7 March 2014

South Africa: Hannibal Elector - Breakfast With Mamphela

Photo: Agang SA
Mamphela Ramphele speaking on "Fear in South African Politics" (file photo).


The Agang leader has botched a marriage with the Democratic Alliance and is working on the fringes. Once the Great Hope, she is now an afterthought. What happened? RICHARD POPLAK eats and listens.

One is always ambivalent about telling one's story. Critics charge that one is being self-seeking or ask whether one is as true to one's demons as to one's angels. The issue of selective memory rears its head: it is so easy to rewrite history for one's own benefit.

If you want to understand Dr. Mamphela Annette Ramphele and the disasters she has failed to navigate over the past few months, it helps to examine a picture of her grandfather, a farmer and Dutch Reformed Church evangelist named Sethiba Michael Machlaela.

It helps to read her snipped, grammatically exquisite prose.

And it helps to marvel at the accomplishments studding her official biography, which are so astounding they'd seem fictitious were there no hard evidence to back up the claims.

But this is the story of two separate and conflicting selves, so before we drill down into the specifics, we must consider the reception atrium of ...

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