The Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party, said the leader of political party Agang SA has reversed her decision to run as the DA’s presidential candidate in this year’s national elections.
Mamphela Ramphele, a medical doctor who was previously chairwoman of Gold Fields Ltd., started Agang SA last year and said on Jan. 29 she would accept the DA’s presidential nomination in a bid to break the ruling African National Congress’s grip on power.
At a meeting today “Ramphele reneged on the agreement that she stand as the DA’s presidential candidate, and that Agang SA’s branches, members and volunteers be incorporated into the DA,” the party’s Cape Town-based leader Helen Zille said in an e-mailed statement. “Ramphele has demonstrated, once and for all, that she cannot be trusted to see any project through to its conclusion. This is a great pity.”
The DA, which won 17 percent of the vote in elections five years ago and controls Western Cape province, traditionally draws the bulk of its support from white and other minority groups. The party was betting Ramphele would help it woo black voters because of rising public anger over a lack of jobs and corruption scandals that have tainted ANC leaders, including President Jacob Zuma.
The DA will continue its “mission to build a non-racial political alternative in South Africa,” Zille said in the statement.
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