Ramphele: Scars of racism haven't healed

2013-06-18 18:50
Mamphela Ramphele (Sapa)

Mamphela Ramphele (Sapa)

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Cape Town - Agang SA will consider a coalition with parties which acknowledge the "deep, psychic wounds" of racism, its leader Mamphela Ramphele said on Tuesday.

"The Democratic Alliance and I disagreed, not because they have a different policy framework... but [because] they don't understand just that," she told the Cape Town Press Club.

"[It is] this issue that it doesn't matter how hard we try. The scars of racism in this country have not completely healed."

She believed it was necessary to launch Agang SA as a political party, despite fears that it would divide the opposition.

She said there was a lesson to be drawn from the results of the 2009 general elections, in which 41% of eligible voters did not vote.

"That's a big statement of a lack of confidence within existing political parties."

"Unfortunately, there was a view that the best way forward from where the DA people were sitting was a co-operation model... and that would not be attractive to the huge pool of non-voters."

Ramphele said when she spoke to some of the five million youth who are eligible to vote for the first time next year, they also displayed a lack of confidence.

"They would be seen dead before they vote for any of the parties on the horizon right now. If you don't know that, just get real," she said.

Elderly league

Ramphele laughed when asked whether her party would have a youth league.

"If you bear in mind that 60% of the population of South Africa is under 35, it makes zero sense for a youth league.

"We should have an elderly league...," she joked.

She said an environment should not be created where young people felt marginal, despite being the majority.

"We are here to say we are a constitutional democracy. That is something we need to correct."

Two weeks ago, the DA said it was not against forming a coalition of opposition parties, but it had to be sure it would work.

"We are not closed to it. We are not saying we are out of it, but let's make sure the process works," DA national spokesman Mmusi Maimane said at the time.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa also said his party was in talks with Agang SA.

"We have met with them. They also believe there is a need to forge some form of co-operation, but we are still in discussions," said Holomisa.

He said that once Agang had officially launched as a political party, by registering with the Independent Electoral Commission, its role would be clearer.

Agang SA will be formally launched as a political party on Saturday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    agang sa  |  udm  |  bantu holomisa  |  mamphela ramphele  |  elections 2014
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