The ANC has dominated politics in South Africa since the fall of Apartheid; and now, a bright new future for the South African opposition has come and gone with breath taking speed.
Today was supposed to be the day two opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and Agang SA embarked on their joint campaign, called ‘Together for Change’. Just last week the two party leaders, Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Helen Zille, announced a merger that sent a shiver of excitement throughout the nation.
But yesterday the excitement turned to dismay as these two old friends announced the deal was off. The move not only raises questions about the health of South African democracy but about the future of these two formidable women who head the parties.
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour spoke to the head of Agang SA and to the DA’s parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko. Both parties admit they have made mistakes, and they agree that the only winner right now is the ANC.
Amanpour spoke first to Dr Ramphele, an anti-apartheid activist, successful businesswoman, former World Bank official and partner of the late freedom fighter Steve Biko. Dr Ramphele says she “takes blame” for not coming to an agreement, but that “leaders have to listen to their members” and that she “cannot bind Agang to a merger with the DA without consulting with the national leadership council.”
As for the DA, Mazibuko told Amanpour her party is “very bruised” by the fall out, and that they will “not pursue negotiations with Agang again”.
Click above to watch both interviews.