"... rent-a-black, rent-a-leader. We can't be concerned about that".
Comment: Just a day after the announcement that Dr. Ramphele is to stand as the Democratic Alliance's (DA) presidential candidate the fallout is already apparent.
Word is that senior black leaders in the DA are not happy about her appointment.
Agang leaders have also criticized Ramphele for jumping ship so to speak without any meaningful consultation: at least one of those leaders has said that the party will seek new leadership to contest the upcoming elections. Other Agang members have expressed anger over the situation.
Mamphela Ramphele and Helen Zille share a moment.
(Picture Credit: Nardus Engelbrecht)
I read yesterday about an Agang member expressing concern and confusion about Ramphele's decision. The woman asked the reporter:
"Is Agang no more, or are we leasing Dr Mamphela for elections? What happens to the office bearers of Agang?"
In effect, the young woman was saying somewhat of the same thing that Mr Mantashe is saying.
Some folks will take exception to his racialized terms but it is not too far from the exact truth.
With her decision to jump ship from her own party - one that was failing to get off the ground and for all intents and purposes is dead broke - Ramphele has proven that she can be bought.
And all her bellowing about moving beyond race is just unprincipled noise. She has made at least R50 million from BEE schemes and is one of the biggest recipients of black empowerment policies.
If she is so against BEE why not give the money back or better yet - give it to the poor no matter what color they may be.
Don't hold your breath.
Since her days alongside Steve Biko, Ramphele has made a great living selling out every principle she claims in moments of selfish expediency.
So Mantashe called this additional moment of selling-out just right: Ramphele can be bought, rented and leased for the right price at the right moment.
Mantashe Image Credit