‘Ramphele can’t make decision alone’

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Mamphela Ramphele will run as presidential candidate for the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in this year's election. Picture: Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - The decision by Mamphela Ramphele to join the DA cannot be made by her, Agang SA's Gauteng chairman Andries Tlouamma said on Wednesday.

“That is going to be our decision, not her decision. We are the custodians of this party,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

The media briefing was held by representatives of all Agang's provincial structures.
 

“There are structures in a party. There are processes to follow to arrive at certain decisions.”

A decision to merge with the Democratic Alliance cannot be made by an individual, he said.

DA leader Helen Zille announced on Tuesday that Ramphele would be the DA's presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections.

"There is many unhappiness (sic) across the country by our members," said Tlouamma

"Our leader has a responsibility to discuss with us the belief she had in the announcement she made."

He said Agang SA was giving Ramphele an opportunity to consult with them urgently.
 

"The consultation was not made. We are still waiting for a consultation with our leader.
 

"We don't believe our leader deserted us. But the decision must come from us."
 

Tlouamma said it respected Ramphele and appreciated her for founding Agang SA.
 

"She is a leader of substance, a leader of virtue."
 

He said the party did not want to use the word "betrayed".
 

"We don't know where that word came from. "We do not feel betrayed."


Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said Ramphele was trying to project herself as a “messiah” who was above everyone else by joining the DA.

“She is no messiah. She is a political tourist, political opportunist and a rented black,” NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said in a statement on Wednesday.

“All we know is that Ramphele is joining a party that is desperately in need of black faces whilst it has no agenda to transform the social and economic needs of the majority black citizens in our country.

 “We don't believe a person who failed to even give a sustainable life to her newly born party will make any impact on the lives of blacks other than to entrench (the) backwardness of the DA,” said Baleni.

He claimed that Ramphele became rich during her tenure as chairperson of Goldfields Limited but failed to transform the mining industry.

“This political tourist was just a seat warmer and cheque collector who enjoyed cocktails and other elitist gravies while poor mineworkers continue to earn poverty wages.” - Sapa


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