The multiparty forum that took Independent Electoral Commission head Pansy Tlakula to court last week might form an opposition alliance after the elections.
AgangSA leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele said the country needed a strong opposition to counter the ruling ANC’s power.
Ramphele said: “The multiparty forum could form a basis for the realignment of the opposition. What South Africa does not need is a million tiny parties. What we need is a real alternative to the existing power that is the ANC.”
The forum is made up of Agang, the United Democratic Front, Economic Freedom Fighters, Cope and the African Christian Democratic Party.
They took Tlakula to the Electoral Court demanding that she be removed from her position because of adverse findings against her, by the Treasury and the public protector, about the procurement of the commission’s headquarters in Centurion. The court postponed the matter to June 2.
Ramphele said she had been in consultation with the UDM and the National Freedom Party, among others, to form a coalition.
“In the first half of last year I tried to get other parties to join me so we could have a collaborative government. I have not succeeded in pursuing fellow leaders to work together. The DA was part of that.
“When we launched Agang we always said we were open to a realignment. But is it easier to say it than doing it. It is about putting the country first and egos in our pockets. Whatever happens has to be about the interest of the country.”
In January, a merger between Agang and the DA collapsed a week after it was announced. Ramphele had been unveiled as the parties’ presidential candidate but pulled out of the union saying the timing of the merger was not right.
Despite talks of a realignment with the EFF, Ramphele was not kind to the party’s commander-in-chief, Julius Malema.
She said: “Malema had complete freedom of the Limpopo budget. The question we need to ask is: How did he incur a R16 million tax bill? Where did he work? We need to stop being seduced by public officials and instead hold them accountable. Young people are attracted to Malema and his unattainable policies because of anger and frustration. We have created a breeding ground for Malema to attract young people who do not see a future they can participate in.”
Ramphele said the country was in a fragile state because of corruption in land reform.
“Between 17 and 22 percent of the land is owned by government. Land used to build houses should have been transferred to people as a means of building wealth. The willing buyer, willing seller method is not the correct way to do land reform. We need to come up with a viable form. If the corruption in land reform is not stopped, we will not have peace in this country. Land reform is an arena for corruption instead of being an arena for healing the divides of the past.”
She said the “Vote No!” campaign, which encouraged people to spoil their votes instead of voting for the ANC and was headed by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, was a betrayal.
“Kasrils was part of a government that failed to bring out civic education. The campaign is unacceptable. It is a betrayal of people who died so we could vote. I lost friends so I could vote at the age of 47. Is the ANC a representative for democracy? This campaign confuses people and I am dead against it.”