Photo of author

By Peter Mothiba

#nofaithinthesystem liaison officer Kekeletso Khena
#nofaithinthesystem liaison officer Kekeletso Khena

Newly established lobby group #nofaithinthesystem has implored South Africans who are fed-up with the current system of governance and all the political parties that are part of the very system, to spoil their ballot papers during the forthcoming general elections on 29 May this year.

At a meeting held in Johannesburg last week, the movement’s members made it clear that they are not a political party and that they were not even affiliated to any political entity.

The members told Tshwane Talks that the aim of #nofaithinthesystem is to run a campaign that advocates for voters to go to the polls to exercise their hard-earned right to vote by spoiling their ballots instead of staying away from the polling stations.

They said this will send a strong message to political leaders that the status quo is unacceptable to them as citizens of this country.

“On 29 May South Africans will cast yet another vote to elect a government that is incapable of changing the lives of the people after three decades of democracy, because little has been done in addressing the country’s deep-rooted issues of corruption, inequality and economic stagnation,” read the movement’s statement that was sent to Tshwane Talks yesterday.

The statement goes on to heap the blame for all systemic failures in the country on the CODESA Multi-Party negotiations of the 1990s, whereby a blueprint for a future South Africa was mapped out by various political parties in the country.

According to #nofaithinthesystem, the CODESA settlement was aimed at protecting white capital interests and the colonial powers which continue to benefit from corruption and mismanagement of the country and its resources.

A member of the lobby group, Tebogo Makhafola, said the following: ” Thirty years into democracy and we have nothing to show for it.”

Makhafola added that corruption remained rampant, basic services were lacking and the gap between the rich and the poor continued to widen.

According to #nofaithinthesystem lobby group, spoiling one’s ballot paper entails writing a big hashtag ” No” (#No) across the entire ballot paper so as to render it invalid.

The lobby group says while some people may view this action as passive resistance, they view it as a powerful statement of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.

Intersectional feminist and social justice activist Candice Ludick said:

“We refuse to be complicit in a system that dehumanises us and fails to deliver on its promises, and by spoiling our votes we are rejecting the false choices presented to us as we are demanding better options.”

GBV activist and proponent of the lobby group, Reverend June Dolly Major, emphasised that #nofaithinthesystem is not telling people who to vote for or how to vote, but is rather saying if none of the available options represent the change that they want to see, then they must vote #No.

The lobby group’s media liaison officer Kekeletso Khena told Tshwane Talks that as the election date draws nearer, they will use social media and community engagements to spread the message of defiance against the system while bringing hope for a better future.

“Change can’t happen overnight, but it starts with each and every one of us taking a standby spoiling our votes,” she said.

“This (spoiling of votes) is just the beginning because it’s now time South Africans reclaimed their power and held their leaders accountable,” said Khena.

“Our voices matter, and we refuse to be silenced any longer,” she said emphatically.

Leave a comment