DA courts Mamphela Ramphele

2012-02-26 17:00

Johannesburg - The DA has been wooing struggle heavyweight Mamphela Ramphele as a possible candidate to ­succeed its leader Helen Zille.

City Press spoke to 10 people in and close to the DA, seven of whom said they were aware of this.

But Ramphele told City Press she had never, in her 42 years as an active citizen, joined a political party.

“I am not a joiner but a change agent. I have always seen my role as a change agent supporting any
appropriate transformative process initiated by any South African.”

She said she spoke "to many ­audiences regardless of ­political affiliation".

On Thursday the prominent academic and businesswoman took part in a debate organised by the DA Young Professionals in Cape Town, the first time she has appeared on a public DA platform.

A party source said Ramphele had been approached by DA leaders, and a source close to Zille said she “has been asking Mamphela for years” to join the DA.

“Obviously we’d really like to have her in the party. There are things we see eye to eye on. She now has this message of active citizenry and this resonates with us.”


The source said Ramphele would consider the DA’s advances if there was a real chance of running for president of the country, or if she felt she could no longer influence government outside ­formal politics.

Party strategists reckon the DA’s first chance of governing the country – as part of a coalition – would be 2019, but then Ramphele would be 72, meaning she would probably be too old to govern.

Zille and Ramphele’s relationship goes back to the University of Cape Town when Zille was communications chief and Ramphele was vice chancellor.

“There is no doubt they are very close, but it is not a given that just because Helen wants her, she would get a top position. Dr Ramphele would need to go through the electoral college, like [Cape Town mayor] Patricia de Lille,” a senior MP said.

De Lille on Thursday called Ramphele “sister” and said Ramphele had been there for her “day and night” with advice on governance issues. Ramphele has also helped the party with economic policy.

Black voters

It is an open secret that Zille is thinking about making way for a leader who will appeal to black voters.

Another source close to Zille said she was considering stepping down as early as the party’s conference later this year, but without a clear successor, would have to remain for another two-year term.

Zille “wants to have control over the succession and made it clear she wants to bring people of prominence to the party to be in a position to take over from her", said the parliamentarian.

A DA official said Ramphele was in a “delicate position".

"I think her head lies with us, but her heart is in the struggle movement.”

Zille declined to comment but DA federal chairperson James Selfe said he knew nothing about overtures to Ramphele.

  • Miesies - 2012-02-26 12:11

    We need this lady in government and not in petty politics. To govern a divers nation is a mega challenge and huge responsibility. We need males and females like her.

  • Tanie - 2012-02-26 17:10

    Now DA, you are making sense. She will form a real government and we will all vote for the first female president in RSA, DA you will grow 100 times than the ANC if you can take that move. I am rubbing my hands with a tongue protruding. mmmmm! great stuff.....

      Mpho A Malele - 2012-02-26 21:51

      I don't think that DA will ever the race,

      Garth - 2012-02-27 06:45

      `If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say.' Proof-read; spell-check; grammar-check; proof-read.

      Vince - 2012-02-27 07:00

      Ag shame Mpho, why don't you ask for a refund of your school fees, provided off course that you paid any!!!!!!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 08:58

      Ag Vince for once in your miserable life play the ball and not the man..

  • Kgomotso - 2012-02-26 17:12

    what is new DA was trying their luck on Trevor and another prominent ANC i forgot his name now Mamphela. DA has acknowledge excellency in ANC leadership and they want it in their camp.

      pws69 - 2012-02-26 18:27

      But Ramphele told City Press she had never, in her 42 years as an active citizen, joined a political party. No, the DA never actively courted Manuel. Someone made a comment in jest, and the press went wild.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 08:59

      No kgomotso, the DA never went after Manuel..

      Zzang - 2012-02-27 09:04

      That's an excellent point Kgomotso. Whether or not those allegations are true, the fact remains that the ANC has produced a long list of EXCELLENT LEADERS. The problem is, the list of poor, incompetent, corrupt and selfish leaders is far longer. If only the ANC itself would recognise the wonderful talent it has, and cut the opportunists, SA would be a far better place.

  • Zipho Ka Nomafu Myaluza - 2012-02-26 17:13

    is it because she's black?

