Academic Mamphela Ramphele on Thursday gave hints of what her political party would be about, when she criticised black economic empowerment as a dummy meant to appease black society.
She also announced plans to launch a "campaign" for South Africa’s proportional representation electoral system to be changed
Dr Ramphele was addressing the Benoni Aurora Rotary Club, as speculation intensifies that she will launch her own political party.
› Ramphele wants voet system changed
› Medical marijuana to boost for US unions?
She said that getting rid of the party lists system should be the "first order of business" after next year’s general elections.
A campaign would be launched soon to get a million signatures supporting a change from the current electoral system based on party lists. That had to be the main agenda.
"You and I should be on a campaign, yes, you can use the word campaign, for a million signatures or more to say we can change the electoral clause. The first order of business post the 2014 elections must be to change the electoral clause, so that never ever should we be governed by people who are not accountable," she said.
"You will soon be asked to sign," said Dr Ramphele, answering a question from the audience over how this campaign could be started.
Some opposition parties, such as the United Democratic Movement, which has welcomed reports that Dr Ramphele is about to join formal politics, have called for a co-ordinated campaign to change the electoral system, to introduce a constituency-based element.
Dr Ramphele said the lack of accountability had reached high levels, where officials were building mansions "equal to none". In apparent criticism of President Jacob Zuma, she said corruption was rampant in South Africa, with others "running away from being found guilty".
Politicians were "a law unto themselves because you and I are not present in the process of governance". The African National Congress (ANC) also confused its role as a ruling party with that of the state, with Luthuli House officials seeing themselves as the people who ran the state.
She was particularly critical of ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who recently led the ANC’s charge against First National Bank for an advertising campaign the party regarded as offensive. She said the ANC "has become the country", as the party claimed to be offended, saying the adverts were offensive to the country. "Mr Mantashe is the man ultimately governing the country," she said.
Asked for comment on Thursday, Mr Mantashe said Dr Ramphele had no deep understanding of the party-political system, and a superficial understanding of politics.
"She is an educationist, she will not know that. We have a party-political system. The system itself is conflated, it will take her longer to understand that, maybe she will when she runs a municipality or a province, maybe as president as she dreams," he said.
In her speech, Dr Ramphele said citizens were "tolerating malpractices" while the government delivered bad services in a country where there were "no consequences for failure".
She also said South Africa needed to "give up the dummy that is black economic empowerment" - which was a pacifier to black people, when in fact a restructuring of the economy was required.
"Normally you shove a dummy down the throat of a child to keep him quiet," she said.