News / Africa

Famed S. African Activist to Run for President

Former South African anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele speaks to reporters at the East London airport in Eastern Cape, South Africa, after arriving to attend the late former South African President Nelson Mandela's funeral, Saturday, December 14.
Former South African anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele speaks to reporters at the East London airport in Eastern Cape, South Africa, after arriving to attend the late former South African President Nelson Mandela's funeral, Saturday, December 14.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
South Africa’s main opposition party – the Democratic Alliance – will run a black woman as its presidential candidate. Elections are expected in April, but President Jacob Zuma has not set a date yet.

The DA has chosen Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, former companion of the late activist Steve Biko. She is also a former World Bank managing director and University of Cape Town vice-chancellor.

Independent South African analyst Delia Robertson said, “Mamphela Ramphele is a longtime political activist. She was a member of the African National Congress. She’s a medical doctor. She was involved in politics at a very young age during the apartheid years…and that is how she met Steve Biko, who was murdered by the police during his detention without trial many years ago.”

The couple had two sons together, but never married.

Ramphele had formed her own political party, Agang, just last year. However, she’s now joined the DA.

“Opposition politics in this country is a very difficult space to be in, mostly because of funding limitations,” said Robertson, adding that “Helen Zille, the leader of the Democratic Alliance, realized that she had an opportunity to get somebody of Ms. Ramphele’s caliber.”

Robertson said that Ramphele is a “good addition” to the DA. The party has its roots in opposition politics during apartheid. When the former ruling National Party folded, many of its members joined the DA giving it a boost in both parliament and credibility. The DA controls the Western Province and Cape Town and hopes to make strong inroads this year in the Johannesburg/Pretoria area. But the Democratic Alliance remains a party with mainly white leadership.

“They’re getting more and moreblack members,” said Robertson, “They have expended into the black community, but not enough. It’s 20 years since the end of apartheid. And for a party to be so top heavy in white leadership at this stage of our democracy is hard to justify morally, I think, for many potential voters…So getting somebody of Dr. Ramphele’s caliber is going to be important for them.”

Robertson said that President Zuma could set a presidential election date on or near April 27th, which would mark the 20th anniversary of the country’s first democratic, multi-racial elections.

To hear the full interview click on the link below.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
January 28, 2014 9:30 PM
ANC have been free reign over majority people of South Africa for the past 20 years with poor results.
Dr. Mamphela Ramphele is a woman, celebrated anti-apartheid activist, a medical doctor, administrator, academic and capable to become a head of state. Now the people of South Africa need true change and they should entrust Dr. Ramphele to deliver that long-awaited CHANGE!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid