Ramphele bemoans masculine political culture

2013-04-11 15:34

Johannesburg - Politicians are not being held properly accountable because of the country's strong masculine political culture, Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele said on Thursday.

"At the heart of the problem in our country is a political culture - found among all political parties - which privileges men at the expense of other social groups, and which privileges political parties at the expense of individuals," Ramphele said in speaking notes prepared for delivery.

"In our male-dominated and party-oriented democracy, the link between political parties and citizens is extremely weak and in some instances non-existent."

Ramphele was speaking at a round-table seminar on electoral reform at the University of SA (Unisa).

When Ramphele launched her party political platform, Agang SA, in February she called for a new system in which voters in geographic constituencies could choose their MPs directly, instead of having MPs chosen by party bosses.

"Political loyalty supersedes individual or human rights.

"The loyalty problem is complicated by factors such as race, ethnicity, and religion," she said.

This explained why it was possible for Parliament to table and pass the traditional courts bill, which blatantly violated human and gender rights.

Only when there was a fundamental change in South Africa's political culture would the country be able to build meaningful accountability in its political system, Ramphele said.

"Changing the electoral clause of our Constitution is long overdue.

"Agang SA is determined to pursue this electoral clause change in order to transform the politics of South Africa into a caring political culture which puts the country and its people ahead of leaders," she said.

  • John Henry Viljoen - 2013-04-11 15:41

    should rather be,the fat political culture.

  • André Grobler - 2013-04-11 15:41

    I like her

      Cathy De Jongh - 2013-04-11 20:45

      And me.

      Willem Louw - 2013-04-12 10:40

      Me 2. She is making a lott of sence

  • criticallyhonest - 2013-04-11 15:45

    No, no no no...wrong choice of word. Strong has positive connotations. Rather use oppressive, or dominant. Call a spade a spade as they say....

  • deon.duplessis.144 - 2013-04-11 15:45

    Oh my Gawd, is she serious?!?!? Remind me what gender Angie Motshekga, Lulu Xingwana, Susan Shabangu and lets not forget our local rocket scientist Tina Peterson is again? Look at what an absolutely sterling job they've been doing thus far. Gender has F^^&* ALL to do with competency! If you suck, you suck, no matter what gender you are!!!

      James Smythe - 2013-04-11 15:48

      Yup - this woman and her party are going nowhere with such stupid sexist ideas.

      Sean Abell - 2013-04-11 16:22

      if you suck, you suck. no matter what gender you are????

      Eternity - 2013-04-11 16:45

      @Deon I don't think she is saying "men are bad" or anything. She is referring more to the tribal mind set which is very masculine focused at the expensive of other social groups. At least that is what I gather and agree with too.

      SaintBruce Bruce - 2013-04-11 21:35

      The word "Patriarchal" comes to mind. Pater is Greek for Father and also has roots in source or sustainer which also gets confused with power. So in effect, the rule by men to the advantage of men becomes prevalent when it starts as an exercise [ usually physically at first] of power over others. This then becomes economic and political and, if unchecked, quite unbalanced. The Dictator arises and so far history has yet to reveal a female dictator[ as far as I know]. Tribal rule is heavily rooted in the Patriarchal way of dealing with things which explains the dilemma in most cultures. I think it is time we got some balance in our society. If Agang SA can get that right, we have a chance for the nation to prosper.

      gift.moyo.52 - 2013-04-11 21:51

      I agree 100%. I need bread on my table, toll free 'freeways" in GP. Since I 'm not intending to bed any politician, I don't care about their gender. I just want service delivery. I also don't care about their COLOUR/ RACE, weight, height or any such nonsense. Give me quality service promised during the campaign. Finish and klaar!

  • Mpumelelo TF - 2013-04-11 15:45

    When you launching your party Mme? South Africa is waiting...

  • Kaya Dada - 2013-04-11 15:48

    I dont know anything about this woman except the fact that she was Steve Biko's mistress. Who is she?

      Xavier7034 - 2013-04-11 15:59

      Who are you then?

      musa.kamashobane - 2013-04-11 16:19

      Kaya dont be stupid now, go and read about her on the web. She will teach you next time not to post questions like these and be proactive.

      Terence Wessels - 2013-04-11 16:31

      Let me enlighten you. She is a Dr of economics and business woman. She opposes the grade 4, racist, sexist and corrupt Pig of Nkandla.

      Tersia Louw - 2013-04-11 19:48

      Kaya - Google is your friend; use it. Terence - she's an MD.

