Ronnie Kasrils will vote against the ANC

2014-04-13 15:01

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On May 7, Ronnie Kasrils will cast his vote against the ANC?–?as an “act of love”.

Kasrils, a former intelligence minister, is angry with President Jacob Zuma for the “plague of corruption” bedevilling the ANC.

Part of his rage is directed at the Nkandla spending scandal. “Sheer opulence, smacking of Mobutu Sese Seko-ism [referring to Zaire’s former leader].

“To suddenly find this kind of excessive self-indulgence at the ­taxpayers’ expense is crass and obscene.”

His disdain isn’t confined to Zuma, but also to “an elite that has become incredibly corrupt” and “who have betrayed the ANC and SACP”.

“It’s not as simple to say?–?looking at the past?–?‘Well, it’s our time to eat now’ after coming to power on the bandwagon of the ANC.

“On the ANC masthead it says: ‘Service to all the people and not service to oneself.’ What was written large was the question of ethics and morality and the value system which we, of the struggle, were reared in and followed the example of those before us?–?and it was not just leaders, but the rank and file.

“This is what we held up to our people, that we would overthrow a system based on exploitation and race domination where the minority had the privileges and a system we said was corrupt and we would replace it with a better South Africa for all in Madiba’s terms.

“So this is what has become so shocking.

“The question of corruption and the way it has taken over?–?with everyone wanting the president’s ear and being the president’s ­favourite and getting rewards for support of the president by being made a minister or given another big plum position?–?results from the type of corruption we have in SA.

“It is based on a value system and a mentality that the only way of getting ahead is by selling yourself, the only way to get ahead by any means is to make deals for yourself in the first place. It’s right in the type of the capitalism that we have in South Africa. Economic advances and benefit from BEE is limited to a sliver of society.”

Asked whether Zuma alone is to blame, Kasrils says: “People will tell you and it has been stated from people in exile and I can confirm?–?he was a pretty simple guy. He wasn’t a person who was looking for fancy clothes and flash cars. He was pretty down to earth.”

But he says: “I did see a certain ambition there by acquiring so many feminine relationships and wives and then children.”

Kasrils says Zuma has “changed very dramatically”.

“Here is a man who comes back to South Africa and you can imagine how worried he must have been, how he was going to take care of this kind of menagerie.

“And then there are the people, capitalists, with money in their back pockets, who were looking at the new political power and pounced like vultures.

“There were some who were only too happy in the embrace because they did not have to worry about the wolf at the door, how they would have to pay the bills, how they were going to educate their kids, where they find a way to house their women...

“From then on, what happens to your fine principles of serving the people first and thinking of the key things that are necessary when you are now in league, and in bed, with people who become your sponsors? From that point of view, you change.

“My view is that the people who now run the ANC, not every one of them, but there is an elite that has become incredibly corrupt that managed to take over?–take power from Mbeki and kick him out and it’s just been downhill ever since with this system just rolling on like a snowball becoming larger and larger.”

‘Use your 2014 vote to send out a message’

Kasrils is asking people to “use their vote in a tactical way” against the ANC.

He and ANC stalwarts Mazibuko Jara and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge are spearheading a campaign called Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote “NO”.

Kasrils said he wanted to send a message to the ANC that South Africans had lost confidence in it and were willing to vote for different parties. He said he understood people’s frustrations with the ANC but worried that spoiling ballots would make them and their concerns “just invisible”.

Kasrils said the idea was to initially launch a spoilt ballot campaign, but he realised that the impact of voting for another party would be greater and more powerful.

“I am not going to decide or advocate whether people should vote or not, but I am saying we fought for the right to vote.”

Kasrils said he would vote for another party and seems to be leaning towards Bantu Holomisa’s United Democratic Movement. Kasrils said on Thursday night he addressed a meeting in Port Elizabeth and reminded attendees that Holomisa gave uMkhonto we Sizwe a lot of support during the struggle.

“[Holomisa] is a respectable and honest man. He gives one hope,” he said.

He also praised “Terror Lekota, who speaks up very strongly in government against corruption and maladministration. He spoke up against Nkandla and spoke against the treatment of the Public Protector.”

As to who won’t get his vote? “Socialists like myself will never vote DA, the DA is very much big business, so don’t vote DA.

“But we want to send a message to the ANC: we have lost confidence in you, we will vote for another party to shock you into proper governance.”

–?Thuletho Zwane

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