DA-Agang merger is over five days after it started

2014-02-03 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The proposed marriage between the Democratic Alliance and Agang is over, five days after it was announced with much fanfare.

Mamphela Ramphele had in a meeing with Helen Zille, DA leader, broken her agreement to stand as the DA’s presidential candidate in the elections.

Zille said through her action , Ramphele has again shown she cannot be trusted to finish any project that she starts.

The sudden chance started when Ramphele on Friday denied that she would join the DA today and yesterday insisted that she remained Agang’s leader.

“I am the leader of Agang SA,” was Ramphele’s unequivocal reply to a question whether she was now part of the DA.

She was one of the guests of honour at the annual celebrations of the Chinese New Year at the Bronkhorstspruit Buddhist temple.

“There are processes [in place] within every party on how to move from one party to the other.

“I am the leader and a member of Agang SA.

“There is also a process during which we will see how we will be together, okay?” was her friendly but firm response before she departed for the opening ceremony.

She had earlier sat on the podium with Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota on her right-hand side.

The temple’s spiritual leader, Yichum, introduced Ramphele as the leader of Agang SA.

She was obviously very popular among the hundreds of guests afterwards as they enthusiastically tried to shake her hand or wanted a photograph.

Neither Zille, nor her spokesperson, Cameron Arendse, or Dr Wilmot James, the DA’s federal chairperson who had been closely involved with the talks between the DA and Agang, and DA national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane were not available for comment late yesterday afternoon at the time of going to press.

Ramphele was also not available. Agang spokesperson Mark Peach said he could not add anything new to the issue.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, who was present when it was announced that Ramphele had been chosen as the DA’s presidential candidate, said she did not know whether Zille was at that stage held up in talks with Ramphele and that she only knew what she had read in the Sunday papers.

She has full confidence that Zille has the situation “under control”.

Meanwhile, the ANC enjoyed the confusion within the DA.

“Any organisation which did not know who its president is has already lost,” ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile yesterday said at a meeting in Sharpeville, reported Sapa.

“Run DA, run! Especially now that it is confused over who is its president. It now tries to buy one,” said Mashatile.

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