ACADEMIC Mamphela Ramphele is to reveal her political plans in Johannesburg next week, her associates said on Monday.
She is to address an event on Monday, February 18, at the symbolic Women’s Gaol at Constitution Hill.
Dr Ramphele is widely expected to kick-start a process of establishing a political party, ahead of next year’s general elections.
On Monday afternoon, a communications company was preparing to send email invitations to journalists, Business Day learnt.
Last week, addressing the Benoni Aurora Rotary Club, Dr Ramphele gave hints of what her political party would be about, when she criticised black economic empowerment as a dummy meant to appease black society.
She also announced plans to launch a "campaign" to change South Africa’s proportional representation electoral system, saying that getting rid of the party lists system should be the "first order of business" after the 2014 elections.
She said a campaign would be launched soon to get a million signatures supporting such a change. "You and I should be on a campaign — yes, you can use the word campaign — for a million signatures or more to say we can change the electoral clause," she said. "The first order of business post the 2014 elections must be to change the electoral clause, so that never ever should we be governed by people who are not accountable."
Some opposition parties, such as the United Democratic Movement, which has welcomed reports that Dr Ramphele is about to join formal politics, have called for a co-ordinated campaign to change the electoral system, to introduce a constituency-based element.
Dr Ramphele said the lack of government accountability had reached high levels, where officials were building mansions "equal to none". In an apparent criticism of President Jacob Zuma, she said corruption was rampant in South Africa, with others "running away from being found guilty".
Politicians were "a law unto themselves because you and I are not present in the process of governance", she said, adding that the African National Congress (ANC) also confused its role as a ruling party with that of the state.
Dr Ramphele said citizens were "tolerating malpractices" while the government delivered bad services in a country where there were "no consequences for failure".
She also said South Africa needed to "give up the dummy that is black economic empowerment", which was a pacifier to black people, when in fact a restructuring of the economy was required.
"Normally you shove a dummy down the throat of a child to keep him quiet," she said.
© BDlive 2013