Ramphele: The Golgotha of Black Consciousness ideological and political principle

2014-01-31 11:18

By Maropene Ntuli

When Dr Mamphela Ramphele announced she was establishing a political party many of us hoped she understood the challenges of the venture. We hoped this as young revolutionaries and gender activists because we know societal dynamics are complex. They require an established institution with the capacity to analyse changing patterns of interest groups and the balance of forces. The tools of analyses used to arrive at a conclusive point of departure have to be informed by a particular ideology in order to construct well-informed intervention mechanisms.

Institutions like the ANC, DA and IFP, ACDP, have determined their motive forces, therefore their constituencies. For instance, the ANC’s motive forces and loyal constituency are Africans, in particular, and blacks in general who form part of the poor and women. The DA’s motive forces are white supremacists, monopoly capital and the beneficiaries of the Apartheid system who are opposed to wealth and resource redistribution.

We gave the Dr the benefit of a doubt, as she is a struggle icon and belonged to the Black Consciousness Movement. We were impressed when she declined to join the DA. We were impressed not because we are anti-DA but because we understood that Dr. Ramphele's political and ideological background is an anti-thesis of the DA's white supremacy.

Little did we know Dr Ramphele established  Agang out of excitement and naivety based on how she relates to the society and its institutions. Little did we realise she has either lost her political moral compass or consciousness and that she was available to the highest bidder. Signs emerged when she couldn’t come up with a comprehensive name and logo that reflects South Africa's diversity.  We suspected the Dr might have lost her compass when she displayed her wealth in a country with the widest gap between the rich and the poor. We realised she had miscalculated the return of what she thought was populism disguised as “transparency”. We just did not imagine the depth of the problem.

When her “transparency” stunt backfired, we thought she would make an effort to narrow her social distance to the masses. However, when Agang couldn’t register any sign of existence, we realised the problem was bigger. Her polemics on the ANC made it apparent Dr Ramphele had misjudged her prominence and her rise to fame.

We are shocked that our struggle icon has not only lost her political moral compass, but she has sold her ideological soul and sacrificed principle at the altar of political expediency. She has sacrificed her conscience, what she struggled for during Apartheid, and the plight of the marginalised, People who Bantu Biko referred to when he said, “It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is, if you realise that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality. The first step is to make the black man come to himself to pump back life into his empty shell, to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused.” South Africans are witnessing a Golgotha, another execution of something that played a role in the liberation.

We are witnessing the liberator of the oppressed become a token of oppression. She chose to be subordinate to white supremacy and to be misused and humiliated by the DA. She chose to be used as a token to lure blacks and the down-trodden to the enemy.

It is unfortunate to witness betrayal, more so we will always ask, “what and where did Dr Ramphele lose her moral compass?” We will ask not because we want to give it back to her, but we want to learn how not to be like Dr. Ramphele.


Maropene Ramokgopa is an NTT member of the ANCYL and a National Coordinator of the ANCWL Young Women Desk. She writes in her own capacity as a citizen.


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