|15. April 2014
Big names back campaign to dent ANC in elections
Spoiling your ballot or voting for a minority party could help put a dent in the ANC's majority, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils said on Tuesday, Apr 15.
"If the ANC were to lose three, four percent in this election they'll still be in power, nothing will stop that," he told reporters at Wits University in Johannesburg.
"But what that signals... is that, my God you guys [ANC] better wake up... you're not going to last for five years, you're losing more and more respect."
Kasrils was part of the "Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote Campaign" along with other African National Congress stalwarts such as former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.
The group said it was not a boycott campaign -- they were calling on people to go to the polls on May 7.
Madlala-Routledge said citizens could send a strong message by either voting for a minority party, which would take away from the dominant political parties, or people could spoil their ballot. "It's about deepening our democracy," she said. "We are doing this out of love for our country. There is a lot going wrong in our country and you can see a lot is going wrong."
Madlala-Routledge referred to the security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla. "We see our leaders putting themselves first. There is no way we can justify the expenditure [on Nkandla]," she said. "Who does he [Zuma] fear in Nkandla? Is it those people knocking on his gate saying: 'president, we are hungry'?"
Kasrils said the ANC had a tremendous record until recently and it was a record he was proud of. However, the "rose-tinted" glasses needed to come off. "When we enter an election... let's enter the public debate," he said.
"Let's listen to what our people are talking about, let's not be in denial with our rose-tinted spectacles that can easily talk away the abomination of the palace built in KwaZulu-Natal for number one, or the shooting down of miners so disgustingly at Marikana.
"What did Mandela say when we were coming into power? He said if we do not deliver and solve the problems of the people then they have a right to fight against us," he said. Kasrils said veterans of the ANC could no longer be quiet. They had to set an example.
The stalwart said he did not vote for the ANC in the last elections, however this time he decided to come out into the open and make it public.
The campaign had a list of signatories, which included former University of SA vice-chancellor Barney Pityana, former senior civil servant in the fisheries ministry Horst Kleinschmidt, cartoonist Zapiro, Bram Fischer's daughter Ilse, author and painter Breyten Breytenbach and academics Vishwas Satgar and Devan Pillay. Satgar, who joined Kasrils and Madlala-Routledge on Tuesday, said that in 2011 over 600,000 voters spoilt their ballots. He believed this campaign was a "democracy project", and that it belonged to all South Africans.
The ANC had failed millions of Africans. "A vote for the ANC today means a vote for the Guptas, for people who are parasitic on the state, for people who want to accumulate."