“Power to the people” is the rallying call of two current initiatives aimed at mobilising Christians to stand as independent candidates in local government elections on October 27.
A movement called Raising Righteous Rulers has issued a national call for citizens to act now to raise independent candidates who are apolitical and accountable to the people to represent their communities and “reclaim back our municipalities”.
“We only have 2 weeks to respond, so let’s do it,” says RRR in a poster headed “A National Call!! Stop Corruption Now!! Power Back to the People!!”
According to its website, RRR is a non-partisan movement that supports biblical values and believes that “when the righteous govern the people rejoice!” The visionaries of RRR are Apostle John van Niekerk, Pastor Chris Mathebula and Dr Arno van Niekerk.
RRR urges people to take action by identifying ethical leaders to stand in their communities and registering community forums with the IEC to represent their municipalities. It invites people to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or to visit www.rrrsa.org for help with the process.
Electoral reform conference
In the other current initiative citizens are invited to register now for a conference on “Electoral Reform for Community Based Governance” on Tuesday June 22 from 8.30am to 2.15pm.
In an invitation headed “Real Power to the People” people are urged to register online now, either to attend the conference at the Andrew Murray Centre for Spirituality in Wellington or to join the event virtually via Zoom.
The conference is hosted by the Centre of Good Governance in Africa at the School of Social Innovation, in cooperation with the Huguenot Theological College of Innovation, the Independent Candidate Association SA, the One South Africa movement (OSA) and the School of Governance.
Guest speakers are Prof Erwin Schwella, dean of the School of Innovation, Dr Michael Louis, OSA activist, Deon van der Westhuizen, One Step Academy, Prof Louis Scheepers, School of Government at the University of the Western Cape, and Herman Bailey, emeritus mayor.
Dr Louis, who in recent years has been at the forefront of a campaign for the right of independent candidates to stand in local, provincial and national elections, said that for technical reasons related to the process of registering candidates, it is vital for people to take up their rights to stand for municipalities within the next two weeks.
He also urged citizens to sign an online petition launched by OSA opposing calls by some politicians for the October elections to be postponed due to concerns about the possible spread of Covid-19.
“The big thing is there are people in municipalities who don’t have lights and water. Any postponement of elections will put people in more pain and the country will go more into deficit and debt,” he said.
The IEC has appointed former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke to review whether the October27 election date set by the president is conducive to free and fair elections.