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New South African political party launches

June 22, 2013 at 12:27 PM   |   Comments

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 22 (UPI) -- A new political party was launched in South Africa Saturday as part of an effort to end the 19-year rule of President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress.

The party, called Agang, which means Build in the Sepedi language, is led by Mamphela Ramphele, a former World Bank managing director who was romantically involved with slain anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, the BBC reported.

Ramphele said Saturday Agang will work to create more jobs and hold leaders accountable.

"Corruption, nepotism and patronage have become the hallmarks of the conduct of many in public service," Ramphele said.

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu welcomed Ramphele's entrance into politics.

"Few thinking South Africans would not welcome the entry into South African politics of someone of the caliber, background, intellect and resourcefulness of Mamphela Ramphele," Tutu said.

When Agang was first announced this year, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the ruling party believed Ramphele was "grievance-driven" and had not offered any real solutions to South Africa's problems.

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