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Ramphele is DA's presidential candidate

Helen Zille has announced Mamphela Ramphele as the party's presidential candidate.

Mamphela Ramphele addresses the media during the press announcement that she will be the DA's presidential candidate in the 2014 elections on 28 January 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has announced that Mamphela Ramphele will run as the party's presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections.

"It is with very great pleasure and excitement that I can announce today that Dr Mamphela Ramphela has accepted the DA's invitation to stand as our presidential candidate in the 2014 general election," said Zille.

"We have come a long way together and it will be the end of one journey and the start of many others."

Zille said a joint technical committee will be established between both parties to manage the integration of Agang SA and its structures and volunteers.

She referred to the appointment as a "game changing moment for South Africa".

Zille said the parties have been involved in talks about joining forces for a very long time.

"I know Mamphela as a principled, fiercely determined person who loves her country very deeply and devotes her life to the cause of making our democracy work. I can think of no better person to be our presidential candidate in this crucial tipping point election."

Ramphele said she was honoured to accept the DA's invitation and she believes the decision is in the best interests of South Africa.

"The death of Nelson Mandela has changed many things. For South Africa it's a new era. It has caused us to reflect on our journey over the last 20 years on the progress we have made and the opportunities utilised and lost."

She said instead of dwelling on the shortcomings of the ANC, she wanted to talk about the future of the country.

"This isn't the time to talk about the ANC, the stolen money, the broken promises, the sliding rand, the lost jobs, the corruption, filthy hospitals, schools with no books and streets, homes and places of work that remain unsafe. We want to rather talk about tomorrow, the day that we begin anew to refresh the promise of 1994."

She referred to the DA as "the government in waiting".

"We are the representatives of millions of South Africans who believe in the promise and potential of a multi-party democracy in a state that respects all people and works to deliver public services to all in need."

She said influential people in the ANC as well as business leaders have reached out to them but are nervous.

Ramphele said the partnership would not lead South Africa on a path of conflict but on a path of commitment.

"Millions want to make a different choice in this election. They say enough is enough. Together we are greater than the sum of the parts."

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