PRIVILEGE: The right to vote in national elections

Munier’s oupa passed away before the first democratic elections in 1994.

He had waited all his adult life for the day he could vote for the leaders of his choice in a free country.

But time would not grant him that privilege.

So Munier learnt early in life to appreciate and celebrate the simple act of making an X on a ballot and dropping it in a box.

A simple act, yet a powerful expression of one’s right to determine who should govern your country, and how.

This week, for the first time, however, Munier felt like it was a “duty” to go out and vote in the municipal elections.

Not an honour, but a chore, like submitting your tax return or renewing your driver’s licence.

If he did go out to the voting station, who would he vote for? The ANC, the DA, the EFF, one of the smaller parties or independent candidates, perhaps?

So in his mind, he compared the parties’ respective visions for the country.

He weighed up their policies and promises against their track record of delivering on them.

Would he consider the local or the bigger picture?

Would he vote strategically  to weaken a dominant party or strengthen a struggling party?

Would he vote with his heart or with his mind?

All these thoughts bobbled in Munier’s head like lotto balls.

Before he knew it, it was time to head to the office - it was a big election news day.

He put his ID in his back pocket, so that when he’d made his mind up, he would pop out and go vote quickly.

For the rest of the day, Munier got so caught up in reporting on how other people were voting, that he himself neglected to.

The Daily Voice team made their 9pm deadline, but he missed the 7pm voting cut-off.

That night Munier thought about his grandfather and feelings of shame and disappointment washed over him.

He had let himself down, he’d let his oupa down, he’d let down his country down, and he’d let down Nelson Mandela.

“Never again,” thought Munier, invoking Madiba.

Speaking of the great man, Munier was shocked by the response of readers to his criticism of Mmusi Maimane last week.

The DA leader had used Madiba’s name on his election campaign posters, claiming that his party represented the late president’s ideals.

Maimane even went as far as to infer that Madiba would vote blue if he were alive today.

I still can’t believe he said that!

Anyway, apparently this is the Western Cape, where journalists are not allowed to be critical of the DA.

And if you do, well, then it can only mean you’re an ANC supporter.

What rubbish!

So readers told Munier to shut his groot bek, swore at him, called him an ANC holborsel, and even warned him to watch his back.

Julle kan maar praat.

The fact of the matter is Maimane exploited Mandela’s name for his own party’s gain.

Finish en klaar.