No one will kick me out of my party – Mamphela Ramphele

2014-07-06 15:00

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Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele says her political party got more than 50?000 votes in the general elections because of her brand and she will not let people who are “thirsty for power” kick her out.

Ramphele said Agang’s two seats in Parliament, which are filled by Agang deputy president Andries Tlouamma and chairperson Mike Tshishonga, were made possible because of her reputation.

She said the reason Agang did not get more seats was because the two “lied to me about having structures they built on the ground. The reason we did well is because people voted for me as a brand. They were saying I was an asset that enabled us to at least get seats in Parliament,” she said.

This comes after Tlouamma and Tshishonga convened a meeting of the national executive committee where there was a vote of no confidence in Ramphele. Tshishonga was appointed acting Agang president.

Tlouamma said provincial structures were not funded by the party even though it received more than R50?million in donor funds. He said 80% of the money was used to pay staff, most of whom were personally appointed by Ramphele.

“That is where we started to differ. Ramphele was suspended for bringing the party into disrepute, there will be a hearing for a dismissal based on her forming a task team unilaterally, merging with the DA without consulting members, fraud and sowing divisions in the party.”

Ramphele said: “This early infighting is a clash of ­cultures. For me it’s a demonstration of people not wanting to share power. We end up fighting over two seats instead of looking at the bigger picture.”

She said the vote went against the constitution of Agang and disciplinary measures would be followed. Ramphele said she had no intention of being in Parliament but would continue to act as Agang’s president, ignoring the vote taken against her a week ago.

But Tlouamma said Ramphele was a tyrant and a dictator and “poison to her own ­party”. ?He said when he told Ramphele that Agang could not have secured more than 50?000 votes without her, it wasn’t ­because she was a brand.

“We had to congratulate her because we couldn’t have got those votes if she had become a DA presidential candidate. I was saying, she did well to change her mind not to join the DA. As the face of the party, we would not have had time to find someone to replace her in that short time,” said Tlouamma.

Both factions of Agang said they would fight for the party to survive and were adamant they would not end up like the Congress of the People.

“Here, [in Agang] members are united against one person. Old members who resigned want to come back now. Agang will survive, we will sell our shoes if we have to.

“People left Agang because of Mamphela. They want to come back now.

“We are receiving calls from former members saying: ‘Thank you, you stood up to a dictator,’” said Tlouamma.

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