Bonteheuwel residents plan to spoil their ballots in the upcoming municipal elections, and their campaign is gaining support by the day.
It’s been sparked by a Facebook post from the chairperson of the Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum, Judith Kennedy, who said she would spoil her ballot, accompanied by a picture of a bloody red cross and the hashtag #IamSpoilingMyBallotWithMyBlood.
Kennedy say she’s sick and tired of gang violence claiming the lives of innocent people while politicians do nothing.
She says her Facebook post was never supposed to become a campaign, but nevertheless, people have been sharing her post, saying they will follow suit.
“It was just my opinion and the action I will take on election day,” she tells the Daily Voice.
Residents have been responding to Kennedy’s post with the hashtags #IAmBonteheuwel, #GenoegisGenoeg and #uitstiekensaamstaanissiemyding, which have been trending on five Bontas groups on Facebook.
Bonteheuwel residents say they are prisoners in their homes due to the gang violence in the area.
And if they do not make their voices heard through a protest vote, political parties “will just go on as before”.
Kennedy says: “The JPF has engaged every sphere of government, from education, community safety and health. Nobody cares. How are we supposed to give our children alternatives to gangs and violence if the people with the means to offer these opportunities to our people are doing nothing?
“We are trying to build pride and dignity in our communities. Current government policies entitles the few at the expense of the masses.
“No more, we say. When you vote, you give your power to another. I have decided to give my power to nobody anymore.”
Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, blamed the lack of action against skollies.
“We are already doing more than any local government. Our job is to manage traffic and by-laws. We can’t investigate murders. But we are taking as many firearms off the street as the SAPS,” he said.
Democratic Alliance Media Manager for the City of Cape Town Election Campaign, Cameron Arendse, says: “People can choose to spoil their ballot. However they must not coerce others to do the same.”