Helen Zille and I are still friends – Mamphela Ramphele

2014-04-25 08:44

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Mamphela Ramphele and Helen Zille are still friends despite the failed merger of their two parties, the Agang SA leader has said, adding that “white arrogance” was to blame for the failed partnership.

“Helen Zille and I are friends. This was not about friendship. This was about political partnership. The DA has still to learn what it means to partner with people without swallowing them,” she said.

Ramphele visited the Ratang Bana children’s home in Alexandra, Joburg, to hand out food parcels, as the Agang SA elections campaign continued yesterday.

She said the failed coalition was not personal and that she and Zille had “bumped into each other at a number of different occasions, like the Daily Maverick gathering”.

Ramphele said the core reason for the rift in the partnership was “white arrogance”.

“This is about the principles of partnership. If I’m your partner, we treat each other with respect,” she said.

At the children’s home, she encouraged potential voters to use their vote as a tool for change. She promised a first-time voter who wanted to know what Agang could do for her, free education, job opportunities and better service delivery.

Ramphele said she was undeterred by predictions that her party would garner a small percentage of votes in the upcoming election.

“What I am confident about is that the polls are undermining Agang’s support,” she said.

Ramphele based this on the enthusiastic support she said she had received in Hammanskraal, Gauteng, earlier yesterday.

“Even if we got 5% or 10% in Parliament, the fact of the matter is we will have an impact in Parliament.”

She went on to accuse parties like the DA of stealing Agang’s ideas.

“The DA said they would create 7 million jobs after the ANC said they would create 6 million, then we came up and said no government should be in the business of creating jobs. You should create an environment where jobs can be created. So their language has also shifted,” she said.

“This is fantastic; they say imitation is the best form of flattery.”

Ramphele said what South Africans needed was clean and effective government.

“The ANC needs to be humbled and understand they are a servant of the people. They’ve become so arrogant,” she said.

In the lead-up to the elections, Ramphele said she would be travelling to Limpopo, Venda and Cape Town to spread her message.

She said she was confident in her party’s growing support and advised that people “watch this space”.

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