      Sharon - 2012-02-26 17:25

      No, Zipho, it is because she can make a difference.

      DraganTrenk - 2012-02-26 17:30


      George - 2012-02-26 18:13

      @ Zipho Ka Nomafu Myaluza -No, but because she is kleeva

      Neville - 2012-02-26 18:15

      Because she got brains

      Hugo - 2012-02-26 19:03

      'It is an open secret that Zille is thinking about making way for a leader who will appeal to black voters.'

      reginald.dube - 2012-02-26 21:18

      so white people supporting affirmative action. ohhh the irony of life.

      Jean - 2012-02-27 03:58

      IT IS COS SHE's BLACK (i mean hellooooo, appeal to black voters) BUT she has the same values as the DA and it will be easier for her to get the DA message across to black people than it is for Zille. Still would have liked for Zille to become President.

      Ian - 2012-02-27 05:40

      No my friend, continue to live in the past if you wish, the rest of us want to move on with our lives...........

      Grant - 2012-02-27 07:22

      kwakwakwa Zipho. Yes, its because she's black.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 09:00

      @reginald, thanks for speaking on my behalf?? Huh! "White people...." Really??

  • Vegi - 2012-02-26 17:25

    What is the DA hoping to achieve by joining hands with Ramphele. If they are hoping to get the black vote, well, they may as well stick with Zille. She is a much better leader than Ramphele. Some black people love Zille and her outrageous antics. On the other hand Ramphele has no clout in the black community. She is actually despised for her Eurocentric views.I will never forgive Ramphele for what she did while Vice Chancellor at the University of Cape Town. Even the Mbeki government which thought Ramphele was a respectable educationist was dissappointed when she authored a report proposing the closure of tertiary institutions in dissadvantaged communities as well a moving certain faculties from historical black universities to historical white universities. The report was never made public because it would have caused outrage but I got a copy of the draft report before the government canned Ramphele's work. In any event I have no problem if she destroyed the DA because that is also our wish.

      paulgerber969 - 2012-02-26 18:08

      Vegi are you a vegatable ???? Your page cannot be traced on Facebook. Do you like to comment incognito!!!!! Be a Comrade and enable your Facebook Profile. I smell a RAT.

      Hugo - 2012-02-26 19:10

      she also outsourced all work other than academic,leaving the cleaning stuff at the mercy of greedy private companies.As an employee of UCT a member of the support staff had a decent salary as well as decent medical cover, once outsourced some were earning as little as R1500.00.Who can raise a family on this.I too Vegi was extremely disappointed with Ramphele,for someone who struggled to get an education herself,she seemed to prefer the rampant capatalism of the US.My wish is for the DA to be street smart when choosing a black leader.Black people in SA are not as simple minded as the DA may want to think,how else would you explain the demise of the IFP when Zulus number something like 10M.

      Hugo - 2012-02-26 19:13

      Paulgerber,what do you want to do with Vegi's fb page?

      Vegi - 2012-02-26 19:32

      paulgerber969 I don't want pervets like you to have access to my profile.

      Jonathan Cloete - 2012-02-26 21:36

      Agree with you Vegi. Maybe Zille must go through with her pan, and see the DA disappearing off the political landscape like the NP and PFP did. Rampela willl outsource the DA, like she did with functions at UCT that now continues to haunt the University management many years later.

  • Vegi - 2012-02-26 17:47

    To make it clear to the DA people, Mr Mandela is the most respected and acceptable person to most South Africans, but were he to join or work with the DA in any manner, he would lose all the support and the affection our people felt towards him overnight. Ramphele commands respect and support only among her immediate family and colleagues. The DA can take her with pleasure. - 2012-02-26 18:00

      Even if Mr Mandela joined the DA he would never lose the respect of any sensible South African regardless of what party they support. The ANC did not define him. He defined himself. The fact that people of all parties would follow him shows one what measure of a man he really is. Or are you saying that ANC supporters will support the party no matter what they do or who they choose as their leader? That may be true in the short term. It won't be forever.

