Time for people to govern - Ramphele

Mamphela Ramphele says she will be the bridge between the old and new generation.

Activist and academic Mamphela Ramphele is seen at the launch of a new party political platform on Monday, 18 February 2013. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's ruling party abused the state to remain in power, academic and political activist Mamphela Ramphele said on Monday.

She made the comments shortly after she announced plans to contest the 2014 general elections.

After weeks of speculation, Ramphele on Monday confirmed her entry into politics by unveiling a new "party political platform" at Johannesburg's Constitution Hill.

She explained that she launched the platform as her party was still consulting and preparing.

The initiative is called Agang - which means "to build".

Ramphele's emotive speech took the audience back to the early days of South Africa's democracy, "a dream which she believed had faded".

She said the country needed a humane and caring public service.

"I will be the bridge between my generation that fought for freedom and the generation of my children."

The academic also spoke about corruption, the state of the country's education system and foreign policy.

Ramphele said it was time for the people to govern.

"How can we build a country united in our diversity if we do not put the country first in our souls and in our hearts?"

She also swept aside rumours that a deal with the Democratic Alliance (DA) broke down.