At around midday today #Ramphele was trending at number one on Twitter for South Africa and #Agang was at number two. Agang is the name of the new “party political platform” launched by Ramphele and means “build South Africa” in English.
The announcement came after much media and public speculation on Ramphele’s political intentions after she kept South Africa in suspense for months.
Ramphele said the focus for Agang is on “rekindling hope that building the country of our dreams is possible in our lifetime,” because “our country is at risk because self-intent has become the driver of many of those in positions of authority who should be focussed on serving the public”.
At the time of writing, the Facebook page called Agang SA had reached 1,381 likes and the Twitter handle @AgangSA had already achieved 4,356 followers. Likes and followers continue to pour in.
Many South Africans have welcomed the launch of the political platform while others are asking what a political platform actually means. Some are concerned that if the platform becomes a party it may split the opposition vote, which is currently led mostly by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The DA though has welcomed Ramphele’s entry into politics calling it an “important step in [the] realignment of politics”. Furthermore, Ramphele confirmed at a press conference following the announcement that she would be contesting the 2014 elections.
The African National Congress (ANC), the party Ramphele’s Agang is setting up to challenge, has not reacted as yet, but ANC Secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s wry response to the Mail & Guardian more than a week ago indicated that the ANC were not overly concerned.