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Durban - The ANC Women’s League’s conceding that it had no one in its ranks to lead the country showed it had adopted an “inferiority complex” under President Jacob Zuma and its members were “prisoners of their own mindset”, said Mamphela Ramphele.
The AgangSA leader was responding to ANCWL president Angie Motshekga’s remark this week that it was “futile” to push for a woman president at this stage as there were processes that needed to be followed in the ANC.
The league has been previously quoted as saying it is “not prepared to have a female president”.
Ramphele, who was in Durban on Tuesday, drumming up support for her party for next year’s election, said she was not surprised by the league’s statement as it had become used to taking orders from men in the ANC.
“They (the league) are on Tuesday’s leaders and their job is to support whatever the men in the ANC say. South Africa is ready for a change in leadership, South Africa is ready for a woman leader and who makes decisions for future generations. It is a sign of a group of women who have internalised the inferiority that a male-dominated system imposes on women,” she said.
Ramphele said there were many capable women in the government and the public sector who would be offended by the league’s position. She said the women’s league was sending out the wrong message to young girls.
“They are creating disempowerment for women instead of empowering them. We know even in the private sector women bring complementary strength to leadership. We know – and the young women today know – that they have the power to change this country and we are going to change this country… They (the ANCWL) believe in women not being equal to men, despite what our constitution says,” Ramphele said.
On Tuesday, the Agang leader and a small group of supporters went on a walkabout among the crowds at Warwick Junction where she spread her message of clean governance to potential voters.
Later in the afternoon, she addressed residents of Hammonds Farm and last night she spoke at a community meeting in Phoenix.
Not many people recognised Ramphele during her walkabout as she elicited curious stares from onlookers with several stopping to ask who she was.
“She’s the lady from TV. The one with the new party,” a shopper at the Early Morning Market told her companion.
Ramphele said the purpose of her walkabout was to listen to people’s experience and find workable policy solutions for their needs.
She said even though people in KwaZulu-Natal had overwhelmingly voted for the ANC at the last elections, people had had enough of the party.
“They are fed up with the corruption under Jacob Zuma. People are not stupid. They may be poor, but they are not stupid.
“They can see that they are being robbed and that their future is being taken by corruption. They want clean government and that is what AgangSA stands for.”
Sisanda Xobiso, 24, a hawker, said she would consider voting for Agang.
“We have been voting for the ANC for all these years and still nothing has changed. People are still poor and we can’t find jobs. We need to give others a chance now because the ANC has failed us. We are tired of them,” she said.
Thandi Makhoba, who sells vegetables and fruit, agreed.
“She is a woman who wants to give us change. We should support people like her,” she said.