RUMANA AKOOB found that Mamphela Ramphele’s appointment as presidential candidate for the Democratic Alliance and the Agang SA merger has been backed strongly by DA supporters around Durban.
It was in 2012 that rumours first emerged of Helen Zille courting Mamphela Ramphele to join the Democratic Alliance. Ramphele however could not be convinced. She was quoted saying she was not a joiner but a change agent. This week however, Zille revealed that the two have been in talks continuously, despite the formation of Ramphele’s Agang SA.
Unveiling Ramphele as the DA’s presidential candidate certainly caused a sensation.
And while social media has been actively discussing the DA and Agang SA merger with a range of reactions, not all of them very complimentary, in Durban, DA voters have been optimistic about the merger.
Tessa Carlyle-Mitchelle, 57, jeweller
“I believe this is a good marriage even though I was not a fan of Mamphela previously. Both Helen and Mamphela are very clever, are humanitarians and hae the people’s best interest at heart.”
David Samuel, 46, labour law consultant
“Both parties represent different groups so the merger is brilliant. Mamphela Ramphele is from the old school, she’s a woman of principle, she looks at the bigger picture and is a true freedom fighter.
I see that the new mergence will make a major impact during this general election and will might take the next election.”
Kever Zair, 29, publisher
“We need to get to know Mamphela more in KZN but the move will bring more votes to the DA.
Anna-Marie Horsefield, 58, evaluator
“The two are like sisters in arms and will give the ANC a run for their money. Its like a brand new party with Mamphela leading who knows exactly what she’s talking about.”
Zanele Ngema, 30, student
“I don’t think it was the best decision made by the DA because it shows weakness. Maybe they will become stronger as the opposition party.”
Thrubaseelan Govender, 68, retired truck driver
“I support the move so there can be a new government, its health for a country if theres a new party elected so change will happen.”
Rumana Akoob is a reporter for South Africa Votes 2014 based in Durban. Follow her on Twitter.