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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid