554 Agang SA's Dr Mamphele Ramphele during a media briefing at their offices in Braamfontein where the party announces her as their presidential candidate and also giving clarity on the Agang, DA saga. 030214. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Cape Town - Internal battles among AgangSA members are a “horrific mess”, says party spokesman Philip Machanick.

Party president Mamphela Ramphele and her deputy Andries Tlouamma have been at loggerheads over its leadership and finances.

This came after Ramphele decided to change the party’s national executive and allegations of mismanagement of election money were raised last week.

In January, disgruntled members threatened to expel Ramphele after she appeared at a DA press conference in Cape Town where it was announced that she was the DA’s presidential candidate in the May elections.

At the time, Agang provincial organiser Neville Hendricks led a group of 15 branch leaders to Ramphele’s office to demand answers. Hendricks resigned from the party a few weeks later.

On Wednesday Machanick said all was not lost in the party and Ramphele was open to mend relations with other members.

“She is very keen to talk, but people are not talking to her,” he said.

Machanick said the biggest contention was Ramphele’s decision to appoint new members to the executive.

“The party did not do well in the elections and it is clear the executive can’t function.”

Machanick said the failure to establish an internal audit on the party’s finances was an indictment of the executive.

But Tlouamma disagreed, saying if Ramphele was committed to fighting corruption she would establish an internal audit immediately.

He said concerns raised by party chairman Mike Tshishonga about his signature being forged, and money paid into a bank account not belonging to the party, implicated people close to Ramphele.

“We were removed as national leaders because we asked these questions. The president of a party cannot be above scrutiny,” he said.

Last week Gauteng party leader Donald Tontsi called for the removal of Ramphele, while party leaders in the Eastern Cape supported her.

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Cape Times