A veteran of the struggle against apartheid starts a political party
“WE ARE not here to occupy a space that is already occupied,” says Dr Mamphela Ramphele, a day after launching Agang (meaning “to build” in the language of the Sotho), a political party that will contest South Africa’s next elections. Dr Ramphele is admired as a heroine of the fight against apartheid and is the former lover of Steve Biko, leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, who was murdered in police detention in 1977.
That history, allied to a sharp intellect, countless accomplishments in health care and academia, plus a stint as a director of the World Bank, makes her a credible opponent to the ruling African National Congress (ANC). But there are doubts that a party starting from scratch can make much of an impression at polls that are a little more than a year away.