The DA has won the overseas vote by 7581, COPE got 918, ANC only got 673 out of the 9857 that were cast in total.
That only leaves a maximum of 622 for the VF+. They must be pretty annoyed after all the effort they went to. It does mean that the DA secured 77% of the expat vote and can now change the Constitution of Putney and Wimbledon. Or something.
Anyway, now the DA can add those 7,581 votes to the approximately 1,200,000 they had about an hour ago. “Drop in the ocean” or “Viva Democracy, Viva!!”? Or perhaps a bit of both?
Incidentally, I make that a 60.5% turnout overseas in comparison with 77% here in SA, which I find strange after all the court cases, acrimony and the effort that people had to make to register. Rather apathetic. Which is only one more letter than this whole ex-pat voting saga has been from the start.
EDIT: Here’s a snap of the IEC’s overseas election results board. VF+ only polled 270 votes. Oops!
OK, so he may have other things on his mind today, but Jacob Zuma must also now face the fact that ex-pats are going to be voting in the April 22nd election, as predicted in 6000 miles…January 27th post.
Following court applications by opposition parties (namely the DA and the VF+), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) backed down on its initial refusal to allow ex-pat voting and – as long as interested people overseas registered their interest by the end of March – allowed them to vote.
Well, the numbers are out and Jacob Zuma and the ANC must be quaking in their boots. A total of 16,300 people are now registered to vote overseas. Assuming a reasonable turnout on the day of say, 50%, that’s about 8,000 votes shared mainly (presumably, anyway) between the DA and VF+. Scary numbers, indeed.
Yes, yes. I recognise that this was an exercise in exercising one’s rights, but honestly, what an utterly pathetic waste of time and money: like the political version of Earth Hour. I am completely unsurprised that the parties involved have failed to mention the numbers, because frankly, they’re embarrassing. Compare and contrast their response with their spin about “standing up for voters’ constitutional rights” and the fanfare when they won the court ruling over the IEC. You can’t spin figures this poor.
With an election imminent, as with any political party in any country, each of the political parties in SA is working out how best to maximise their chances of not losing too heavily to the ANC. Apart from the ANC, of course. Their tactic seems to be to not give a toss what happens because they’re going to win anyway.
Such is democracy.
Botox Queen Helen Zille’s DA (the Desperate Alternative) and Pieter Mulder’s FF+ (which is actually a political party and not a remedy for period pain) have launched separate court actions in Cape Town and Pretoria respectively to try and change the rules so that South Africans living overseas can vote in the upcoming ballot. And, since these are “white” parties and the majority of expats also fall neatly into that racial demographic, presumably for them. One would imagine they’ve done their sums and worked out that the expat vote would be a “good thing” for their numbers, anyway. That would be a mighty own goal otherwise. Jacob Zuma would kill himself laughing. Maybe that’s the plan.
So, should South Africans living and working abroad be allowed to vote in the SA elections?
No. They shouldn’t.
I should be allowed to vote here though. I’m a permanent resident here. I’ve lived here for five years. Paid taxes here for five years. So give me their vote. I promise to use it wisely (if not quite as they might have done). The ironic thing is that I can still vote in the UK, despite not living there or having even stepped on British soil for over two years. I choose not to though. I think that I gave up that privilege when I made the decision to come and live here in Cape Town. And so it should be with those who have chosen to leave Cape Town – or wherever and head off to the UK – or wherever.
Don’t get me wrong. People like Gabrielle Johannes (does she mean renounced and not denounced, by the way?), currently annoying people in South West London on a two-year working visa, are not the ones I’m talking about. If you are overseas “temporarily” – like on a 2-year visa – then I’m all for your rights. Although, there’s always the counter argument that you knew the rules when you left the country and you still chose to go. Why moan now?
But if that also means that Frikkie van der Merwe who left SA in – let’s choose a year at random here – say 1994, also has the right to vote this year, then something has gone very wrong with the system. And if that means that you renounce your South African citizenship (or at least that aspect of it) when you choose to move abroad – well, so be it. I have seen too many SA expats who rely solely on dodgy news sites with dodgy reporters and dodgy agendas for their information about South Africa. That those ill-informed individuals should get the opportunity to influence the future of the country is plain wrong.
As it is, whether Helen and Pieter’s court cases are successful or not will almost certainly have very little bearing on the outcome of the election. But it’s nice that they have suddenly realised that they want to campaign for the disenfranchised masses overseas. In an election year.