AGANG’s Dr. Mamphela Ramphele has accepted becoming the DA’s Presidential Candidate for the 2014 Elections. It will be interesting to discover exactly what compromises were reached. After all, Ramphele had previously turned down the offer and started her own party which, although polls had shown that they would make no significant difference to the political landscape, did gain a lot of, mostly positive, media attention. Here’s the press statement they just released:
Statement by Helen Zille:
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I can announce that Dr Mamphela Ramphele has accepted the DA’s invitation to stand as our presidential candidate in the 2014 General Election.
I can announce further that we are establishing a joint technical committee to manage the integration of the DA and Agang SA structures and volunteers.
This is a game-changing moment for South Africa. When I was elected Leader of the Democratic Alliance in 2007, I set out the case for a fundamental realignment of our politics.
I said then that political change will come about as the old political formations become obsolete. We can see this happening now. As the ANC breaks into its constituent parts, we are building a new political vehicle to bring about the South Africa we dared to dream of in 1994.
The DA leadership is drawn from across the political spectrum. Some of us come from the liberal tradition that opposed apartheid. Others were previously members of the ANC. Some were part of the Pan-Africanist movement. And others have a Black Consciousness background.
But we all share the same values. The belief in an open, opportunity society for all characterized by non-racialism, a market economy, human rights and prosperity for every South African.
I have known Mamphela since the early 1980s when we worked together on the second Carnegie Enquiry into Poverty and Development. I worked as her Director of Communications when she was Vice-Chancellor of UCT, and we raised children together. And, as most people know, we have been in talks for some time about joining political forces.
I know Mamphela as a principled, fiercely determined person who loves her country deeply and devotes her life to the cause of making democracy work. I can think of no better person to be our presidential candidate as we head into the most contested election of our democratic dispensation.
Statement by Dr Mamphela Ramphele:
I am honoured today to accept the invitation extended by the Democratic Alliance to stand as its Presidential Candidate for the 2014 elections.
I believe this decision is in the best interests of South Africa as we head into turbulent waters.
The death of Nelson Mandela has changed many things for South Africa.
It has caused us to reflect on our journey over the last 20 years, on the progress we have made, and on the opportunities utilised and lost.
South Africa has given the world wonderful icons. It has shown hope where there seemed to be none. It found leaders when journeys of hope had to be led.
Today is another astonishing moment in what we offer the people of South Africa, and once again the world.
A moment to once again glimpse the greatness that is us. ‘n Oomblik om weer eens te sien hoe groot ons is.
A place where black and white, rich and poor, rural and urban, young and old, men and women, will come together at last.
This is the South Africa we dreamed of. This is the place Madiba set out for us that we will now create.
This is not the time to talk about the ANC. You know it all: the stolen money, the broken promises, the lost jobs, the sliding rand, the corruption, filthy hospitals, schools with no books, and streets, homes and places of work that remain unsafe.
We want rather to talk about tomorrow. The day that we begin anew to refresh the promise of 1994.
We are the government-in-waiting, we are the representatives of millions of South Africans, who believe in the promise and potential of a multiparty democracy, in a state that respects all people and works to deliver public services to those in need.
This is the time to bring our country’s fantastic resources together. Not for the few but for the many, not just for insiders but for allsiders.
Good people in the ANC have reached out to us, but are scared. Good business leaders have reached out to us but are nervous. Millions want to make a different choice in this election. They say is enough is enough.
This is your government-in-waiting. I will not lead you, not lead us, nor lead South Africa on the path of conflict but of commitment – to you, to your children, to health, to high quality education and job opportunities.
In my language, Sepedi we say, “Mmage ngwana o tshwara thipa ka bogaleng.” (The mother always steps up to protect her offspring from danger.)
We are coming together to fulfill the promises of 1994 and restore our journey to the country of our dreams. Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts.
Once again South Africans are showing the world a wonderful way forward. This partnership will deliver the country of your dreams; the country of our dreams.