The Game is On!
I am happy to report that Africa Unite Party IS going ahead with its challenge of the IEC security deposit ruling in the Constitutional Court next week. We now have a team of attorneys and advocates to assist us in this landmark, historic case. Yesterday we gave our attorneys instructions and a mandate to proceed against the IEC and file our allegations and affidavits, evidence etc. Essentially, our argument is that the Bill of Rights in the constitution guarantees that every South African has the right to stand for public office, start a party and to assemble. If we have an open justice system why don’t we have an open democracy? Why is our security deposit higher than India which is the largest democracy in the world of 1.2 billion people? How can seriousness to serve the people be measured by how much money you pay? Apartheid and our democratic freedoms were won by people who cared about this country and the morality of it. Were they serious? Steve Biko – Nelson Mandela – Chris Hani- The Sharpeville 69…Ruth First?
No one paid a deposit to win our democratic freedom. No one asked them to prove how serious they were to stand up for what was right, good, true and just…. They just did…Black, White, Indian and Colored…everyone who believed in this country’s future. Now we have a constitutional democracy that forces us to enter the political arena NOT on a level playing field. The ANC are given copious amounts of campaign funds to stay in power- nearly R100 million. Simply because they are the biggest fish in the pond. They spend R200 000 on posters that drape entire buildings. It’s obscene. Especially in our current economic climate.
New, minority parties which have something relevant to say have to spend ALL their money on a deposit ;and still come up with campaign funds from their own pockets. They get nothing from the IEC.
Freak parties that have lots of money- and don’t really care- or are not serious about our democracy have the opportunity to stand for public office simply because of their LARGE bank balances. No vetting process is conducted by the IEC to ensure the seriousness of the party to run in an election. This is the job of the IEC. They aren’t doing it. The letter of the law is followed but not the spirit. Consequently, I can set up a nonsensical organization that has only one objective: to mock our elections and our democracy and IF I have bags of cash; I can stand for public office. Is that right?
This inadequacy in our constitutional democracy needs to change. To make our elections free, fair and credible we need to give everyone who is serious a chance to stand in the elections. Paying a security deposit does not guarantee seriousness or a level playing field. That is why the AFRICA UNITE PARTY is challenging the Electoral Commission on this point. Our deposit is currently one of the highest in the world. Only Japan and the DRC is higher. In the European elections parties pay only R80 000 rand to compete. Where then is the justice in that? Where is the constitutional democracy in that? Even the Irish Constitutional court have declared the principle as “repugnant to our constitution”- why then cant we?- They have abolished it. Parties no longer pay deposit in Ireland to stand in an election. The Germans have also recognized the need to give smaller parties a chance and have reduced their electoral requirement for minority parties only last month. Why then does South Africa still insist on a high deposit to run in the election? If there wasn’t a need for other voices to be heard there wouldn’t be new parties coming into the political spectrum. If these voices are not given a chance to be heard it is not good for the health of our constitution or our democracy. Why then the high deposit?
No;… it is simply to keep up and coming SMALLER parties out of the game… but not anymore… our message to the ANC is that we are not going down without a fight… We are not going to disappear or allow our voice to grow silent in the night…we are going to challenge this ruling and either way…we are going to make history in the highest court of this land-OUR land… win or lose…the game is on!