Johannesburg - Outspoken former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza says the problem in the governing party is that its leaders are not principled.
She was speaking at the founder's conference of her new party, African Democratic Change, in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Friday.
"When they have to take a courageous stand on an issue affecting the nation, they distance themselves," she said.
The ball is now in our court. We have to unite the country.
Khoza also identified greed and materialism as problems in the party, saying that they "manifest into social chronic ills such as corruption, and a sense of entitlement".
Honesty a top priority
She said her party would avoid repeating such mistakes, telling the audience it would lead with honesty. It was impossible to build an organisation while standing on an immoral platform, she added.
"[Our party] is not about numbers. Yes, we want to win the elections, but we want to win on a moral and ethical platform."
The party is seemingly made up of disenchanted members of other parties, such as the Economic Freedom Fighters and AgangSA, as well as civil society organisations.
"[We] have decided to take the driving seat. We cannot outsource the blame if we fail," she said.
Dr Khoza addressing the African Democratic Change founding conference. pic.twitter.com/KsRYX3BHBE— African Democratic Change (@ADEC_SA) December 1, 2017
She called out political analysts who labelled her move as unwise, saying that the African Democratic Change was not her party, but a new home for South Africans. She described the party as a new force for change that "will strive to solve the problems faced by South Africa".
Khoza also spoke about unity, saying that society could not be divided on racial lines.
"The ball is now in our court. We have to unite the country. Let's remember that the path that we have chosen - to truly restore the dignity of our people, to form this political home - is not a decision that was taken lightly."
Khoza had previously denied claims that she would start her own party following her exit from the ruling party and her resignation from Parliament.
She had been a very vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma, pleading with ANC members to vote with their conscience during the last motion of no confidence in the president.
Khoza is due to address the media on Saturday at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia.