Voice of the Cape: AEC calls for election boycott


AEC calls for election boycott

Posted on: 2009-01-07 06:57:14

The South African government might be in for a surprise at this year’s general elections, as discontent campaigners are urging the impoverished communities around the country not to vote this year. Provincial coordinator of the Anti Eviction Campaign (AEC), Mcebisi Twalo, told VOC on Tuesday that the new Government is marginalising the poor.

“Over the last 16 years the new Government has only serviced the BEE, black elite and their families, while the plight of the poor is ignored,” he said. He criticised members of government that lived in townships during the struggle and have opted for the wealthier more developed suburban areas instead of giving back to their original communities.

The AEC said that they expected a very troubled run up to elections, couple with “chaos when the results of the elections are announced, and we know that no one will accept the results”. Twalo referred to the elections as a “power play between politicians”, one where the “needs of the poor do not even fit into the agenda.” He urged all communities that found themselves inflicted by poverty and dire situations to boycott the elections in a bid to avoid what he called voting their own poverty.

The AEC accused all the parties contesting the elections this year of being corrupt and said that the South Africans were not able to trust their own government. Twalo accused the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of only furthering their own interest while promoting members of their family into powerful positions and selectively only granting certain people grants such as food parcels and housing.

He also lashed out at the newly formed Congress of the People (COPE), expressing his concern about its members “being in parliament for over 14 years and not doing anything for the poor.” Another issued he raised was the lack of service delivery for these under developed communities who Twalo said was not a priority for the government.

“Everyone from the Police Department to the Court is against the poor” He suggested that the only solution to the on going plight of the poor was a complete revolution of the government that “needed to realise that sub economic communities would not tolerate being lied to.”

The Campaigns coordinator called on Archbishop Desmond Tutu – who last year publicly announced his unwillingness to vote – to join forces with the AEC and its alliance partners to take this matter as far as possible. VOC (Aisha Mouneimne)