Ramphele to contest 2014 elections

2013-02-18 12:25

Academic and activist Mamphela Ramphele launched a “party political platform” in Johannesburg today, which will contest the 2014 elections.

The formation of the new party, Agang (Sesotho for “build”) was first revealed by City Press last month. Ramphele said it would contest the next election.

Those who attended the launch include commentator Moeletsi Mbeki and gender activist Nomboniso Gasa. But Ramphele suggested prominent people did not matter as the party would go from village to village canvassing support.

She said most of the party funding will come from South Africans, both at home and abroad.

Address the launch, the former Black Consciousness activist spoke about the dream to build South Africa that she suggested had faded.

“The dream has faded for my sisters and brothers in rural areas who live under the threat of being again made subjects of traditional chiefs and other unelected traditional leaders through proposed acts of Parliament.

“The dream has faded for the many living living in poverty and destitution in our increasingly unequal society. And perhaps worst of all, my generation has to confess to the young people of our country: we have failed you,” Ramphele said.

Her speech touched on every facet of South African life, including education, foreign policy and the economy.

She said Agang was still in a consultative phase and would consult South Africans before it crafted its policies.

She said she was still continuing with discussions with parties such as the DA. She said she had not joined any party because she is not a joiner.

“The decision to enter politics has not come easily. I have never been a member of a political party nor aspired to political office. I however feel called to lead the efforts of may South Africans who increasingly fear that we are missing too many opportunities to become that which we have a potential to become – a great society,” Ramphele said.

She said she and the “fellow citizen” had decided to form the “party platform” to “rekindle hope that building a the country of our dreams is possible in our lifetime”.

She said the inability of many people, about 90%, to identify as South Africans was a threat to the future of our democracy.

Mmusi Maimane, spokesperson for the official opposition in Parliament.

» This is an updated version of the story first published.

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