Ramphele defends her move

Mamphela Ramphele has dismissed claims that AgangSA staff weren't informed of the merger with the DA.

Mamphela Ramphele. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele has dismissed claims that some members weren't consulted on the decision to join forces with the Democratic Alliance (DA), saying it was an open discussion in the party.

The academic turned politician launched AgangSA just 10 months ago.

But yesterday, it was announced she will stand as the DA's choice for the top job in government.

Eyewitness News understands that staff members in Johannesburg were only informed about Ramphele's decision to merge with the main opposition yesterday.

But she says the merger was discussed and agreed upon by all her colleagues in AgangSA.

"My colleagues in Agang have confirmed. We have had a discussion and I will continue to have discussions with all the structures."

Watch the DA announcing Ramphele's decision to stand:


Meanwhile, politicians and analysts are this morning weighing in on the impact of the merger.

A joint technical team will be working on the details of merging the two political groupings.

Several analysts and politicians say it's clear Ramphele didn't do as well as she thought she would when she launched her own party and that's why she decided to join forces with the DA.

Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota says he is worried about the formation of what he calls a 'second centre'.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder says the merger could favour other parties to some extent.

"I am afraid some of Ramphele's supporters will not go with her to the DA and that might be a problem in a certain sense, but they are also now up for grabs and that might favour some of the smaller parties like Cope."

The Inkatha Freedom Party's Sibongile Nkomo says Ramphele has learnt it's not easy to launch a new party.

"The lack of structures and the enormity of the task is what has finally driven Dr Ramphele's decision to merge with the DA."

Political analyst Harald Pakendorf doesn't think voters will necessarily favour the merger.

"The departure point is that Agang will no longer take the DA's votes."

The ANC has dismissed the merger, calling Agang a stillborn party.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said yesterday that the DA's decision to elect Ramphele as its presidential candidate is a "rent-a-black" strategy.

"It's a report of another stillborn party - dead before it was born - called Agang. It is dead now."

He added it was just a ploy by the DA to appear racially diverse.

Watch Mantashe commenting on Ramphele's nomination: