DA, Agang SA conferences - as it happened

2014-02-03 08:24

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Ramphele on the future of Agang SA

2014-01-29 17:03

Agang SA will continue to exist after the elections, DA presidential candidate Mamphela Ramphele says.WATCH

Both the Democratic Alliance and Agang SA will hold news conferences on Monday morning following Sunday’s announcement that the alliance between Mamphela Ramphele and the DA had fallen through.

Agang SA is first up with its briefing at 09:00 while the DA’s conference is set to start an hour later.

DA leader Helen Zille lashed out at Ramphele, saying the Agang leader has shown she can’t be trusted.

According to a joint statement issued by Ramphele and Zille on Friday, the Agang SA founder would be welcomed into the DA at a news conference in Johannesburg on Monday.

However, following the joint statement, Ramphele said in a message on Agang SA's website that it was “not true” that she would be joining the DA.

11:04 - And so ends the DA briefing. Wilmot James: We are putting this behind us. We are going to find unison in order to make our offer known to the voters.

11:04 - 

11:03 - Zille: We can't do a single thing without hundreds of thousands of people introducing the race narrative one way or another.

11:02 - Wilmot James: Federal exectuive stands behind Zille, with the knowledge that this was a risk worth taking, and she handled it with sophistication.

11:02 - Zille says Ramphele showed lack of integrity by going back on her word.

11:01 - Zille: this is a new character trait in her. I've always known her to be ruthless in taking decisions. So yes, I took a risk.

11:00 - Zille: Ramphele has been on again off again for sometime. I think because she gets advice from people. 

10:59 - Zille: You can't be a political leader and not take risks, especially if the risks are in the interests of growing the party quickly enough.

10:57 - Zille: I would have liked to avoid this, but if you don't take risks, you won't win. If we didn't take risks we'd still be a 1.7% party.

10:56 - Zille: I feel that the last week signals the death knell for Agang.

10:54 - Zille: SA is in a race against time (due to threats to our Constitution), and we have to convince people to vote DA.

10:52 - Zille: We are a very coherent party. We have internal institutions which work very well. We're the only viable alternative to the ANC.

10:50 - Maimane: Zille took the opportunity to open the DA to me, Ramphele, others. 

10:45 - Zille says she will take responsibility for the whole saga.

10:44 - Zille: Yes, Athol was against it which is his right. Federal Exec took a vote after. Decided it was worth risk to have Ramphele as candidate

10:42 - Mazibuko, in summary, really loves the DA. And Helen Zille

10:42 - Mazibuko: Against all the narratives of apartheid, it is possible to build a non-racial political party in SA.

10:41 - Mazibuko: Every time a leader steps out and says 'it's possible to build a non-racial political party', it takes a number of complex steps

10:39 - Lindiwe Mazibuko now explaining why the DA is awesome.

10:38 - Maimane: It is not a contest between races (at the polls); it's about which party ascribes to my values, my ideals

10:37 - Mmusi Maimane now explaining why the DA is awesome. 

10:37 - Zille: People asked me from boardrooms to shacks: 'Why don't you and Ramphele join.' We were answering that call

10:36 - Zille: I reject the idea that any of my colleagues are 'window-dressing'. They are all in elected positions within the DA.

10:35 - If you want to view the DA briefing live, take a look here: 

10:33 - Our personal friendship has taken a very bad knock, Zille says on Ramphele

10:31 - Zille: Obviously being black in SA politics is a powerful message.But Dr Ramphele has a world brand. Ramphele has a worldwide reputation as a doctor, academic and manager. She's also black and that is a powerful combination.

10:29 - Zille: Who's going to be our presidential candidate? Well, that's not for me to decide. The federal executive will decide.

10:29 - Zille: It doesn't help to have tiny, shattered, splinter parties all over the place.

10:28 - Zille: In the past week we realised we could not in good conscience say Ramphele should be the president of South Africa.

10:27 - Zille: Sometimes it works, as with the ID, sometimes not, as with Agang. I think voters will understand that.

10:27 - The Agang press con is over now.

10:26 - Zille: From the DA's part it had been a long time coming. Ramphele insisted on press conference but I had other commitments that day...

10:25 - Zille: In October, November, Ramphele said the time was right to make this move. "I said certainly. I knew Agang was in big trouble."

10:23 - Zille: This was not rushed. Been talking to Ramphele since 2010. She was very involved in ID/DA merger. 

10:22 - Lindiwe Mazibuko looks a bit worried. Very serious face.

10:21 - Zille: We agreed that a technical team would discuss integration of Agang into DA.

10:20 - Zille: I started getting worried on the morning before the press conference [last week's announcement]. 

10:19 - Zille: You have to admit you made a mistake, cut your losses and move on.

10:18 - Zille: Sometimes in politics you have to take a risk. A calculated risk. Sometimes a risk works, sometimes it doesn't.

10:17 - Zille starts DA briefing.

10:16 - Ramphele says Agang is the only political party with no baggage - "we learn from our mistakes". It probably helps that they've only been around for less than a year... 

10:15 - Still waiting for the DA briefing to start. Zille and others to brief media. 

10:14 - Agang says its party remains principled by giving ordinary citizens a voice & a platform. "Ramphele has no competition". 

10:09 - ENCA explains why it didn't show the Agang briefing: "Hello @PaulWhelan745 The press conference is taking place on the 9th floor. Our cables cannot go all the way up to the 9th floor." Um... right. 

10:07 - Ramphele: The [early] announcement of the deal scuppered it. Our Constitution prohibits dual membership.

10:06 - Ramphele says everyone wants to see political realignment, including funders of Agang - hence the need for a credible partnership

10:04 -  Ramphele: Our destiny is in our hands, and we will not be derailed. It's time for a govt that serves, and doesn't rule.

