Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Vukani / Sidikiwe
Vote “NO” Campaign
We are South Africans who played a part in the struggle against apartheid and who have contributed to the building of a democratic South Africa. We want a just, fair and egalitarian society as promised initially in the Freedom Charter and clarified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
It is a profound tragedy that these ideals and prospects are being sacrificed on the altar of self-enrichment and power mongering. Corruption, cronyism, control over the public debate have spread like a cancer through the ANC and, because of this, through government and state institutions. This has undermined the often-substantial advances made over the past 20 years with the result that millions of people now consider themselves ‘outsiders’, facing poverty, lack of jobs and poor education. Legitimate criticism and protest are too often met by intolerance and repression, and we have blights on the national conscience; such as Nkandla, the killing of Andries Tatane and the bloody tragedy of Marikana, all of which are eroding our hard won parliamentary democracy.
Only a few in our society are doing well and a small minority continue to own and control the economy and resources of our country. The economic policies of both the ANC and the main opposition, the DA, support this system. Racism is also an ongoing reality. And, through the Traditional Courts Bill and the Secrecy Bill, our people are being robbed of their democratic rights.
Little wonder then that millions of voters have abandoned their faith in the ballot box. Increasing numbers have failed to either register or to vote in successive elections since 1994. For example, some 12,7 million people (46,9%) eligible to vote either did not register to vote (about 7 million), or did register but did not vote (5,4 million) in 2009 when Jacob Zuma was elected to power.
As South Africans committed to democracy and social justice, we appeal to all of you who have registered to come out and vote on May 7. You must come out and either spoil you ballot in protest or vote tactically in ways that will challenge the huge power and hold of the ANC over the electorate. To spoil your vote just write ‘NO’ across the ballot paper.
The ANC needs to know that it can no longer take for granted its traditional support and we would be failing South Africa and our democracy by not voting. After the elections the real work will start to create an inclusive and transformative political programme premised on social justice, redistribution, clean governance and democratic principles.