Union condemns spoilt-ballot campaign

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iol news pic Ronnie Kasrils suit INDEPENDENT MEDIA Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils. File photo: Graeme Hosken

Johannesburg - Labour union NUM has condemned a campaign for the deliberate spoiling of ballots in the upcoming national elections.

It said this notion, initiated by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and other African National Congress stalwarts, betrayed the workers' struggle for a better life.

“The former ministers should have pursued measures of direct engagement with the ANC on matters that they believe need address or attention from their perspectives,” the National Union of Mineworkers said in a statement.

“But launching a campaign against their own organisation which they served for many years... can only add to the betrayal of the struggle for a better life for all than help change the ANC as they aspire.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Kasrils group denied they were conducting a “no vote” campaign, saying this was a call on people to go to the polls on May 7 and not vote for the ANC.

Former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, who was part of the campaign, said citizens could send a strong message by either voting for a minority party, which would take away from the dominant political parties, or people could spoil their ballot.

The NUM said mobilising citizens to spoil their votes was a clear call not to vote for the ANC which potentially threatened the gains made by the party.

Kasrils and Madlala-Routledge had not sufficiently explored possibilities of helping where they saw wrong by engaging with their peers in the ANC and that their anger was unfortunate.

“The ANC is not a perfect organisation but currently there is no better alternative to it,” NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said in a statement.

“The rights of workers and their freedoms are safer under an ANC-led government than at any other time in our history.”

NUM said the campaign could be translated to an attack on the ruling party as a whole and was “inconsistent” with their view that they wanted the ANC to change its ways.

Sapa



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