Did anyone listen to Ronnie Kasrils?

2014-05-09 20:07

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils’ campaign – encouraging voters to either vote for a smaller party or spoil their votes – apparently didn’t get much traction.

The proportion of spoilt votes is almost equal to that of 2009, as things stand. Also, the two biggest parties – the ANC and DA – have increased their joint share of votes since 2009 – from 82.56% to 84.37%.

Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge launched the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No” campaign last month.

They called on South Africans to either vote for a minority party, or spoil their ballots.

At 5pm the IEC released its updated elections figures showing no significant increase in the proportion of spoilt votes (1.35% as opposed to 1.34% in 2009).

On election day, Kasrils joined a steadily moving queue of registered voters at the Parkhurst Primary School’s voting station in Joburg.


“I didn’t say you must just spoil ... The first thing we said was that you must come and vote. Then we said choose one of the smaller parties you can trust. But if there’s no party you feel you can trust then you have the right to spoil your ballot,” he said after voting.

Kasrils said he had decided to split his vote among two parties in the national and provincial vote. He said he had opted not to vote for bigger parties such as the ANC or DA.

But at Kasrils’ voting station it seems people also ignored his voting advice.

Only 0.25% of the voters spoilt their votes (compared with 0.54% in 2009). Smaller parties also didn’t do well in Parkhurst.

The highest percentage recorded for a small party was the United Democratic Party (UDM), which acquired 1.32% – with nine parties receiving zero votes.

The bigger parties received the lion’s share of the vote. The DA was in the lead with 80%, followed by the ANC with 12%.

At Ernest Ullmann Recreation Centre, less than 30 minutes away from the Parkhurst voting station, the ANC and DA were again leading the pack. The DA was ranked first with almost 72% of the vote and the ANC second with 17.54%.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was among those who had braved the long queue at Ernest Ullmann Recreation Centre to “exercise his right” on Wednesday.

“Our country worked very hard to be where we are today. If we stay away from voting, it will mean that we are completely irresponsible and we aren’t exercising our right,” he said.

Vavi said it was difficult to choose a political party to vote for.

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