      Gerald - 2012-02-26 18:53

      @David I fear your latter comment is not true. If you look at many examples in Africa the support for a liberating movement is unwavering, this phenomenon is excercebated by poverty and poor education levels...the staunch and stubborn defies logic...and I fear it shall be all to our peril

      sefeddt - 2012-02-26 19:08

      @Gerald, not strictly true. Zimbabwe has show how a liberation movement fallen out of favor,

      Hugo - 2012-02-26 19:20

      David.baker,I am afraid he would.Mandela was liked because he personified black people's resistance to racial domination.My honest opinion is that black and white love Mandela for different reasons.For blacks his defiant stance at the Rivonia trial and other public places personified the struggle against domination and subjugation. @Gerald,my immediate and extended family as well as band of friends have degrees ranging from Engineering,Law as well as in commerce but their blood is black,green and gold.Have a rethink of your lack-of-education hypothesis because you are soooooooooo wrong.

      Garth - 2012-02-27 06:56

      Well Hugo, if you, your family members and immediate band of friends are so intelligent and well-educated, explain how it is possible for you to support the thieving, racist, murdering, useless, worthless anc. Surely your intelligence should see through their lies and hate? Or do you all wear your colours over your eyes and ears?

      Jos - 2012-02-27 09:57

      Hi Vegi, just out of interest. Who is "our people"?

      Elle-Black - 2012-02-27 10:10

      @ Garth it is very simple I would rather have the situation as it is right now under the ANC were they do nothing for anyone than be under white domination,most white people think that apartheid was a neccesary evil and some even refer to Dr Nelson mandela (in this era) as a terrorist the very same man who against the wishes of most black people who were subjected to the atrocities of apartheid decided that retribution would do more harm than good,even when the rest of the world (not just Africans see him as an icon) whiote south africans still feel he is a terrorist. So personally I would rather not vote but if the attitude portraid by whites on this forum is anything to go by,then clearly voting DA would be suggesting that I support white supremecy.

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 13:13

      Garth Racism Ben Turok(White)mentors the ancyl lads(black) at UCT,CPUT,UWC Thieving Most suspects are under investigation.suspended or dismissed my anc my future world cup 2010,massive infrastructural investments including plan for nukes together we can,kamoka re tla kgona

  • Tanie - 2012-02-26 18:17

    The only sickening thing is the DA keeping referring to people as 'black-voters,white-voters,brown-voters'. Why keep siding to the element of colour? this is the main reason you cannot convince anyone that you are for real.

      JasonEye - 2012-02-27 07:51

      Thats a ridiculous statement, FACT - we live in a country where the Black voters decide who is in power or not! Fact, the uneducated masses (for the most part) vote ANC out of loyalty and "gratitude". The ANC will continue to rely heavily on the rural vote, just as Bob in Zim does. So when the DA talks about the black vote it is perfectly correct. Politics in this country is heavily settled along racial lines. But if you want to make like an ostrich, please be my guest!

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-26 18:19

    But Lindiwe is there, are they doubting her?

      Kevin - 2012-02-26 20:30

      Lindiwe is the future, some one like Ms Ramphele would bring experience, gravitas and experience to the DA.

      Irene - 2012-02-26 21:53

      Lindiwe is not neutral. Look at how she's messing up the defence force and then you want her to lead the DA? What a laugh.

      Tanie - 2012-02-27 01:39

      Jonathan, you are an open book of an africanner male,why don't you pose a picture of your real self? your chauvinistic presentation is not cleverly hidden by your face presentation. Your false belief in the white supremacy is what keeps your pseudo masculinity kinder like bulging.moron

      Garth - 2012-02-27 06:59

      Irene - methinks you have the wrong Lindiwe!

      JasonEye - 2012-02-27 07:58

      @Paul, she is way too young, but given time and some experience she will be there eventually. i think the DA is doing the right thing looking for a black successor to Helen. If the DA continues to perform in local government and continues to win ward elections then the masses will slowly see there is an alternative. Ultimately we need a 2 party state......If one party fails to deliver then give the other party a chance. It will make the parties work hard a service delivery and governance. @Irene not Lindiwe Sisulu, but Lindiwe Masibuko. Masibuko is the DA's young parliamentary leader.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-27 08:13

      Irene you are an idiot here, please improve your general knowledge before you expose your stupidity

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 09:02

      @Irene, oh boy, you just went full retard my dear...