10:03 -  Ramphele: I have not changed. The reasons I announced Agang a year ago are still the same.

10:01 - We are a member based political party. When they voice their discomforts, we listen, says Agang SA.

10:00 - What won here is what our members signed up for. She [Ramphele] did not send a Maharaj [spokesperson] to address you. She came to face you, Agang SA tweets.

9:59 - Agang SA youth leader says the party stands on principle. Ramphele is doing the right thing by changing her mind about the deal.

9:58 - Mamphele: There are many examples of principle agreements between leaders.

9:57 - Ramphele: This past week has been tough, but they come out of it stronger and wiser.

9:57 - Meanwhile, the DA briefing is set to start any minute now...

9:56 - Ramphele: Agang members have never stopped working throughout this period.

9:56 - Ramphele says she insisted on holding the presser on Tuesday [last week] even though details weren't worked out because of leaks in the media.

9:54 - Ramphele: I am not Mandela, and I don't pretend to be.

9:53 - Ramphele: Hindsight is 20/20. I am simply doing what I believe leaders are called 2 do. Make the tough decisions when called 2 do so

9:53 - Q:Response to DA statement last night. Ramphele answer: I am in the business of building and not destroying.Our focus is on what needs to be done.

9:52 - Trollip: I do NOT think it is necessary for the next leader of the party to be black African.

9:51 - Ramphele:  Presidential nominations are from the parties themselves. Helen Zille remains the leader of DA I remain leader of Agang SA.

9:50 - Trollip: It's important to make place for black African leaders. But we must grow our own timbre. Not parachute people in.

9:50 -  Ramphele: I haven't changed my mind. We were not given the time to work out the details. No able to consult with members

9:48 - Trollip: The naivety of Ramphele in politics is exposed. No rank and file members were consulted. She then flip-flopped.

9:48 - Ramphele: We remain a trustworthy alternative

9:47 - Asked why the rush and lack of consultation Ramphele again mentions Mandela not consulting his party when negotiating with his jailers.

9:45 - Meanwhile, DA senior member Atholl Trollip has told Eusebius McKaiser he voted against the move to offer Ramphele the DA’s presidential candidate spot.

9:43 - Ramphele: Let us remember the DA has served SA with conviction, it has within its ranks many who want only the best for SA.

9:43 - Ramphele: I have not changed. She still wants to capture the early promise of freedom

9:42 - Ramphele says the ANC is obsessed with the politics of self interest

9:42 - Ramphele says Agang will not get stuck in detail of who said what and when.

9:41 - Ramphele: We need to tackle what is concerning all citizens. We need a political hope for all South Africans. Without corruption.

9:41 - Ramphele: Focus is now on the ANC's incompetent governance of South Africa

9:40 - Ramphele: Some members in both parties have shown unhappiness at the announcement. Did we rush into it? Yes I’m afraid we did.

9:40 - Mamphela: This past week has been a hard week. The time for this was not right. I cannot pursue their offer.

9:38 - Ramphele: "If have to be a DA member...then I cannot pursue the DA offer. Millions of South Africans will never vote for the DA.

9:38 - Ramphele: the time for this was not right... Some party members stuck in old style politics.

9:37 - Ramphele: We at Agang have been working hard to ensure that citizens take the future into their own hands

9:36 - Ramphele says they "may have rushed into union with DA". 

9:35 -  Ramphele: "Since the announcement last Tuesday shows that we all have to listen to our members.."

9:35 - We now need to refocus on our vision - Ramphele

9:34 - Ramphele says Agang will continue to build a party that welcomes all - they are committed to working for change.

9:34 - Ramphele blames party politics for divorce with the DA 

9:33 - 

9:31 - Ramphele has arrived at the briefing to the sound of supporters singing "Dumela".

9:30 - 

9:29 - Last week, Ramphele popped in to News24's studio. Here she tells us that there's no merger right now: 

9:27 - Agang briefing now due to start at 09.30, says Hajra Omarjee.

9:23 - Press con delayed due to weather, taxi strike. Will keep you informed, says Ramphele's PR person Robyn-Anne Pollard.

9:17 - Nope, the Agang conference stillhasn't started. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and blame the weather. Though they might have anticipated this. Anyhow...

9:12 - Take a look at the Daily Maverick piece 'The trouble with being female in politics'. Just earlier, someone tweeted Zille saying "debacle says alot about Women in pol leadership [sic]". 

9:05 - Due to weather & Joburg traffic AgangSA presser slightly delayed, says ANN7's Hajra Omarjee.

8:58 - The Agang briefing is set to start now at its (possibly still carpet-less) Braamfontein office. Might be delayed by people stuck in traffic in rainy Joburg though.

8:51 - Zille tweets: @PatriciaDeLille and my partnership works really well! RT @Lwazistos:@helenzille @MamphelaR debacle says alot about Women in pol leadership.

8:46 - In related news, the DA says it has received the go-ahead from the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court to march to Luthuli House. It's not certain when the march will be but News24 will be doing live updates when it does happen.

8:42 - And earlier Mamphela Ramphele tweeted: It is unfortunate that many who were praise singing now choose to revert to games & name calling. I am afraid we did rush into it. Mea culpa

8:39 - Helen Zille tweeted earlier: Big lesson this week: those who urge one most strongly to make a bold move, are the first to say afterwards: it could never have worked!

8:23 - In a statement on Sunday, Zille said the DA had been "through many false starts" with Ramphele "but when Dr Ramphele insisted on Monday that we go public on Tuesday to announce her acceptance of our offer of the DA’s presidential candidacy, we accepted that she had finally made up her mind".

Read more on:    agang sa  |  da  |  helen zille  |  mamphela ramphele  |  politics  |  elections 2014

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