Ex-Gold Fields chair launches challenge to South Africa’s ruling ANC

First Lady Michelle Obama meets with Dr. Mamphela Ramphele at the University of Cape Town on June 23, 2011.

Ex-chair of South Africa’s Gold Fields (JSE, NYSE: GFI) Mamphela Ramphele, on Monday announced the formation of a new party political platform to contest general elections set for 2014.

After many years in business and academia – including as board member of  Anglo American and a stint at the World Bank – Ramphele’s focus on politics could pose a serious challenge to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

At the launch of Agang SA – meaning “build South Africa” in the local Sesotho language – she decried the rampant the corruption, nepotism and poor governance that has befallen South Africa almost two decades after the end of apartheid.

The number one priority of the new movement would be electoral reform to improve accountability in the political system Ramphele said.

Ramphele, 65, was the partner of prominent anti-apartheid activist leader Steve Biko, killed in 1977 while in police custody, and had two children with him before being placed under house arrest for seven years.

She holds among others a medical degree, a bachelor of commerce and a PhD in social anthropology and was the first black woman to become vice-chancellor of the Cape Town University.

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