DA cutting its losses and moving on – Zille

2014-02-03 12:00

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

Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele's proposal to retain her position while being DA presidential candidate was nonsensical, DA leader Helen Zille has said.

"I said (to her) 'that can't happen... It's electoral nonsense'," she told reporters in Johannesburg today.

"It is unconstitutional... And it would entirely confuse our voters."

Zille said Ramphele had been in discussion about uniting with the Democratic Alliance for "a very long time".

"She put on a lot of pressure to make that move."

Zille said she started getting worried about Ramphele's commitment on Tuesday before a news conference to announce the party's new presidential candidate.

This was because Ramphele said she had wanted to rewrite the media statement to say she would remain the leader of her own party.

Zille said she wanted to call the news conference off, but Ramphele insisted on going ahead with it.

Zille said the DA had not wanted Ramphele merely because they wanted a black face for their organisation.

"We completely reject (the notion of) window dressing... We look at achieving diversity."

Ramphele had an international reputation as an academic and a manager as well as an impeccable struggle record, Zille said.

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."

She said that if the merger with Agang SA 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.

Zille said South Africa was in a race against time to save its democracy because there were indications that the National Prosecuting Authority was becoming an "extension of (President Jacob) Zuma and his personal clique".

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

If the courts, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Independent Electoral Commission and police were not independent, then South Africa would become a failed state.

Had the merger with Agang SA worked out, "it would have been magnificent", Zille said.

She said the DA would “cut its losses and move on”.

“The [DA’s] federal executive thought it was a risk worth taking,” Zille said. “I am the leader [of the DA]. I have to take responsibility.”

According to a joint statement issued by Ramphele and Zille on Friday, the Agang SA founder would have been welcomed into the DA at a press conference in Johannesburg today.

However, following the joint statement being issued, a message from Ramphele was uploaded onto Agang SA's website.

"You may have by now seen 'joint' statements issued by the Democratic Alliance in which it is claimed that I will be accepting DA membership on Monday," she said.

"This is not true. Nor did I agree to any such statement."

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".

On Sunday, Zille said Ramphele had reneged on the agreement to be the DA's presidential candidate at a meeting on Sunday, despite the party negotiating in good faith.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.