Agang vows to 'modernise' SA electioneering

Mamphela Ramphela confirms her party will be advised by American strategic consultants.

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JOHANNESBURG - Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele has confirmed that her party is being advised by the same American strategy group as US President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

In an interview with Talk Radio 702's John Robbie on Monday morning, Ramphele said, "We have had the benefit of being advised by the same firm that advised President Obama for his two successful campaigns."

The Benenson Strategy Group will assist Agang SA in engaging with voters on social media and other modern platforms.

She explained that the lack of credible consultants reveals a view that South Africans are "different from all other people in the world in terms of their ability to use social media" and that this showed "a lack of self-confidence".

"We believe that South African people are ready."

She said the firm will "really help us modernise South Africa's electioneering approach."

Ramphele also responded to claims that UDM leader Bantu Holomisa had "rubbished" the possibility of his party forming a coalition with Agang SA before the 2014 general elections.

"I don't know what you are referring to when you say he is rubbishing the talks."

She said that her party is considering a number of options but did not reveal any names.

"We are in discussions with different political formations to see those who share our visions and our approaches; who put the country first and the citizens first.

"We will make announcements as and when we conclude discussions with anyone."

Referring to the announcement by The Presidency that former President Nelson Mandela is now in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital, where he has been for over two weeks, Ramphele said it was "a grave concern because I love him dearly."

"We have to pray for his comfort and we must keep his family in our prayers."

Ramphele officially launched Agang SA on Saturday in Pretoria.

The widow of Black Consciousness founder Steve Biko said that around 5,000 people attended the event but a number of buses did not make it.