      Mdu Ntini - 2013-04-16 15:48

      Educate yourself, don't give the public that task.

      Kim SaiyanPrincess Murison - 2013-04-26 09:38

      - everything you are not

  • Ian Despy - 2013-04-11 15:48

    Vote this very very competent lady in to power to solve SA problems. She has what it takes.

      Stephen Saxeus - 2013-04-11 16:30

      We can't do that yet for two reasons: 1. She hasn't a political party per se. 2. She hasn't effected electoral change to not need a political party. Basically what I think she's saying here is that we have a party-political system in SA that has become a catch-22. It's not working, but the only way to change that is to become a political party.

      Ian Despy - 2013-04-11 16:43


      Themba Nsele - 2013-04-11 17:04

      steve, if you are not happy with the political rulling party, the only way to fix it is to open you own political party, that is what cope did, udm did, I like that, that's very true,,

  • Jeffrey Masemene - 2013-04-11 15:50

    Let's hear you more often doctor, lest we forget that Agang Sa still exist.

  • Musa Gatsheni - 2013-04-11 15:57

    im fully behind you DR

  • criticallyhonest - 2013-04-11 16:00

    I wonder if she really stands a chance. I mean why would delinquent children who get away with just about anything without paying in any way, why would they vote for a teacher/supervisor that is going to impose a disciplined value system on their behaviours.

      Stephen Saxeus - 2013-04-11 16:22

      That's assuming she will in fact launch a political party. Besides, the question I ask is not whether or not she stands a chance, but why delinquent children are allowed to vote in the first place.

      Ushir Sahdao - 2013-04-11 16:36

      I also asked myself the same q. Political platform party or a facebook party? 52 percent of people between 18-32 do not know who she is and what she stands for. Going to grass roots level to garner support is all well and good but going back to her hometown doesn't do much to raise awareness for her cause. Another problem is that most people do not view electoral reform as being high on their priority list. Its been 3 months and still no manifesto, no major input in key issues such as CAR and Nkandla. This party has to evolve fast as the elections is only 1 year away. I'm all for having a stronger credible opposition as voting is mainly race based and it would interesting to see how coalition parties break this cycle. Interesting stats by future facts regarding race. 45 percent of the black electorate will not vote either for the ANC(obvious reasons) or the DA(perceived as a white party) yet 45 percent of the black electorate would vote for the DA if a black was the head of the party. I'm hoping Agang will take a chunk of these votes.

  • Bongeka - 2013-04-11 16:06

    South Africa's fragile democracy doesn't need this race and gender loyalty but capable people to lead us. That's if we really want to see it working. We've got both black and white candidates who are more than capable to lead this country. But then again, comradeship, cadre, and race loyalty messes everthing up.

      Stephen Saxeus - 2013-04-11 16:33

      @Bongeka Do you want someone to lead you, or to represent you?

      Bongeka - 2013-04-11 16:42

      I mean the country Stephen.

  • sizwe.magibili - 2013-04-11 16:08

    if you cannot understand the point she is making then your level is below this article so rather not comment... statement towards black leaders is uncalled for as there no comments about whites being bold headed..

  • criticallyhonest - 2013-04-11 16:12

    Hers is another dimension to this discussion..... I speak about UNISA, the situation may be different in other tertiary institutions...does anyone care to comment? 2013 graduates from UNISA were more than 70% female. What does that say... Do females have better intellectual capacities? Are men lazy because they can get positions without study? Or what?

  • Nick Patsalos - 2013-04-11 16:24

    I would like to give her a chance. She sounds sincere, but as ' criticallyhonest' said above -quote-"why would they vote for a teacher/supervisor that is going to impose a disciplined values system on their behaviors"-unquote. It's going to take a decade or two before the people wake up

  • Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-04-11 16:30

    Since time is NOT on anybody's side I suggest we kick-start an aggressive campaign of awakening and eye-openning voters in believing there's LIFE after ruling party cause 2014 is around the corner, Doc?

  • Erich Goosen - 2013-04-11 16:30

    This is quite a daring speech, bearing in mind how many of the local politicians and trade unionists expressed negative views about the recently deceased Iron Lady.

  • Jimmy James - 2013-04-11 16:30

    Some good pointers by this lady. Will Angy be removed. The youth need to be educated so as to take care of the future!!!

