Former Gold Fields Ltd. Chairwoman Mamphela Ramphele quit South African politics a year after forming an opposition party that flopped in its debut elections in May and has been consumed by infighting ever since.
Ramphele, 66, will “be leaving party politics, having accomplished my aim of creating a political vehicle to enable those who remain outside the political mainstream to have a voice,” she said in a statement distributed by the South African Press Association.
She formed Agang SA with the aim of toppling the ruling African National Congress, initially attracting support with pledges to reduce unemployment, improve education and fight corruption. Her political credibility was eroded in February when she announced that she would stand as the presidential candidate for the main opposition Democratic Alliance. Agang members rejected the alliance and it was terminated six days later.
Ramphele’s party won just two seats in the 400-seat legislature in the May 7 election. There have been several attempts to oust Ramphele as party leader since then.
Prior to being appointed chairwoman of Gold Fields in November 2010, Ramphele served as a director of Anglo American Plc, the largest investor in South African mining, and managing director of the World Bank.