Juju: ‘Vote or your conscience will haunt you’

2011-05-18 10:44

Julius Malema said the conscience of those who decided not to vote would haunt them so much that they would not even have the strength to argue their cases if and when they want to complain about lack of services.

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president was speaking at his home town of Seshego outside Polokwane in Limpopo this morning, immediately after casting his ballot alongside his grandmother, Sarah.

“If you do not vote you have no reason to complain. Even when you complain and say to people, ‘we voted for you’, your conscience will be speaking to you that, ‘you did not vote’ and therefore you have no strength to even want to argue with the elected ward candidate,” Malema said.

He said those who voted would find it easier to simply walk to the houses of elected candidates to raise concerns about services.

Malema maintained his tradition of voting alongside his grandmother and staunch supporter, saying the 82-year-old granny symbolised the era of people who suffered a lot under the apartheid regime.

As with the previous polls, Malema arrived with Sarah, in his luxury Mercedez Benz S350 shortly after 10am.

The firebrand youth leader produced both his ID and that of his grandmother, handed them over to electoral officers and the duo completed their civic duties within five minutes.Malema added: “If you do something important, it is always right to be accompanied by your loved ones.

My grandmother symbolises the era of people who were subjected to harsh conditions by the apartheid regime and we do not want to go back there.”

He said the ANC had done well in service delivery in Seshego, especially electricity, water and RDP houses.Unemployment and poverty were still a problem, Malema added, but his party was giving the matter attention.

Turning his focus to former ANC members who have stood for the local government elections as independent candidates, Malema said although some of them had “genuine” cases against the ANC, they took a wrong decision by leaving the party.

Limpopo has the majority of independent candidates in this election, totalling more than 170.Most of them come from the ANC and contested the elections as independent candidates, a crime punishable with automatic expulsion by the ANC.

The ANC’s constitution is clear that those who stood for elections against candidates nominated by the ruling party were considered as having resigned from the movement.

He said they would never win a single ward against the ruling party because they were “political non-starters”, adding the ANC would capture Cape Town and the Midvaal municipalities from the DA.The small number of young people who turned up at the Mponegele Primary School in the morning, where he voted, was not a concern for Malema.

He said it was a trend for young people to “relax” in the morning on voting day, to avoid “pushing” the elders around, and then vote later in the day.After casting her ballot, a jubilant Sarah waved to the crowd of mostly local elderly people.

Asked who he had voted for, Malema’s grandmother proudly replied: “I have voted for the ANC.”

Malema later jokingly accused City Press of being out of order, saying “you can’t ask people who they have voted for”.

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