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 09:03

      @paulmandla, chief, seriously? Come on, I expect more from you, this comment is clearly just to provoke.. I really am disappointed to have seen you slide from a meaningful contributor to yet another mud slinger... *sigh*

  • pws69 - 2012-02-26 18:30

    That is the DA for you in a nutshell, always looking for the best possible candidate. Unlike the ANC, where party loyalty and time in the party are the only things that count. You can be dumb as mud and still be made premier. You can be corrupt to the core, and be promoted in parliament, like Booi and Yengeni. DA, keep ensuring we have the absolute best talent available. Its the only way we as a country will improve.

      Jonathan Cloete - 2012-02-26 21:27

      Pws69, you clearly agree with Zille's dictatorial undemocratic practices. Her imposition of De Lille as Mayor of Cape Town, and removing an experienced Anton Trollip as parliamentary leader to be replaced by an inexperienced Mazibuko, simply because she was black. For any organisation to continue its traditions, it need to groom leaders true to those traditions. How do you think the ANC has made it for 100 years, speedily mopving on to another 100? Democratic selection processes my friend. The danger to the DA's longevity is imposition of leaders who may NOT be DA in their heart and soul. Considering the DA not really being a political party, but a corporation.

      pws69 - 2012-02-27 05:22

      @Jonathan, you are clearly ignorant of the democratic processes within the DA, which are the most transparent of any organisation within the country. As to ANC democratic processes, does this include all the ghost voters, the murders of fellow ANC members, the stabbings at election conferences, the pulling of guns, the throwing of chairs, the exclusion of LEGITIMATE attendees?

      Garth - 2012-02-27 07:01

      Jonathan - you are as blind as Hugo. Pull the green, yellow and black bandanna up above your ears and eyes.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 09:04

      @Jonathan, dude, seriously? You have absolutely no clue what you talking about... unlike the ANC, the DA vote on who goes where and not pushed into power as a "favour"...

  • s4turnz - 2012-02-26 18:33

    It was an honour to be capped by this amazing person when I completed my undergraduate degree at UCT.

      Hugo - 2012-02-26 19:22

      She left a mess that Dr Max Price has to fix, in relation to employment conditions of support personnel

      s4turnz - 2012-02-27 07:32

      I would like to see all the facts and here her side of the story before making up my mind. But it seems you have made up your mind without considering all the facts.

      s4turnz - 2012-02-27 07:33

      Also those that thumbs down, were you too stupid to graduate from UCT?

      Michael - 2012-02-27 09:23

      @s4turnz - I only have a std 9 but I know the difference between here and hear! For a refreshng experience - look them up. (BTW - I have my own company and employ numerous people of colour). As for the statement that people that did not graduate and are too stupid - why you judging others on your poor standards.

  • Nkosinathi - 2012-02-26 18:34

    The YL calls for generational mix. I call for racial mix in all political parties!! No more them and us!!

      Elle-Black - 2012-02-27 08:32

      Nkosinathi keep dreaming ,you must be new onm this site right? stick around then you will realize that you are living in a bubble.

  • IAnon - 2012-02-26 18:50

    That's one smart Lady and good luck to you DA if you can convince her to join your ranks.

      Hugo - 2012-02-26 19:24

      They probably can but man o man does the DA need to understand the political landscape of this beautiful country,Mamphele is educated yes but does she hold political clout in the black communities ,no.

      Garth - 2012-02-27 07:02

      And the reason why she holds no political clout . . . is because she's educated?

      khanyib1 - 2012-02-27 07:31

      Hugo, your bitterness towards Ramphela is starting irritate.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 09:07

      @khanyib1, I agree it seems Hugo has a personal issue with Ramphela..

