Ramphele is DA's 'rent a black' candidate - ANC

2014-01-29 05:30
Mamphela Ramphele and Helen Zille address a media conference in Cape Town. (Nielen de Klerk, News24)

Mamphela Ramphele and Helen Zille address a media conference in Cape Town. (Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Johannesburg - The ANC is scoffing at the move by the DA  to name Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele as the party's presidential candidate ahead of elections this year, saying the choice is a "rent a black" ploy to present a multi-racial front to voters.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was speaking on Tuesday after Ramphele accepted the nomination.

AP reported that Mantashe said Ramphele's candidacy is "what we call 'rent a black' and 'rent a leader'".

Accepting the nomination Ramphele said: "This is a historic moment. We are going to take away the excuse of race and challenge the ANC to be judged on its performance.”

DA leader Helen Zille said the “old political formations” were becoming obsolete.

"There is no way a party with Mamphela Ramphele as presidential candidate will bring back apartheid," Zille said.

Zille was a journalist on the now-defunct Rand Daily Mail at the time of Black Consciousness Steve Biko's death, and played a lead role in uncovering the circumstances of his killing despite denials of wrongdoing from officials in the apartheid government.

"South Africans will forgive the ANC many things," said Susan Booysen, a political analyst at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

She said voters are "not switching en masse" and that the ANC could benefit from celebrations this year commemorating 20 years since the end of apartheid.

Special credibility

The FF Plus said opposition coalitions in politics should be welcomed.

"The question is whether the merging of the DA and Agang will contribute to reducing the ANC's current dominance of South Africa's politics," party leader Pieter Mulder said in a statement.

"Dr Mamphela Ramphele has a political struggle past which gives her special credibility to recruit, especially black votes, which is out of the reach of the DA with their middle-class image."

However, he questioned whether Ramphele would be able to convince her supporters to vote for the DA.

Publicity stunt

The African National Congress' Youth League called the merger an attention-grabbing publicity stunt.

It said newly-formed political parties were taking South Africans for a ride.

"People joined Agang SA thinking they are getting an alternative public platform to exercise their democratic right only to find themselves to be mortgaged to the Democratic Alliance," it said in a statement.

"The same applies to the so called 'freedom' parties, who have agreed on a working relationship a week ago, wherein people who liked Julius [Malema] while he was in the ANC left with him only to be told they are to work with the IFP."


The Congress of the People welcomed the consolidation of opposition parties.

"Soon after the formation of Cope, we were right at the forefront of reorganising opposition politics to make sure that we do not work against each other, but rather with each other, especially on areas where there is clear agreement," party leader Mosiuoa Lekota said in a statement.

He said the establishment of the Collective for Democracy, where the African Christian Democratic Party, the Freedom Front Plus and the United Christian Democratic Party agreed to co-operate, took this commitment further.

The National Freedom Party Youth Movement (NFPYM) said it supported its party's decision to go into the election independently.

"SA politics is getting very interesting this days. Last week IFP married EFF, today DA swallowed Agang," national secretary Maria Busisiwe Tshabalala said in a statement.

Read more on:    anc  |  agang sa  |  da  |  gwede mantashe  |  mamphela ramphele  |  helen zille  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  elections 2014

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