News / Africa

    New Political Party Launched in South Africa

    Mamphela Ramphele (2013 photo)
    Mamphela Ramphele (2013 photo)

    A political battle is in the air in South Africa as the 2014 presidential election gets closer. A new party was officially launched Saturday named Agang, which means "to build" in the Sotho language. The party plans to challenge Nelson Mandela's historical party, the African National Congress or ANC.
     

    She steps on the stage with her arm raised and her fist clenched above her head. Mamphela Ramphele, the leader of Agang, wants to make it clear : she is here to start the political fight against the ANC, which has been ruling South Africa since 1994 and the end of apartheid.


    According to Ramphele, who is an academic and a former partner of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, the ANC hasn't done enough to transform the country and the life of South Africans.


    "I say that 20 years is too long to wait for jobs. 20 years is too long to wait for quality education. This is not the legacy our great leaders had in mind. This is not the country dreamed of by of our beloved Madiba ((Mandela)), by Steve Biko or Lillian Ngoyi," Ramphele said.


    Ramphele articulates her program around reducing poverty, improving the education system, and also tackles corruption which, she says, has been one of the main causes of the dysfunction in the country.


    "Corruption and a culture of impunity have spread throughout government and society stealing textbooks from classrooms, stealing drugs from those living with HIV and stealing thousands of jobs and billions of rands of investment," Ramphele said.


    A few hundred people, mostly young, attended the party launch event Saturday. Some of them were brought by bus from the neigboring province, where Ramphele is from. She announced her intention to create her own political party only four months ago and many Agang supporters are disaffected ANC voters, like Coleen Loyd.

     


    "At the moment, they (the ANC) are not satisfying our youth. We are here for our youth," Lloyd said.


    Despite recent scandals, the ANC remains very popular among South Africans, largely due to the role it played to end the white minority rule known as apartheid, back in the early 1990s. The party has been ruling the country ever since, winning each election.


    Patrick Mphaphuli says he does not expect Agang to beat the ANC, but he hopes that the new competition can shake the ANC and force them to do change.


    "What I'm looking for is just to reduce the number for the ANC. And I think reducing the number will make these guys wake up to think that maybe, we must start taking the people serious," Mphaphuli said.


    The party certainly has a long way to go to beat the ANC, but Ramphele can already count on the support of South African Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who praised Ramphele for entering the South African political arena and challenging the ruling party.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora