Agang: South Africa launches new political party to challenge ANC


Anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele, speaks to the press on June 6, 2013 in Johannesburg. Ramphele is launching an opposition party which will challenge the ANC in next year's elections.



A new political party called Agang was launched on Saturday in South Africa to challenge President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC).

Agang, Sesotho for "let us build," is led by Mamphela Ramphele and has made tackling corruption and improving education two of its main goals.

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Ramphele, a former World Bank managing director and the partner of murdered anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, told supporters in Pretoria the ANC could not be trusted to run the economy of the country.

The new party will contest South Africa's 2014 elections, and Ramphele has said millions are still living in the country like forgotten citizens. She also referred to South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994 and the optimism that they brought.

"We remember the outpouring of hope and joy at the release of Nelson Mandela, fist raised in defiance," she said.

The party leader urged voters to back Agang, calling the ANC corrupt and ineffective.

"Corruption and a culture of impunity have spread throughout government and society, it steals textbooks from classrooms, it steals drugs from those living with HIV, it steals thousands of jobs and billions of rands of investment," she said, waving her fist as she made each point.

"This is not the legacy our great leaders had in mind. This is not the country dreamed of by our beloved Madiba [Mandela], by Steve Biko."

Before Saturday's launch, retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu described Ramphele as a brave and principled leader.

"Few thinking South Africans would not welcome the entry into South African politics of someone of the caliber, background, intellect and resourcefulness of Mamphela Ramphele," he said in a statement.