Mamphela Ramphele. File picture: Mike Hutchings


Johannesburg - AgangSA president Mamphela Ramphele has received a lawyer's letter apparently from anonymous national executive committee (NEC) members demanding its original composition be re-instated, the party said on Wednesday.

“Dr Ramphele dissolved the executive because it was dysfunctional and failing to carry out basic duties like hold regular minuted meetings, and carry through discipline proceedings,” said interim spokesman Philip Machanick in a statement.

“Worse, it had failed to put in place the necessary steps to create democratic structures to replace interim structures only intended to last through the election.”

Instead of threatening legal action to retain their positions, the anonymous NEC members only needed to attend NEC meetings and carry out their duties if they wanted those roles.

“What boggles the imagination is the fact that these people are so terrified of a 66-year-old woman that they are not willing to put their name to a piece of paper, let alone talk to her face to face,” Machanick said.

On Tuesday, Machanick said an AgangSA Gauteng faction was behind accusations made against Ramphele over a bank account opened for an IEC refund.

“AgangSA rejects this claim as defamatory and without foundation, and reserves the right to pursue its rights and its president's rights in this matter,” Machanick said in a statement.

There was currently an ongoing investigation into a separate matter, involving former NEC member Andrew Gasnolar.

Gasnolar allegedly used forged signatures to set up a bank account to receive around R65 000 from the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

He had given a “full explanation” to Agang MP Andries Tloumma on the matter.

“There is no evidence that Dr Ramphele is in any way implicated in this matter,” said Machanick.

Machanick said on Tuesday he had temporarily taken over from national spokesman Mark Peach while the party's NEC was being re-constituted.

Eyewitness News reported on Monday that Ramphele had been given 48 hours to resign pending a probe over the account.

The broadcaster reported that seven of the party's nine provincial branches met on Sunday afternoon to table a motion of no confidence against Ramphele.

Peach, in an e-mail to Sapa on Monday, said the meeting calling for Mamphele's resignation was held by a small group of disaffected members and was unconstitutional.

The members were mainly drawn from a small segment of one of five regions in Gauteng, who had previously publicly attacked Ramphele.

On Friday, Ramphele opened a case of fraud with police, related to the account.

This followed another fraud case opened at the Centurion police station by party chairman Mike Tshishonga for the same reason.

The account was set up to receive a refund from the IEC following the May 7 general election. - Sapa