  • musa.kamashobane - 2013-04-11 16:32

    Interesting what you are saying Dr Mamphele, I also appreciate that you are challenging stereotypes in that it has been historical men that have led the world. I must hasten to suggest to you though that in women we dont need the likes of Dina Pule, Angie Motshega or the bully minister of many titles Lulu Xingwana (they are failures in many respect)

  • Lloyd Macklin - 2013-04-11 16:38

    I'm puzzled by her agenda. Has she not noticed that the DA has a strong female and mixed race component in their leadership?

  • Themba Nsele - 2013-04-11 17:06

    Politicians construct a bridge where there is no river but they expect you to cross the river withouct a bridge,, They talk differ but have the same mentality,,

  • Philip - 2013-04-11 17:23

    She needs to "grow a pair".

      Tersia Louw - 2013-04-11 22:16

      Philip - Why do people say, “Grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina, those things take a pounding! Betty White

      Philip Johnson - 2013-04-12 19:10

      @ Tersia...and you would know exactly how much of a pounding it gets.:-

  • andrea.bower.121 - 2013-04-11 17:23

    Sometimes one wonders whether or not she will make any significant gain in today's political landscape. She needs to gain support through innovative campaigning and not like she is currently doing by criticizing other political parties. People are clearly tired of all the talk and would like to see her take some bold positions and decisive actions

  • Bra N'Darkie - 2013-04-11 17:35

    She started well, but I think she is loosing momentum now. She needs to visit every village and township in the country. Round table discussions with the elite won't get her vote. Ppl in the rural areas don't care about the voting systems. They want jobs, buznes opportunities, good education, proper health etc. Dr shrug off that elitist image it is working against u. Remember no matter how brilliant ur ideas are they r useless without the support of the mass out there

  • Seun Mogotji - 2013-04-11 17:40

    Sometimes one wonders whether or not she will make any significant gain in today's political landscape. She needs to gain support through innovative campaigning and not like she is currently doing by criticizing other political parties. People are clearly tired of all the talk and would like to see her take some bold positions and decisive actions

  • Stinky Spice - 2013-04-11 18:00

    Name the 5 most notable women in the country, not because you know their names but because of what they do politically.

      Leora Lipka - 2013-04-11 18:12

      Helen zillia, lindiwe mazibuko :,Patricia de Lille ,.. Gill marcus . Dr ramphele .....The others that are top of mind are all for the wrong reasons..Angie m, lindiwe s, that daft woman of women and children... But not to be disparaging to the majority of ANC ministers... I find it difficult to think of male politicians that can be admired.. Besides Trevor Manuel....

  • sam.makua.10 - 2013-04-11 18:18

    Men deliver dr! Look at our wes kaapse provinsie our premier appointed males because she knows that its a masculine's world! You can cry Iam woman all you want! It aint gonna change nada!

  • Alan Street - 2013-04-11 18:30

    A rather refreshing perspective!

  • Amanda Matthews - 2013-04-11 20:45

    Ramphele... you have got it wrong again.... It is not about gender. It is about merit. Or are you trying to split the sexes based on gender alone. Not good for democracy.

  • Amanda Matthews - 2013-04-11 21:28

    Ramphele; and how about winning a couple of by elections first before you start rocking and rolling with the big boys. You know..... go and work at grass level roots to get to know what the electorate want. Dont presume that by engaging and advertising for top notch people that you will automatically engage with the electorate. You sound very naive to me. If the independents have never scored any major successes in the past please explain to me how you are suddenly going have any impact at all during a major election??????

      Stephen Saxeus - 2013-04-12 13:30

      Her 'platform' might not be intended to run for elections at all. I'm very disenchanted with our current party-political system and definitely feel less than enthusiastic about my vote (local, provincial, or national). It's not that my chosen party wins or looses like a game of sport, it's that the core idea of democratic representation is not being realised due to various reasons. Chief among those I believe is the system itself that is inherently prone to voter apathy, corruption, and perpetual mismanagement. This is why I believe that a federal system would be a lot more suitable to our diverse peoples than a party dominated polity, especially at local government level. What Agang seems like to me is not just another candidate on the ballot, but a vehicle to address the shortcomings in our electoral system. How they are going to go about achieving this is yet to be seen, but it is heartening to see that someone has identified a problem not just in the people that get elected but in *how* how we elect them in the first place.

  • El Cool - 2013-04-11 23:04

    First it was Race now sex next age then we go back to race (apartheid)

  • Tlotlo Phele - 2013-04-12 06:18

    Ramphele has a point, vote for your MP, look at how .MP elected by the president are behaving, no accountability on performance and curbing corruption, the people must elect their own premiers/mayors /munisters,

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