30 January 2014

South Africa: Analysis - Realignments in South African Politics

Anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele will not run as the Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate in this year's election, South Africa's ... ( Resource: South Africa's Ramphele Changes Mind on Opposition Leadership Role


Many South Africans long for something new and refreshing in the South African political landscape as a counter to the decadence and violence of the Zuma-led ANC government. That is why numerous people welcomed Dr Mamphela Ramphele's entry into formal politics. Whether her latest move is a game-changer or not, however, remains to be seen.

I was one who tried to engage positively with her initial comments, although critical of the way she initiated Agang. I believed that forming a political party should have resulted from a process rather than formed prior to consultation.

The short period of Ramphele's stewardship of Agang demonstrated willingness to listen but also a tendency to avoid building a broad coalition of forces through patient organisation. Having decided, without much preparation, to enter conventional electoral politics, it became clear that Agang would not secure many votes. The manner in which Ramphele has simply been absorbed into the DA exemplifies the ambivalence or disrespect she has for organisational structures and internal democracy.

Ramphele emphasises merit and criticises 'mediocrity'. Mediocrity is an elitist code word for those without high formal education qualifications. However, we may ask whether the problems we face are more likely...

Copyright © 2014 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.