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 13:29

      Actually I have nothing against her.She is black,assertive,former active member of the black consciousness movement then lead by the fiery Steve Biko.Biko's book 'I Write What I Like' was like a revelation to me growing up as a lad in a tough neighbourhood. The Likes of Biko,Mamphele,Don Mattera,Bra Hugh etc were /and still are my role models for their role in liberating me personally as intellectuals,poets and artists. The long and short of it is I have no problem with Ramphele,infact I love her along with the other intelligent and assertive black women in SA.However as I always try to explain,my affiliations are political not racial.So Khanyi and Point Blank please note that where I come from we criticize without hating.Too bad if you are irritated but the UCT cleaning stuff is still feeling the pinch of Ramphele's rampant capatalism.That boys and girls is a fact. Garth,geez.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-02-26 18:52

    Joining a political party is always a difficult decision because there will probably always be things that you do not necessarily agree with. I can understand Mamphela Ramphele's reluctance.

  • Carlton Bana - 2012-02-26 19:02

    I am against such a drastic change, Zille should remain in charge 'till 2016; she is still kind of young 61/62, the DA must still groom and grow Mazibuko to Zille's level and slowly introduce more leaders. So far Zille is the DA and the only other leaders are De Lille and Mazibuko. Im not racist nor sexist, but where are the male leaders and why is she hiding the white leaders. *side note* love or hate her, she gets people talking any Sipho and Riaan know her she is brand, hell even Vegie wants her to stay. Viva DA

  • Carlton Bana - 2012-02-26 19:02

    I am against such a drastic change, Zille should remain in charge 'till 2016; she is still kind of young 61/62, the DA must still groom and grow Mazibuko to Zille's level and slowly introduce more leaders. So far Zille is the DA and the only other leaders are De Lille and Mazibuko. Im not racist nor sexist, but where are the male leaders and why is she hiding the white leaders. *side note* love or hate her, she gets people talking any Sipho and Riaan know her she is brand, hell even Vegie wants her to stay. Viva DA

      Michael - 2012-02-27 09:25

      Carlton - press the "post" button once!

  • Nhlanhla - 2012-02-26 19:24

    Mamphele Ramphele must not make that mistake of associating herself with liberals since it is known fact that she was alligned to Black Consciousness movements and was a close friend of Steve Biko.

      Vegi - 2012-02-26 20:13

      They have a son together.

      Garth - 2012-02-27 07:03

      Nhlanhla - you are a very confused individual. Go read a book you anc ignorant!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 09:08

      @Nhlanhla, I believe you talking about Zille, not Ramphela..

      Michael - 2012-02-27 09:26

      Please explain (state) what Zille was!

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 13:32

      Michael She was a journalist that shot to fame by exposing the brutal slaying of S.B. Biko(may his soul rest in peace)

  • Bruce Chetty - 2012-02-26 21:27

    Ramphele president of the DA and Rob Davies president of the ANC. That would be an interesting scenario in terms of racial support.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 09:09

      The ANC will never let a white man rule, ever. They are that racist... The ANC is a black consciousness movement, white people are nothing more than tokens...

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 13:43

      The ANC would still win hands down.Note that under Mandela the ANC got 60%('94).Under the leadership of Mbeki(less of an icon than Mandela),The ANC got 70%(2004).The very dodgy Zuma got 65.9%.You would have expected Mandela to be the one getting 70% ,neh?The reason its not like that is because the ANC is bigger than individuals.So who ever is presented as an ANC presidential candidate would have been chosen by a prodominantly black ANC NEC as well as the Delegates.His race would mean ziclh,infact it would triple ratings for the ANC internationally.Hope that happens though.For those in the know will recall that Rob was an SACP member who gave his life for the people during apartheid.The heroic efforts of the likes of Fischer,Slovo,First,Sachs,Beinstein etc will remain etched in black people's minds for ever(Malema is not 'black people').There was a song in the township that was sung about the millitary prowess of Slovo As a commander,it did not seem to bother anyone that Slovo was white.I dont see why it would now. The ANC is multiracial and Diverse My ANC my Future

  • Bruce Chetty - 2012-02-26 21:28

    Ramphele president of the DA and Rob Davies president of the ANC. That would be an interesting scenario in terms of racial support.

