NewsSouthern AfricaSouth Africa: Desmond Tutu endorses Ramphele's new political party


Posted on Friday, 21 June 2013 12:18

South Africa: Desmond Tutu endorses Ramphele's new political party

By Crystal van Vyk

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in recent years, has become a fierce critic of the ruling ANC talking publicly about the “cancer in society”- corruption Anti-apartheid veteran and cleric, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says he supports Mamphele Ramphele's move to form a political party and welcomed the new arrival in the South African political landscape.


Tutu has become the first high profile South African voice to publicly lend their support to Ramphele's movement.

Tutu said Ramphele "is a voice that is worth hearing", and he looked forward to the contribution she would make towards building the society "we know we can become".

Tutu released a statement to the media, ahead of Ramphele's consultative forum, Agang, which would seize to exist and make place for a new political party- that would be launched this weekend.

The former struggle veteran, educationist and World Bank executive said while it was "premature" to talk about how many votes the party would receive.

She believed the ANC needed to be brought below 50 percent.

"What we say is we are aiming to change the political landscape of South Africa in 2014," said Ramphele.

"South Africa can't afford... five more years of bungling. We are very serious about running a disciplined, focused, empathetic strategy."

Tutu added, "our people deserve to fulfill their potential and the country deserved an environment that was conducive to an active citizenry and active debate, holding to account a government that is magnanimous and pragmatic and responsive to the many challenges we face".

In recent times, Tutu has become a fierce critic of the ruling ANC, talking publicly about corruption, which he describes as the "cancer in society".

Tutu said the fact that Mamphele may criticise the ruling party at times, like himself, does not mean she should lose the right to speak, or that she does not love her country. Or, frankly, that the ruling party does not deserve it.

The archbishop who has retired from public life said South Africa's constitutional democracy was very hard earned, but nearly 20 years into its democracy the "graciousness and magnanimity" that characterised his country's political firmament have been surrendered at the altar of power and wealth.

Agang would be launched as an official political party on Saturday, 22 June.

Mamphele said Agang would only be interested in entering into a coalition with other political parties if they shared similar values.

"We will only go into coalition with those who share our basic values. If you agree the country must come first, then we can talk" she said.

Agang's upcoming campaign would focus on the youth, women and rural areas, though she encouraged all citizens to get involved.

The country heads to the poll in less in ten months. But Mamphele will have her work cut out with the ANC remaining a formidable political force in the country.

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