Pro-Ramphele members quit Agang SA

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IOL  si rampheleETCH INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS AgangSA founder Mamphela Ramphele. File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - Members of the Agang SA faction that supported former leader Mamphela Ramphele resigned from the party on Thursday, they said in a statement.

This followed the Western Cape High Court ruling which confirmed Agang SA MP Mike Tshisonga as the party's new acting president.

In a statement issued by the pro-Ramphele faction, in their capacity as individual members, they also encouraged other like-minded members of the party to do so.

The resigning members encouraged their like-minded compatriots, if they resigned, to join them in a new civic initiative, the details of which would be announced in due course.

They said what contributed to this decision was the party finding itself in serious financial problems following the May 7

general election.

This had developed before the elections and inhibited Agang SA's ability to campaign.

“Those problems were exacerbated by the party's poor election performance,” the resigning members said.

“Notwithstanding that it won two parliamentary seats, the result was such that hoped-for donor funding has not materialised.”

The party's ability to address those problems and stabilise itself to function effectively had been crippled by further problems which had beset the party since the elections.

“Those problems are in our opinion attributable to the actions of a group of members led by Agang SA's two parliamentarians... Mike Tshisonga and Andries Tlouamma, together with another member of the former national executive committee Titus Singo,” they said.

The actions of Tshishoga, Tlouamma, Singo and their group, which amounted to a vicious attack on Ramphele's reputation, ultimately led her to withdraw from Agang SA and from party politics.

They said that while the party had financial problems, Tshishonga's group appeared to be operating without any financial constraints.

“On the contrary, they appear to have access to unlimited funds from an unknown source,” the resigning members said.

“It remains to be seen whether those financial resources will be employed to honour Agang SA's obligations to its long-suffering creditors. We trust they will do so.”

The party had been marred by internal divisions. On Friday, it said a reconstituted NEC had issued disciplinary notices to Tshisonga and Tlouamma and others, setting out the grounds for disciplinary action.

One faction held an NEC meeting in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on June 29, at which it was decided that Ramphele was not fit for the position.

The group adopted a motion of no confidence in her and questioned her leadership style.

She was subsequently suspended, but the group supporting Ramphele retaliated by expelling those who had attended the meeting.

On July 8, Ramphele announced she had decided to leave party politics to focus on working within civil society.

Ramphele launched Agang SA last year.

In the May 7 general elections, Agang SA received 52 350 votes, 0.28 percent of the 18 654 771 votes cast, which earned it two seats in Parliament.

Earlier on Thursday, Tlouamma said the court had interdicted the “so-called” reconstituted NEC and ruled that it was not the legitimate NEC of the party.

“The court ruled that the legitimate NEC is the one that held a meeting in Alexandra on June 29, 2014,” he said.


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