AGANGSA STEALS MARCH ON EFF
By: Takudzwa Makoni
For a change, the African National Congress (ANC) is not the political party garnering headlines.
AgangSA and the Economic Freedom Fighters have taken more than their share of column inches in recent months. Both parties are geared to capture the disenfranchised and disillusioned ‘black vote’ which may be seeking an alternative to the ruling African National Congress party.
AgangSA is founded by Mamphele Ramphele, whose struggle credentials lend an air of gravitas to her party. Ramphele’s impeccable resume dovetails with her parties stated goal of better service delivery, constitutional consistency and the separation of powers.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, founded by the infamous former ANC youth leader Julius Malema, advocates urgent economic re-administration, and the redistribution of the means of production.
Malema’s constituency has largely been seen to be the economically disenfranchised youth, and the perennially dissatisfied, promising among other things, the seizure without compensation of minority-owned land, and state ownership and administration of mining rights.
“This is our land and we are reclaiming it,” Malema has gone on record as saying. Ramphele on the other hand, has hitched her political wagon to the precepts of good governance and accountability, and it is apparent that her largest constituency seems to exist in the ever-growing and ever more vocal black middle class.
“It is time to build functional education systems, clinics, police stations and provide basic services for people,” Ramphele said in an address in Hammanskraal, according to the Independant Online.
Strange bedfellows it seems, yet AgangSA have issued a press release claiming that over 200 former members of the EFF have defected to AgangSA. According to the press release, a former EFF Gauteng organiser and a former EFF coordinator are among the defectors.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations analyst John Campbell, Ramphele is serious and highly credentialed- medical doctor, former University of Cape-town vice chancellor and mother of Steve Biko’s children.She represents, Campbell continues, a credible, democratic alternative to the ANC, and this perhaps is best highlighted when contrasted with Julius Malema’s alleged corruption and lack of discipline.
As jostling for position ahead of the upcoming elections begins, Mamphele seems to have stolen an early march on her erstwhile young rival.