'DA, Agang is no game changer'

Professor Steven Friedman says the merger between the two parties is not a game changer.

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 - A political analyst says the Democratic Alliance (DA) announcement on Tuesday morning that AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele would be their presidential candidate won't have a significant impact on South African politics.

DA leader Helen Zille earlier announced that Ramphele had agreed to be their presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections.

Professor Steven Friedman told the Midday Report that the merger between the two parties was not a game changer.

"The game changer idea is based on some very fancy assumptions, quite frankly. First of all, I'm intrigued to know who these voters are, who are changing their votes because a 95-year-old man who hasn't been active in politics for 16 years, passed away. I certainly haven't encountered any of them so I'm not sure what this magic moment is."

He believes the DA is hoping to benefit from the perception that President Jacob Zuma is no longer popular among the masses.

"I think what they're not saying in public is that the opportunity they see has nothing to do with the passing of Mandela and everything to do with the widespread perception that Zuma is not popular."

He says the voting decision is influenced by race.

"The thinking is if once you put a prominent black person against Zuma, then she will look very good next to Zuma and that will persuade a section of the ANC electorate to change their vote. I just don't think that's going to happen."

Meanwhile, some voters took to social networks to voice their opinions following the announcement.

If Helen can make nice with Julius next then we can have the DA EFFing GANG.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend #AgangDA #Election2014