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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid