The ANC has slammed Dr Mamphela Ramphele’s disclosure of her R55 million net worth as an attention-seeking stunt. Ramphele, founder of Agang SA, disclosed her net worth on Wednesday in a move aimed at fighting corruption in South African politics. She then encouraged President Jacob Zuma to do the same: “I call on President Zuma to disclose his finances immediately. What is there to hide?”
In response to Ramphele’s call, ANC National spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said, “Mamphela Ramphele’s show off stunt does not assist the poor nor the fight against corruption.” Mthembu indicated that the president does declare his net worth annually. He said all members of parliament, including the president, are bound by the law to declare their financial interests annually.
“These remarks by Dr Ramphele are not only nothing new but are clearly based on ignorance of the legal framework created and implemented by our democratic dispensation,” Mthembu said.
Ramphele’s declaration of her assets generated mixed reactions from members of the public. Abram Baloyi, commenting on an article published on News24, said Ramphele “didn’t have to flaunt her wealth, we knew she was rich as she was part of exploiting people as a board member of Goldfields which pay poor miners peanuts, sis, she talks about caring, while at the same time she is a capitalist minded monster with a smile.”
Those advocating for political transparency have hailed Ramphela for showing how transparent she is willing to go and encouraged Zuma to follow suit. A number of people feel that there is no point in Zuma declaring his assets to his parliamentary allies, away from the eyes of the public. They believe that even if his assets are declared to the secretary, corruption is still likely to occur behind closed doors.
Citipress reader, Matthew Atmore, said “Transparency is the key. Well done Mamphela Ramphele. You have earned my vote.”
One iafrica reader said, “She (Ramphele) is a perfect example of what the poor can do through some education and hard work. And stop playing politics. No point Zuma gives his financial records to the secretary of parliament which is an ANC member. She disclosed all her assets and net worth to the public, so c’mon zum zum have the balls to do the same.”
In an article published on AgangSA’s website, Ramphele said “Leaders must earn the trust of the people who vote for them by showing they do not steal public money.”