Abahlali baseMjondoli won’t back two major parties upcoming elections
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WITH an estimated membership of over 100 000 nationally, Abahlali base Mjondolo, the shack dwellers movement, say they will not be voting or encouraging their members to vote for two of the country’s biggest political parties, the ANC and the DA in local government elections set to take place on November 1.
Instead, the organisation said they would endorse a party that is socialist and puts the interests of those living in informal and rural areas first.
This week, political parties kicked off their local government election campaigns after the IEC announced that it would have a voters’ registration weekend on 18 and 19 September.
Spokesperson for Abahlali BaseMjondolo, Thapelo Mohapi, said the organisation would hold a special general assembly in the first week of October, which will give them the direction on what stance they are going to take.
“Our members will give us the direction as to which political party we are going to back at our special general assembly, but I must say clearly that we are not going to be voting or encourage our members to vote for the ruling party because they have failed us. We want a party that fights corruption because corruption robs the poorest of the poor of basic services,” Mohapi said.
Despite their difference in many core issues, the organisation endorsed the DA during the 2014 national elections. At the time, the organisation said the decision was based on weakening the ANC, guaranteeing the security and protection of the shack dwellers.
“The DA is also doing the same thing as the ANC does, they are governing in Western Cape, but the poorest of the poor are being ill-treated. They are evicting even the homeless people in the streets. They are anti-poor, so we won't be voting for a liberal party that is going to ensure that the poor remain poor and the rich continue to get rich,” he said.
Mohapi further added that they are calling on their members to desist from any factional battles of political parties that will lead to their own lives being taken away. This comes after the killing of three women in a politically motivated attack in Inanda at the weekend. The deceased were attending an ANC branch general meeting discussing municipal election candidates.