felt she had finally found a credible black face to sell the DA to the black middle class. I could have told her for free (and spared her the public humiliation) that it wasn’t going to work because her friend is also out of touch with the majority of black voters.

So desperate was Zille for a black trump card that she huffed, puffed and pushed Ramphele to the front of the queue … They even sealed it with a public kiss. Sweet. However, it was not good enough for Ramphele, who could not even bring herself to accept DA membership.

And so, what could have been a real game-changer is South African politics crumbled. “In hindsight, in our urgency to seize the opportunity presented last week, both parties rushed into the agreement,” said the doctor in a statement.

What a waste! But maybe it’s for the best as someone here was disingenuous. Nothing built on deceit lasts.

Two months ago Kay Sexwale sat down with Ramphele. She seemed a completely different person to the one we’ve seen over the past week.

We also travelled to Limpopo, to Ramphele’s home village, to hear what they thought of their beloved daughter’s chameleon tendencies.

See our stories on pages 16 and 20.

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