Dr Mamphela Ramphele will formally launch her political party, Agang, in June to contest the 2014 general elections.
Addressing the community of Uitkyk, outside Bochum in Limpopo, Ramphele said she hoped to unveil the party, complete with an emblem and corporate identity, in June.
Ramphele is touring Limpopo to inform communities about her intention to start a new political party.
“By June, membership forms will be available. Encourage your kids to join as well. I want your voices to be heard. The party will be announced in June in preparations for the elections next year. I will visit many other communities across South Africa and inform them about my decision.”
Speaking to a group of about 150 people who had gathered to listen to her, Ramphele said: “I’m 65 years old now and I’m worried that if I don’t stand up and act now, I will live to regret it for the rest of my life. God has given me the energy and I must stand up and build. It’s all in our hands. Don’t wait for anyone to build for you. Build for yourselves.
“You must be able to tell anyone who comes looking for your vote that I will only vote for you if you deliver education, health and actually deliver.”
She told the crowd, most of whom were wearing T-shirts with the word ‘Agang’ and bearing the South African flag, that they can’t sit still while the country is being destroyed.
“They are stealing in front of everyone. There are no jobs, no teachers, no textbooks or medicines in clinics. More than R230 billion has been spent on education, but there are no returns. Let us put South Africa first.”
Earlier Ramphele visited the community’s graveyard where she informed her parents and grandparents about her decision to start a political party. She also requested them to protect her as she embarks on this “treacherous journey into politics”.
“You know everything that this nation needs,” she told her ancestors. “Our education system is rotten. The future is not looking promising. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Please help us, we need your blessings upon us. Protect us, pray for us and lead the way.”
Her elder sister, Mashadi Ramphele, also pleaded with the ancestors saying: “She has started a political party and she needs your blessing. Her desire is to help South Africa. She is doing it for South Africa. We want to build a new South Africa.”
Mamphela Ramphele is set to later visit a school that she supports with bursaries. Tomorrow she will be in Tzaneen, where she was banished to after the 1976 uprisings.