DA, Agang play blame game

2014-02-03 20:11
DA leader Helen Zille addresses a media conference in which she discussed the party's failed agreement with Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele. (Marco Longari, AFP)

DA leader Helen Zille addresses a media conference in which she discussed the party's failed agreement with Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele. (Marco Longari, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Former political friends Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele played a blame game on Monday, offering different reasons for their political break-up.

The partnership between the Democratic Alliance and Agang SA leaders lasted less than a week.

Briefing journalists, Zille put the blame squarely on Ramphele, who, at a separate press briefing, blamed party politics.

Zille said it would have been impossible to meet Ramphele's demand that she simultaneously lead Agang SA and be the DA's presidential candidate. She described Ramphele's proposal as "electoral nonsense", "unconstitutional" and confusing to voters.

Ramphele said: "Some cannot or will not transcend party politics. The time for this was not right. We see people trapped in old-style race-based politics."

Ramphele said the technicalities of the merger were not ironed out properly.

"What we have run into are difficulties of not having given the technical committee that we announced last Tuesday the time to work out the details. It becomes difficult when you still have to consult with your members, which I had in fact committed to," Ramphele said.

She said the decision to become the DA's presidential candidate was rushed into. Zille, however, denied this, saying that Ramphele had been in talks with the DA since 2010. She said Ramphele recently put pressure on the DA to make the partnership a reality.

"We worked very hard to get this together over a very long period of time. It didn't happen in a week, I can assure you. It was a risk, and in politics one has to be prepared to take calculated risks," she said.

The announcement

Zille, flanked by Ramphele, announced on Tuesday that the Agang founder would be the DA's presidential candidate.

Ramphele explained on Monday that she insisted on making the announcement because there had been leaks to the media the weekend before.

"I thought it was in the interest of both parties and the country to say we are talking about a partnership between the DA and Agang and there is an offer on the table."

Zille said she "got a terrible fright" when Ramphele claimed she had not agreed to the contents of the joint statement. She said her friendship with Ramphele had taken a "very bad knock".

She wanted to call Tuesday's news conference off, but went ahead with it on Ramphele's insistence.

Ramphele pointed out that Agang's interim constitution prohibited dual political party membership and that a merger with another party could only be done through a national congress, or if the national leadership council met with 20 members in good standing to discuss the decision.

Making a firm commitment to the DA would have been disrespectful to Agang members, she said.

The DA announced on Sunday that Ramphele had reneged on her agreement with the party to be its presidential candidate.

Zille accused Ramphele of playing a game of cat and mouse. The DA denied that it had wanted Ramphele as the face of its electoral campaign merely because of her race. Ramphele had an international reputation as an academic and a manager and an impeccable struggle record, Zille said.

Fighting the ANC

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said: "It's not just about having a black leader in politics. We have more black supporters than any other party, except the ANC, today."

Zille said if the merger with Agang had been successful, it would have been a significant step for the DA. The party had yet to decide, through its federal executive, who its new presidential candidate would be.

Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to fighting the ruling African National Congress in the general elections.

Ramphele said people were "bulldozed" into voting for the ANC in 2009.

"...People were bulldozed through food parcels and threats [of] not getting jobs, not getting RDP houses, to vote for the ANC, which is clearly corrupt. We remain a trustworthy alternative to those people."

The DA said it was the only viable alternative to the ANC and that South Africa was in a "race against time to save our democracy".

"We need to take bold moves (to show voters that) it's okay to vote DA. In fact, it's essential to our democracy."

- SAPA
Read more on:    agang sa  |  da  |  helen zille  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  mamphela ramphele  |  johannesburg  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
125 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Project Manager (Marketing)

Cape Town
Datafin Recruitment

HR Manager

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
DAV Professional Placement Group
R360 000 Per Year

Client Support Consultant

Western Cape
Newsclip Media Monitoring (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.