Agang in nasty spat over seatsComment on this story
Johannesburg - A clash in AgangSA over parliamentary seats threatens to tear down the party’s already shaky edifice, amid claims leader Mamphela Ramphele has considered jumping ship.
Insiders say a fuming Ramphele told Friday’s meeting of senior party leaders she was broke and felt used.
Cracks have widened in the fledgling party since it obtained two parliamentary seats in last week’s elections.
Two sources, who attended some of the week-long meetings in Joburg, accused Ramphele of catapulting Cape Town lawyer Andrew Gasnolar into occupying the second parliamentary seat.
This has pitted Ramphele against the Gauteng branch, which prefers her deputy president, Andries Tlouamma.
A source said Ramphele first threw in the towel on Friday after it had appeared from the trickling election results the party would get only a single parliamentary seat.
“Suddenly, she said ‘I feel used, I am tired, I am broke and my children are saying I must just leave this’, before she stormed out of the meeting and left us hanging there,” said the source.
The insider said Ramphele told party leaders to find her replacement.
After Ramphele left, it was decided that Tlouamma would go to Parliament. Tlouamma and Gasnolar are in positions two and six respectively on the party’s list of candidates for Parliament.
But things changed after Agang secured two parliamentary seats. It is alleged Ramphele made an about-turn and decided she would take up a seat.
“She then said she was now available, but did not want to go to Parliament with Andries (Tlouamma),” said the source.
A party member in Gauteng has vowed Agang members would resign en masse if Tlouamma was sidelined.
The Star understands that another meeting was under way on Wednesday to discuss the impasse.