/ 29 January 2014

Mantashe: Ramphele the DA’s ‘rent-a-black’

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Agang SA had been a "stillborn" party, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday, when Agang's leader Mamphele Ramphele announced she was throwing her lot in with the Democratic Alliance (DA).

"I was listening today of the announcement of a stillborn," Mantashe said on Tuesday in an address to the Black Business Council in Johannesburg.

During the announcement of the merger of Agang and the Democratic Alliance, former president Nelson Mandela had been used as an example of someone who took decisions, often against the opinions of his colleagues.

"Everybody talked about Mandela. They didn't talk about their leader, but they talked about ANC … You cannot separate Mandela from the ANC," Mantashe said.

Speaking to EyeWitness News earlier on Tuesday, Mantashe said the DA was renting a leader in Ramphele, whom the opposition party has announced is candidate for president candidate.

"Two things: it is a report of another stillborn party. It is dead before it was born, called Agang … Number two, it is rent-a-black, rent-a-leader. We can't be concerned about that," he said.

ANC supporters won't be fooled
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said Ramphele's acceptance of the DA's invitation had proved it right about Agang SA's prospects when the party was formed.

"When Mamphela Ramphele launched her new 'party political platform' on February 18 2013, the headline of Cosatu's response was spot on: 'Cosatu sees no future for Agang'," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement. "Just how right we were was proved today, less than a year later."

Craven said Ramphele had found her true political home, as the DA was the party of big business. This was exactly what Cosatu expected of a person who was the former managing director of the World Bank and chair of Gold Fields.

"DA leader Helen Zille says that there was 'no better person' than Ramphele to lead their election bid, but very few ANC voters will be fooled by this move," he said.

"The DA's policies remain just as bankrupt, including lowering entry-level wages for young workers, weakening the laws which protect workers' rights and attacking the trade union movement." – Sapa