Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ramphele's Scathing Attack on Zuma

At the launch of Agang, Mamphela Ramphele has promised to reverse the damage done by the ANC government if her party wins the 2014 general elections.

Agang SA’s leader Mamphela Ramphele launched a scathing attack on President Jacob Zuma on Saturday for failing to provide leadership and accused him of using millions of taxpayers’ money to upgrade his homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, while many people are still trapped in poverty.
Delivering her inaugural speech at the launch of her new political party in front of an estimated 5 000 supporters at the Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria, Ramphele said Zuma has allowed corruption and the culture of impunity to spread throughout government and society
“The arrogance is breathtaking; to steal, to act with such brazen impunity and to abuse the resources of the state for the enrichment of a party, themselves and their friends. The arms deal, Nkandla, the Guptas, the list of these abuses goes on and on. These are not the leaders our country deserves,” said Ramphele to loud cheers and applause.
“Accountability begins with the president. We deserve to have a president who knows that it is wrong to steal money meant for RDP to build himself a R206 [million] palace. Increasing accountability must go hand in hand with a war on corruption and waste.”
Ramphele said she was forced to become active in politics at the age of 65 because she did not like the direction that the country was taking.
“After nearly 20 years, the country’s leaders have failed to deliver on the promise of freedom that so many of my generation fought and died for. I say that 20 years is too long wait for jobs, 20 years is too long to wait for quality education, 20 years is too long to wait for healthcare, 20 years is too long to still have millions living in poverty. Our future is at stake. We must act now,” said Ramphele.
As Ramphele continued to launch an offensive against government and the ANC, thousands of animated Agang supporters, mostly young people, interjected her speech, chanting: “Enough is Enough! Enough is Enough! Enough is Enough!”
Promise to restore the damage

Ramphele promised to restore the damage done by the ANC government if her party won the general elections next year.
“The time has come to lift our gaze and aim higher, to raise standards across the whole of our society. To finally bring true freedom for all. Our country has reached a crossroads and I for one do not want to think about where we will be in five years unless we change course,” said Ramphele.
“Imagine five more years of corruption. Imagine five more years young people being lost from the education system and the economy; five more years of non-functioning hospitals and clinics; imagine five more years of living in fear of crime."
At a press conference shortly after Ramphele’s speech, head of politics at Agang SA Mills Soko told journalists that the party would launch its manifesto in November.
Soko said the party was fine-tuning its draft policies ahead of their manifesto launch in November.
The party would also elect new leaders at a national elective conference later this year.
DA's reaction

Ramphele reiterated her call that the country’s electoral system must change from the current proportional to a constituency-based electoral system.
On Saturday, the Democratic Alliance said it welcomed the launch of Ramphele’s party but warned against splitting the electoral vote to the point where opposition politics became ineffective.
“A weak and divided opposition will not benefit or improve the lives of our people. What South Africa needs is a strong and growing alternative which can govern well and deliver opportunities for all South Africans,” said the party’s national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane.

Mandela Ambulance Broke Down

Former president Nelson Mandelawas forced to wait 40 minutes in an ambulance which had broken down on the side of the highway on the night he was hospitalised, CBS News has reported. 

Mandela, 94, was hospitalised on 8 June to treat a recurring lung infection.

The presidency confirmed the incident but said Mandela's health was not compromised and that his doctors were satisfied the former president suffered no harm.

CBS News correspondent Debora Patta also quoted sources as saying that the former president’s liver and kidneys are functioning at 50%. Mandela also apparently had to have a procedure to repair a bleeding ulcer and another to insert a tube. 

“We also understand that Mandela family members are discussing just how much medical intervention is enough for an old and very sick man,” CBS News stated.

On Thursday, Madiba’s grandson, Ndaba Mandela, said his grandfather was looking well and was expected to be going home soon. Former president Thabo Mbeki was also quoted as saying that Mandela’s health was improving.

Update on former President Nelson Mandela’s health

22 June 2013
Former President Nelson Mandela remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

The former president was admitted to hospital on the 8th of June. The Presidency thanks the public for support and for respecting the privacy of the former president and his family. 

We confirm the media reports that the military ambulance transporting Madiba had an engine problem on the 8th and that the doctors are satisfied that the former president suffered no harm during this period.

The fully equipped military ICU ambulance had a full complement of specialist medical staff including intensive care specialists and ICU nurses. The convoy also included two quick response vehicles.

When the ambulance experienced engine problems it was decided that it would be best to transfer to another military ambulance which itself was accompanied for the rest of the journey by a civilian ambulance.

All care was taken to ensure that the former president Mandela's medical condition was not compromised by the unforeseen incident. 

We appeal again that his privacy be respected and that he be accorded the doctor-patient confidentiality that all patients are entitled to in terms of medical ethics.

We thank the media for cooperation during this period.

Enquiries: Mac Maharaj on +27 79 879 3203 / Mac

Issued by: The Presidency