/ 29 January 2014

Agang SA to contest election – with a new leader

Agang Sa To Contest Election With A New Leader

Agang SA intended electing another leader to contest the general elections, a Gauteng official told the New Age in a report on Wednesday.

"Our leader is taking us where we never wanted to go. If she wants a merger with the [Democratic Alliance], she should have consulted us first," acting Agang Gauteng secretary Yako Sakhiwo told the daily.

He said most Agang SA members learnt via television of its founder Mamphela Ramphele's decision to become the DA's presidential candidate in upcoming general elections.

"I was with many other fellow leaders and members at our Braamfontein offices and we were all surprised. We even got calls from other party leaders and other provinces who were also surprised," said Sakhiwo.

He said the political party, formed by Ramphele about a year ago, would still contest the elections with another leader. Some senior DA members complained to Beeld newspaper that they too had to find out about Ramphele's move in the media.

"It is being forced on to us," an MP who was not named told the Afrikaans daily.

Ramphele said the decision not to inform members was "what visionary leadership is", according to the Star newspaper.

"Obviously we haven't consulted the last village, the last township where we have been and are active. But the leadership of Agang in the provinces have been [kept] abreast."

On Tuesday, Ramphele and Zille said a joint technical committee would manage the integration of the DA and Agang SA structures and volunteers.

"The truth is we have been interacting continuously … you look at different formats, you go through different options … We have an agreement politically, we just need the technical details worked out," Zille said.

Ramphele denied she was joining the DA because her own party was going broke, saying "the only party that is bankrupt is the ANC, which is morally bankrupt".

ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe described the development on Tuesday evening that as a "rent-a-black, rent-a-leader. We can't be concerned about that". – Sapa