Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 25 APR 2014
08:12 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
South African opposition groups merge
Associated Press
Anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele speaks at a news conference in Cape Town, January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele speaks at a news conference in Cape Town, January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A+ A-

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - A former anti-apartheid activist who was close to Steve Biko and was a World Bank executive merged her party Tuesday with South Africa's main opposition party and will be its presidential candidate, challenging the ruling African National Congress whose popularity has eroded amid corruption scandals and other problems.

Mamphela Ramphele, who also is a medical doctor, had a son with activist Steve Biko, who in 1977 was tortured and died in police custody. Last year, Ramphele formed her own party to challenge the ANC, but said Tuesday the merger with the Democratic Alliance is in the country's best interests.

"Millions want to make a different choice in this election. They say is enough is enough," Ramphele said. "This is your government-in-waiting."

President Jacob Zuma and the ANC are the electoral front-runners but they have lost some support because of corruption, poverty, unemployment, police brutality and a lack of adequate government services.

Ramphele spoke in Cape Town alongside Helen Zille, the head of the Democratic Alliance and premier of the Western Cape, the only one of nine South African provinces not run by the ANC. Zille was a journalist on the now-defunct Rand Daily Mail at the time of Biko's death, and played a lead role in uncovering the circumstances of his death despite denials of wrongdoing from officials in the white racist government.

Zille said "old political formations" in South African were becoming obsolete, and that her party includes apartheid-era liberals who opposed the repressive system at the time, former members of the current ruling party and people, including Ramphele, with a background in Biko's Black Consciousness movement.

"This is a game-changing moment for South Africa," said Zille, describing the upcoming general elections as the most contested since the end of apartheid. A date for the vote to be held this year has not been set.

Many analysts expect the ANC to win the election, but with a smaller majority. The opposition is aiming to make inroads in Gauteng, a populous province and business center that is home to the capital, Pretoria, and the country's biggest city, Johannesburg. The ANC has dominated politics in South Africa since Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994 in the first all-race elections that spelled the demise of apartheid.

 
Home International
 
     
 
South Africa
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
A former anti-apartheid activist who was close to Steve Biko and was a World Bank executive merged her party Tuesday with South Africa's main opposition party and will be its presidential candidate, challenging the ruling African National Congress whose popularity has eroded amid corruption scandals and other problems.

Last year, Ramphele formed her own party to challenge the ANC, but said Tuesday the merger with the Democratic Alliance is in the country's best interests.

Zille said "old political formations" in South African were becoming obsolete, and that her party includes apartheid-era liberals who opposed the repressive system at the time, former members of the current ruling party and people, including Ramphele, with a background in Biko's Black Consciousness movement.
Related Articles
 
 
Mandela’s party faces test in South Africa
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 24, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS