Mamphela Ramphele to be DA and Agang Presidential candidate
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has made a surprise announcement to the media. She reported that Agang SA (Build South Africa) leader Mamphela Ramphele would be the DA presidential candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
The news came as a shock to many Agang members who apparently knew nothing about the deal and some were angry about the lack of consultation. The party was formed by Mamphela Ramphele, partner of Steve Biko, anti-apartheid campaigner and former Managing Director of the World Bank, in February 2013.
The Democratic Alliance is the leading opposition party in South Africa with 67 seats in the 400 seat National Assembly, competing against the African National Congress (ANC) with its 264 seats.
Although President Jacob Zuma of the ANC is deeply unpopular with many South Africans and corruption has become widespread across the country it will require a major political shift for the ANC to lose the elections scheduled for some time between April and July this year.
Currently the DA has about 17% support with Agang SA on around 1% support; this compares with 53% support for the ANC despite their problems. Although Dr. Ramphele is highly respected across the country and internationally, she does not display the charisma, street campaigning touch and speech giving abilities that are needed to sweep the ANC aside.