Game Changer

01.29.14

Mamphela Ramphele to Run for South African Presidency

She joins the Democratic Alliance for the "game-changing" election.

Mamphela Ramphele, the South African businesswoman, physician, anti-apartheid activist, and political agitator can now add presidential nominee to her list of titles. The Democratic Alliance has named Ramphele as their candidate against incumbent Jacon Zuma. Ramphele is the former partner of black consciousness leader Steve Biko, who was murdered by police forces during the apartheid struggle. If elected, Ramphele could become South Africa's first female leader. But first she must gear up for what The Guardian called "the most fiercely contested election in two decades of democracy." Ramphele joined the DA after her own party, Agang SA, lacked support. She is DA's first black presidential nominee, a racially inclusive move analysts say is much needed to support the party's growing popularity. Although some of Ramphele's supporters question her realignment, others champion her run for removing the "race question" from the election. Either way, as longtime supporter Helen Zille said in a press conference this morning, Ramphele's candidacy is "a game-changing moment for South Africa."