• Alexander joe/AFP via Getty

    Game Changer

    Ramphele To Run in S. Africa

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



    You Can Visit a ‘Walk-In Vagina’

    ‘Empowering’ art installation in South African women’s jail.

    Always wondered what it looked like as you were born? Now you can relive your actual birth day at an art exhibit in a Johannesburg apartheid-era women’s prison. The “walk-in vagina” is made of almost 40 feet of red velvet and cotton, with black wool mimicking pubic hair around the opening. Shrill screams and cackling laughter echo within the space. Artist Reshma Chhiba says it represents an “empowering” statement for women: “It’s a screaming vagina within a space that once contained women and stifled women. It’s revolting against this space ... mocking this space, by laughing at it.” Needless to say, some people aren’t so open-minded about it.

  • Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, Leader, Agang and Charlie Rose, Executive Editor and Anchor, Charlie Rose; Anchor, CBS This Morning on 'South Africa's New Power Player'. (Marc Bryan-Brown)


    Giving South Africa a Push

    Mamphela Ramphele tries to finish the work Nelson Mandela started. By Eleanor Clift.

    Explaining why she has founded a new political party in South Africa to challenge the African National Congress, the party of Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele said: “A woman is raped every 34 seconds in South Africa, including my granddaughter. Every day children go to school and there are no textbooks, and the teachers are absent.”

  • Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty

    Dream Deferred

    South African Activist Forms New Party

    Says “rainbow nation” is dying at hands of ANC.

    South African anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele formed a new political party on Monday, claiming that the dream of a “rainbow nation” is dying under the ruling African National Congress. After reminiscing about the hope and optimism that surrounded the first all-race elections in 1994, Ramphele charged that South Africa is being “undermined” by a “massive failure of governance.” Ramphele, 68, is a doctor and former World Bank managing director who served seven years under house arrest during apartheid.

    Read it at Reuters
  • Hundreds of mourners gather for the funeral of 17-year-old Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp, South Africa, on Feb. 9, 2013. (Landov)

    Women in the World

    South Africa Rallies Against Gang Rape

    The brutal rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl has shaken the country’s consciousness—and inspired South Africans to share their own stories of sexual violence.

    Eight days ago, in a crime that shocked South Africa, 17-year-old Anene Booysen was brutally gang-raped. Her throat was slit; her fingers and legs shattered. The attackers had stuck a broken glass bottle inside her body and left her for dead on a construction site in the small, quiet Western Cape town of Bredasdorp, about 120 miles from Cape Town. A security guard found her near lifeless body. She identified and named at least one of the alleged rapists, but died soon thereafter.

    South Africa, a deeply wounded nation that still grapples with the scars of a violent apartheid past, has been jolted to its core by the gratuitous act of violence visited upon this young woman.  Booysen’s case has also shattered the silence around the country’s rape crisis, which seldom gets the national attention it deserves.