Ramphele explains disclosure

Ramphele said her disclosure wasn’t about money, but about transparency and accountability.

FILE: Mamphela Ramphele is still not giving anything away about a new political party. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Agang SA Leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele said she's not surprised by the reaction from the nation about her disclosing her net worth.

Ramphele spoke to Talk at 9 about the purpose of disclosing her R55 million net worth.

"South Africa doesn't have a culture of holding those in political office accountable and asking them what they own, so Agang has a new political culture."

Ramphele said her disclosure wasn't about money, but about transparency and accountability.

"We have corruption tilling the democracy of South Africa and impoverishing millions of people. We must ask those in office to disclose their financial standing, so that when they make decisions they are not based on private agendas."

The Agang leader also said that family members of those in power should avoid using their surnames to do business with the government.

"How can we have a president who has his private residence built at taxpayers expense? These are issues this disclosure is raising."

Meanwhile, in 2011, Forbes magazine listed her as one of Africa's nine richest women. The magazine estimated her wealth to be R500 million.

Asked about the Forbes article, Ramphele said, "that has no basis" because her disclosure was audited and open to scrutiny.

Agang spokesperson Thabo Leshilo could not explain why the discrepancy wasn't challenged by Ramphele two years ago when it was first published, but Forbes Africa editor Chris Bishop said the magazine stood by its list.