Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
AgangSA’s newly-proclaimed leaders yesterday said they would “take action” to find out how their former leader Mamphela Ramphele spent R30-million she received as donations.
Ramphele founded the party last year, won just under 53,000 votes in the May 7 election, but quit the party on July 8. This led to other resignations on Friday, said the financially troubled party’s former spokesman Philip Machanick.
Its two MPs Mike Tshishoga and Andries Tlouamma yesterday dismissed the resignations as insignificant.
Tshishoga is the party’s interim president and said they planned to uncover how Ramphele spent the R30-million.
“We are going to investigate that. Where did it go to? We didn’t see it. We campaigned (before elections) and used our own money,” said Tshishoga.
Machanik confirmed Ramphele “raised R30-million in cash donations based purely on her own good name”. He also alleged that Tshishoga’s faction “appear to have access to unlimited funds from an unknown source”.
“It remains to be seen whether those financial resources will be employed to honour AgangSA’s obligations to its long-suffering creditors,” he said.
It was reported earlier this month that AgangSA has R12-million debt. Tshishoga could not confirm how they would pay the debt but dismissed Machanik’s claims.
“That’s insanity. We don’t have unlimited funds. From where? It’s rumour,” he said.
Tlouamma said Friday’s resignations were by party members who were loyal to Ramphele, “but had no support”.
“She appointed them. They lost and chose to resign. We don’t have a problem with that. But usually if you lose, you don’t resign. You are supposed to sit with us and you don’t run away,” he said.
Machanik also claimed AgangSA was “dead”, but Tlouamma retorted: “We are alive. We still have representatives in Parliament”.
Tshishoga added: “When we joined this party, we didn’t join because of another human being. If they are saying the party is dead because Ramphela is not the leader then they did not get the right message. It is foolish to drop out.
“There was a value that we aspired to. Those values still exist. The public still hopes that there will be a party that will do something about corruption which has become a culture in our country.”
Ramphele’s supporters are meanwhile encouraging other members to also resign. Machanik issued a statement from this faction on Friday.
It was sent out to “encourage likeminded members of the party to also resign and join us in a new civic initiative details of which will be announced in due course.”