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‘Vote No’ Campaign Urges South Africans to Shun Big Political Parties

South Africa former

Former South Africa's intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils is leading a campaign against the ANC. Photo released under Creative Commons by Flickr user Russell Tribunal

A group of politicians in South Africa are pushing voters to boycott large political parties come election day.

Former South African intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, former South African Communist Party leader Vishwas Satgar and former deputy health and defence minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge launched their “Vukani! Sidikwe! (Wake Up! We Are Fed up!) Vote No” campaign in Johannesburg on April 15, 2014. The campaign calls on South African voters to vote for small parties during May 7 elections or simply write “No” on the ballot.

According to Business Day Live, the campaign has attracted high-profile signatories, such as former director-general of environmental affairs Horst Kleinschmidt, former vice-chancellor of the University of South Africa Barney Pityana, and award-winning cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro.

It is supported by organisations such as the Awethu Platform, the Democratic Left Front and Democracy From Below.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is facing its toughest test in this year's elections due to rising cost of living, unemployment and corruption scandals. The main challengers are the main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) and Electronic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the radical leftist party formed by the former ANC youth leader Julius Malema.

South Africa netizens appeared deeply divided about the campaign on Twitter. Some supported the effort:

Others suggested that:

While others opposed the campaign, questioning its logic and motives:

Before organising the campaign, Ronnie Kasrils was a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC for 20 years and a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP) for 21 years. He was the founding member of ANC's military wing Umkontho we Sizwe.

The ANC spokesperson @ANC_KKhoza took a jab at their former member:

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