IEC mum on ‘No Vote’ campaign
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Johannesburg - The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) declined to comment on Wednesday on the “No Vote” campaign of former minister Ronnie Kasrils.
“Having considered the issue, the Electoral Commission sees the 'No Vote' campaign as a political matter and does not wish to comment on it,” spokeswoman Kate Bapela told Sapa.
The Star reported on Wednesday that the IEC had requested legal opinion on the campaign.
Deputy chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo told the newspaper it requested legal opinion but said the commission had not made any decision and did not want to pre-empt the legal opinion.
The newspaper reported that concerns might have arisen because a call for spoiling of ballot papers could be close to a call not to vote.
The electoral code of conduct prohibits inducement or rewards to not vote, or vote in a particular way, join a political party or vote for a particular party, The Star reported.
Kasrils's office on Wednesday said the former minister was unaware that the IEC was seeking legal advice on the campaign.
The “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote no!” campaign calls on South Africans to either vote for a minority party, or spoil their ballots.
It was launched at the University of the Witswatersrand on Tuesday by Kasrils and former minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.
“If the ANC were to lose three, four percent in this election they'll still be in power, nothing will stop that,” Kasrils told reporters at the launch on Tuesday.
“But what that signals... is that, my God you guys (ANC) better wake up... you're not going to last for five years, you're losing more and more respect.”
Earlier in the day, Sadtu rejected the campaign as irresponsible.
“They demonstrate clear signs of being bitter, disgruntled and suffering from permanent anger for losing their leadership positions through democratic processes and structures of the ANC,” the SA Democratic Teachers Union said in a statement.
“A call for a no-vote by Kasrils and crew is a vote of no confidence on democracy and a call of no confidence on law and order. This call is in fact against the establishment of a government, and as such a call for anarchy,” Sadtu said.
Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota said the spoiling of votes disempowered voters and was not a good tactic.
“While Cope agrees absolutely that voters need to take a stand against the ANC and condemn the corruption it embodies, we do not believe that spoiling votes is a viable tactic,” he said.
“Spoiling votes disempowers voters and does not enable them to effect the change that the country needs.”