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The resignation of iconic South African political stalwart Dr Mamphela Ramphele as chairperson of gold miner Gold Fields has raised recent media speculation that she plans on forming her own political party.

Ramphele said in a statement that the resignation comes as a result of her commitment to further her socioeconomic and political work, adding that she had stepped down from most of her private sector directorships and would relinquish all other remaining private sector directorships to focus on these commitments.

The announcement follows recent comments she made at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, held in Cape Town earlier in February, where she pointed out that South Africa‘s mining industry needed a fresh, new model.

The board and management of Gold Fields thanked her for her significant contribution to the company and her leadership of the board. Ramphele said she was pleased that during her tenure at Gold Fields, significant progress had been made in entrenching the sustainability of the company worldwide.

“I also believe that the separate listing and unbundling of the companys KDC and Beatrix mines into Sibanye Gold will provide the South African operations with dedicated and focused management, as well as full control over their cash flows to extend their life-of-mine in a sustainable manner to the benefit of investors, employees and communities,” she added.

Ramphele is expected to release a statement on her political plans next week. She will be succeeded by former South African Airways CEO and non-executive Gold Fields director Cheryl Carolus.

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