The Pan Africanist Congress is not one to back down, now they look towards the elections with optimism.
The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) is looking to make a comeback in these elections following a steady decline of over the past few years, though some of their members think voting is a sham.
PAC national secretary for land and agricultural affairs Gcobani Katiya said the party must be in the administrative institutions of the country to influence debate there.”
However, the journey to the ballot is not harmonious for PAC as some members of their youth wing, the Pan Africanist Student movement of Azania (PASMA), are against the voting process.
“The issue of voting is fictional. We were lured into this election system to hide the struggle,” says PAC and PASMA member Lerato Moela.
“The real intention of making us vote is to make us assimilate to colonial rule,” says Moela. He believes giving South Africans a vote does not address the “real issues” of land and liberation at hand.
Moela’s frustrations also include the institution of parliament. ”The fact that we are now in parliament doesn’t change that it [parliament] is anti-black.”
Almost 60 years have passed since the party was launched in 1959 and the politics of the party have their fair share of the spotlight.
Having broken out of the ANC after it adopted the freedom charter, the party has a dynamic political history. During apartheid, they rivaled the ANC in their liberation efforts. But the last 20 years have seen the party’s share of voting support decline, in the last national election they received only 0.21% of the vote.
They have focused their energies this elections on getting votes in the Eastern Cape and Tshwane regions.
“We are certainly going to make a significant impact in this election” says Katiya.
Katiya blames the PAC’s woes on “counter revolutionaries.”
“The PAC was left to the hands of counter revolutionaries, we did not have a way to handle them,” says Katiya. The PAC lags behind other opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters. Katiya says this has been the doing of being strangled by these “counter revolutionaries” which have been “sponsored by state apparatus being the IEC and SABC”.
On matters of policy, the members seem to agree that it’s all about the land. Allocation of housing is a priority in their campaign. They believe the provision of housing should come with the allocation of land.
“Charging rates is ungodly” says Katiya. “Who, that is not God, has the right to tax a man for just living on land?”
FIND MORE ELECTION COVERAGE ON witsvuvuzela.com/elections2016