David Smith of The Guardian is reporting that Mamphela Ramphele, the woman thought to be South Africa’s first female presidential candidate who could challenge and unseat the African National Congress (ANC), has left her political party after a chaotic candidacy. Ramphele, a founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa and mother to two of late anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko’s children, stated:
“I believed that we had the opportunity to transcend party politics and engage South Africans in a conversation about the future. The last week has demonstrated that, for some, this new way of thinking about our future will be hard to achieve right now … The time for this was not right.”
Amid much fanfare last week, Ramphele was named as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Alliance (DA), in what was seen as the most serious challenge yet to the 20-year stranglehold of the African National Congress (ANC).
But on Sunday the DA announced that the deal had collapsed, blaming Ramphele for reneging on their agreement and stating that she “cannot be trusted”.
Both sides organized press conferences in Johannesburg on Monday, fueling a war of words that many commentators see as playing into the hands of the ANC, which has worries of its own about voter disenchantment.
Although the Democratic Alliance (DA) merger has broken down, Ramphele will continue to pursue the presidency through her political party Agang SA.
Read more at The Guardian.