Argus: Non-voters make their mark – chilling, shopping and partying

29 04 2009
Zara Nicholson
Excerpt  from Cape Argus April 25, 2009 Edition 1

In Cavendish Square a packed mall saw people shopping, dining out and heading for the movies.

Kyle van Eck, 21, was spending election day “chilling” with his mother and his girlfriend.

“The elections just didn’t interest me this year. There wasn’t anything in it for me,” Van Eck said.

“The last time I did vote because it was the first time I was eligible to and that gave me a sense of purpose. But things were just too hectic in politics this year.”

Branwine Mohan, 26, of Wynberg, said she had not voted because politics did not interest her.

“I just think it’s a whole lot of bull****. Everyone is corrupt.”

Saeed Davids, 26, of Pinelands, was enjoying his day with his friends after a night on the town and said he could not vote because his ID had been stolen.

“I couldn’t use my passport, and Home Affairs is a mess, so I didn’t even want to go there to get my ID. If I could have used my passport for voting, I would have.

“I have never voted before because I wasn’t interested, but this time I wanted to have my say because I am taking life more seriously,” Davids said.

Waheeb Semaar, 26, also of Pinelands, said, “I didn’t vote because there is no one to trust – and I’m not going to vote for someone I don’t believe in. People might see no mark on my thumb and tell me I shouldn’t complain – but just as it is my right to vote, I also have a right not to vote. I do care, but I just don’t trust any politician, or believe in any of them.”

Shamil Joseph, 27, of Mowbray, said, “I didn’t vote because I don’t know much about politics. There is also too much corruption going on, so I don’t know what to believe.”


Frontpage Argus: ‘Why we refuse to vote’

21 04 2009

Argus - Why we won't voteArgus - Why we won't vote 2

April 21, 2009 Edition 2
Staff Reporters and Sapa

A COMMUNITY living on the fringes of Cape Town is sick and tired of being used by politicians, and won’t vote in tomorrow’s elections.

The Symphony Way pavement dwellers, who set up house on the pavement of Delft Street and are refusing to budge until they get proper homes, have accused political parties of trying to bribe them with offers of help only during election time.

The residents, wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan “No Houses, No Land, No Vote”, said Cope went as far as to offer to provide an advocate to help them in their court battle against their eviction.

There are no election posters here.

Anti-Eviction Campaign secretary Kareemah Linneveldt said they told parties not to put up posters because they would have no interest in elections until they had proper housing.

“For 13 months we have lived on the pavement and not a single politician visited us. Now everyone is offering us help,” she said.

The Symphony Way residents were back yard dwellers who illegally occupied newly built houses in Delft before moving to the pavement.

Of the Cope offer, Linneveldt said: “We were told that if we won the case, we should say Cope won it for us, and that we should wear their T-shirts and support them.”

News of their planned stayaway – and a similar action by residents of nearby Blikkiesdorp, many of whom were moved from Symphony Way – comes as expatriates in London have shown astonishing enthusiasm. Read the rest of this entry »