New party aims at winning over convicts

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IOL IEC june 13

Independent Newspapers

With the IECs election timetable published, political parties are preparing for a frenzied campaign.

Johannesburg - There’s a new party on the block, with a focus on the cell block.

It’s the Prisoners Political Party (PPP) and and it is applying to the Independent Electoral Commission for political party registration.

The IEC would not give details of the new party or who was behind it.

“The Electoral Commission has received an application for registration from the Prisoners Political Party. The application is being processed and we are not in a position to provide information until it has been finalised,” said the IEC.

The application was gazetted, and the notice shows a logo with keys, chained hands with the chains being broken, with the slogan “We the prisoners”.

The PPP is not the only party that’s looking to jails for votes.

The Corrections and Civil Rights Movement (CCRM) registered as a political party on the national level in 2010, and this election will be its first.

Its president is Golden Miles Bhudu, a long-standing campaigner for prisoners’ rights.

The CCRM has two constitutions, one for those in jail and one for the rest.

The party has been trying to get permission to campaign in prisons but has been blocked by the Department of Correctional Services.

 

The CCRM aims to unite against crime and act as a political and human rights watchdog over the criminal justice system cluster.

Bhudu’s party is in discussions with Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) over an alliance or a working relationship.

“We have sat down and our discussions are at a very developed stage,” said Bhudu.

“It will be more of an alliance.”

EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said they had already been working with the CCRM, and that the CCRM had addressed both the EFF’s founding rally and its Marikana rally.

“It’s not an alliance,” said Ndlozi. “We have a strong political working relationship.”

There are at present 185 parties registered, including 135 for the national elections.

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