Johannesburg - Supporters of Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele were doubtful on Tuesday about voting for the DA, following the announcement that she was the party's presidential candidate.
“As much as I want Mamphela to be president I don't think I can get her there by voting DA,” said Agang SA supporter Tlaleng Maseko, of Johannesburg.
“I am at this stage yet to reconcile with myself on where my vote will go, but I will vote.”
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille announced on Tuesday that Ramphele would be the party's presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections.
She said talks between Agang SA and the DA had been going on “continuously”.
“We have an agreement politically, we just need the technical details worked out,” Zille said.
A joint technical committee would manage the integration of the DA and Agang SA structures and volunteers
Maseko said she had followed Ramphele's career since she was in high school and had even filled in forms to join Agang.
However, she was unsure what would become of the party now that it was merging with the DA.
“I don't even know what 'presidential candidate' means really,” Maseko said.
“Is Agang no more, or are we leasing Dr Mamphela for elections? What happens to the office bearers of Agang?,” she asked.
Maseko said she was also concerned about policy development, and wondered what influence Ramphele would have on current DA policies.
Some people on Agang's Facebook page accused Mamphele and the party of lying to its supporters.
“Agang lied to the members... you told us to ignore the report on the Sunday papers regarding the merger. Lies... lies... lies,” a supporter wrote on the Facebook page.
Another said: “Thank you for selling us out to the blue people.”
However, there were some people who welcomed the announcement of the merger.
“This is the best news for all South Africans. I just wish we could all live happily in this beautiful country without the crime and corruption that is plaguing our land at present. Dr Ramphele is a strong, principled woman and one that we need now,” said a supporter
“Best move ever for SA politics. The DA should change it's name to 'The Democrat',” said another.
Ramphele said she would be the DA's presidential candidate in an attempt to consign race politics to the dustbin.
“This is a historic moment. We are going to take away the excuse of race and challenge the ANC to be judged on its performance,” she said.
“We are taking away that race card and putting it in the dustbin.”
She said she was “honoured” to accept the DA's invitation to front its campaign.
“I believe that this decision is in the best interests of South Africa as we head into turbulent waters.”