  • Matanje - 2012-02-26 21:38

    My memory tells me that this is the lady who became famous via Steve Biko, right? Unless I am wrong, DA's alleged move would tentatively reveal a master stroke on their part. Except,if it were to succeed, it would still not guarantee the DA any long-lasting Africanization. The youth of South Africa are tired of racism whether black or white (and while the DA is rightly or wrongly still largely perceived as white; Steve Biko, like Robert Sobukwe or Nelson Mandela, all of them clicking Xhosa when they speak, are perceived as Eastern-Cape regionalists, adherents of an aspect of black racism, and individuals who went out to steal from the original founders of our great African National Congress and its founders, Zulu-speaking Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Anton Muziwake Lembede all the legacies the latter were supposed to enjoy today). Methinks the lady (DA's alleged target) is also a medical doctor. Well, let her stick with what she knows best! Trying to get someone related (even by affinity) with the "Xhosa" Madiba is a non-starter for the DA,however much they love a Madiba otherwise viewed by most blacks as a sell-out!

      gmagaisa - 2012-02-26 22:37

      It is a pity we are still busy searching for unnecessary words to fill our vocabulary. Racism, tribalism, regionalism etc seem to be the only issues we are debating. In the New South Africa we should be debating about tenets of democracy, how to strengthen it and make it a legacy of the South African political landscape. The DA like any other party has a right to court whoever they want into their ranks, whether it becomes a poor choice or not is for them to content with. As for the majority of South Africans, we need to open up our minds and discuss national issues. Are people voting ANC just because it is the liberation party? Are people aware of governance issues? Do the rural poor and uneducated (mind you I am not saying all people in rural South Africa are poor and uneducated)know the issues they vote for? Can they articulate issues of policy? Do they understand when people talk of corruption or when they see their MP only during campaign time? Can they separate what policies are behind parties in terms of policy, corruption etc? Do they vote for the party that liberated them just because that is only what they understand? Has the ANC as a party in government for 18 years taken any steps to educate the electorate on what democracy is? Why do we see executives who are corrupt and destroy provinces such as Limpopo getting voted back into power? What about leaders within the ANC itself - Is there true democracy? We need to be asking ourselves these questions all the time.

      busi.carol - 2012-02-27 09:56

      She slept with Biko.... and wrote about it! My view... you will not get a black vote with that woman in control. Zille is the way to go. Id rather vote for Patricia than Mamphele.

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 13:48

      Busi,I also think De Lille is perfect for the DA but the DA is made up of humans who make mistakes,this may just be one mistake they dont want to commit

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 13:56

      gmaisa The ANC has better internal democracy than the DA.In the ANC there is active lobbying and realignment as you can see.There is the mudslinging and threats of releasing the always feared crime intelligence report.These antics should relay the level of uncertainty in the democratic process .We are approaching Mangaung ,you will see what I am talking about.As for the DA,HZ has forcefully catapulted Mazibuko to power,though clearly articulate she was grossly inexprienced compared to the other guy.As we speak no one knows if JZ will come back for term 2.

  • Bruce Chetty - 2012-02-26 22:16

    Remember DeLille comes from the PAC(a black consciousness movement). She denounced been called a coloured and she was also in the top ranks of the PAC during APLA activity, eg. The St. James massacre. She is now a proud member and voice of the DA. Remphele could make the same decision especially for the higher position.

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 13:59

      De Lille is more expirienced as a politician.Mamphele is more expirienced as an intellectual and leaader of professional orgs.Quite a difference.

  • Frikkie - 2012-02-27 06:06

    Moeletsi Mbeki would also make a great leader.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-27 08:14

      I agree

      Hugo - 2012-02-27 14:03

      Frikkie we must take care not to think any intelligent man/woman has good leadership skills.Mugabe is a case in point.Also note that intelligent leaders have a propensity for being autocratic.Manuel would be the dream for the DA.He is a product of the democratic UDF.Till this day he is still involved with upliftment projects with poorer communities like mitchel's plain.Now that is the kind of leader that the DA needs.Some one who holds clout in the disadvantaged communities.

  • Yolanda - 2012-02-27 07:13

    Watching how this develops should be interesting!

  • Jos - 2012-02-27 10:01

    Why does the DA need a leader that will appeal to black people? Why not get a leader that will appeal to most sensible people of SA. Why not package the DA message in accordance to all LSM's and sell it widely and broadly. One person can't bring such an appeal only a collective approach from DA will bring 2019 victory. just a comment.

  • pages:
  • 1