I didn’t spoil my vote – Ronnie Kasrils

2014-05-07 19:34

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Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils stood in a queue for over thirty minutes to cast his vote today.

“I voted for two parties, nationally and provincially, but not the ANC or the DA,” he said.

Kasrils revealed that he had chosen to support two smaller parties who he felt could provide the change that he wanted to see in the country. He would not disclose which two parties received his vote because he didn’t “want to be a political party agent”, but would rather wait to see how they do over the next political term.

“Because I’m not voting ANC or DA, I want to see some smaller parties entering the provincial or the national and speaking up against corruption, for better government, for service to the people and for accountability.”

The 74-year-old waited in the queue with his son, Andy “Admiral” Kasrils. His son said: “I’m proud of my father.”

When asked if he supported his father’s Vote No campaign, Andy said: “We’re always on the same page,” but he would not reveal if he voted as his father did.

“My vote is my secret,” he said.

In the run-up to the elections Kasrils was very vocal about his support for voting for minority parties instead of the ANC. He also suggested that, should people not find a political party they trusted, they should spoil their vote.

At the launch of the Sidikiwe! Campaign, also known as the Vote No campaign, earlier this month, Kasrils said the ANC was no longer a national liberation movement and accused the party of neglecting the pleas of the poor.

“Nelson Mandela said that if we as a party [ANC] don’t deliver, then the people have the right to march against us,” he said.

Kasrils has faced criticism from many who argue that voting is essential to ensuring the future of the country.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi earlier today said those who don’t vote are “irresponsible”. And many queuing at polling stations echoed his sentiment.

“I just think it’s stupid. Rather have an opinion than sit on the fence,” said Parkhurst voter Nicole Levy. Levy has voted in every election since 1994.

Ann Gear stood in the queue next to Levy for most of the morning, and also disagreed with Kasrils’ campaign.

“I think it’s much more important to vote, to register your disapproval. That’s their right, but I still prefer to make my mark, even if the party I vote for doesn’t do it for me entirely.”

Kasrils said the Sidikiwe! campaign promoted spoiling votes as a last resort. He said when they were engaging with people, they found them to be disillusioned with “the ruling party and parties in general” and weren’t even going to bother to vote. Kasrils said they tried to encourage these people to vote for smaller parties, but if they couldn’t find a party to trust, they should spoil their vote.

“Don’t stay away [from the polls] because you become invisible. Use your right to vote, we fought for that. Go to the polls.”

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