Foreign influence in DA-Agang merger worries ANC

Ramphele becomes DA presidential candidate

The Democratic Alliance announced that Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele will be the DAs presidential candidate in upcoming general elections.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC on Tuesday said it was worrying that the DA and Agang SA merger was spurred on by an international donor.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said it seemed as if the parties had bowed to the pressure of donors in order to get financial backing.

"What is most worrying for the ANC is the public admission by the leaders of the two parties that these foreign elements, using their financial resources as leverage, are able to dictate to them how they should structure their organisation, who should lead them, who they should fight with and of necessity, we must assume, what policies they should pursue," said Mthembu.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said many donors had called for a merger between her party and Agang SA.

"We have many, many donors, many individuals and many voters who wanted this," Zille said on Tuesday.

"Many wanted to know why we don&39;t get together with [Agang SA leader Mamphela] Ramphele... they [donors] were asking why we were different parties."

She said the donors had wanted a strong opposition party to defeat the ANC in the upcoming general elections.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702, Zille said the only reason she wanted the merger was to change the perceptions of South Africans.

"The bottom line was that I wanted to do this merger because I thought Mamphela Ramphele as our presidential candidate would... destroy perceptions once and for all that the DA would bring back apartheid if we came to power," she said.

The ANC hoped that the international influence seen in this incident was not a reflection of how matters were handled by the parties.

Last Tuesday the DA announced Ramphele would be its presidential candidate for the elections.

Confusion arose on Friday when Ramphele said she had not agreed to become a DA member.

On Sunday evening the DA said Ramphele had backtracked on their agreement.