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Jonathan Ball

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Tim Cohen Examines Mamphela Ramphele’s Possible Entry Into Party Politics

A Piece of the PieTim Cohen, author of A Piece of the Pie: The Battle Over Nationalisation has written an opinion piece for Business Day in which he looks at Mamphela Ramphele’s pedigree as a politician. With rumours of her possible entry into politics circulating in the media, Cohen assesses what kind of party leader she would make.

Cohen says that what makes her a strong contender is her intellectualism, which would fill the void that the ANC has left. At the same time he says that Ramphele has “a whiff of the scolding schoolteacher about her”, which would not make cohesive party politics. Cohen concludes that “she and her party might do pretty well”, if she does venture into politics:

Doctor (in both senses), professor, officer of the Legion of Honour, board member extraordinaire, general person about town and all-round protector of the faith, Mamphela Ramphele is a fantastic personality and a credit to South African cultural and political life. But will she be a great politician?

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