Are people more interested in the Oscar Pistorius trial than in the elections? FAATIMA TAYOB asked people in Durban what has been getting their attention.
Absna Kubeka, 76, Umlazi
“I am going to vote. I feel my vote will make a difference. I work here at the flea market, but I am struggling. I would like it if people in Durban
would come to these flea markets and buy from us. Oscar Pistorius…I know the name, but I forget who he is.”
Guy Myburgh, 58, Richmond
“I will definitely be voting. I have always been pro-ANC. But I am a little bit worried about the direction of the leadership. The DA have some good policies, but I am not sure that they have the experience to deal with all the complexities of South Africa. So I think I will stick with voting for the ANC, and hope my vote achieves change in their leadership. Oscar is done for. He does not interest me anymore. I’d rather focus on what is happening with the state of our country. I am proudly South African because it is a beautiful country we live in and in spite of its past, I think it has great potential. There are some problems, but we just need solutions.”
Mahindra, 64, Reservoir Hills
“I am registered to vote and will be voting as I want a true democracy. It’s been 20 years with BEE, and it has provided a break for those who were previously disadvantaged, but now we need to look at the merits of the individual. This will allow the country to move forward faster.
I don’t have interest in the criminal activity of Oscar Pistorius.I am proudly South African because this is a good country because of its people and the weather!”
Schogn Lee, 36, Durban
“I am not registered to vote. I have no interest in politics, and and no interest in voting. I feel the outcome has no direct influence on me or my life. I somewhat know who Oscar Pistorius is. I’m not interested in the case and don’t follow the news or media. South Africa is okay… I have travelled overseas extensively and our country is not any worse or any better than any other country.”
Felix Murray-Schum,18, Cape Town
“I haven’t registered to vote, and I am not planning to vote. It seems like a mission, and I don’t believe it will change anything. People say maybe it is your vote that will achieve change, but it really does not work like that. The people who would vote for the DA in KZN are a minority in relation to the people who would vote for the ANC. There are still a lot of issues around race in the country. I was born after the whole Apartheid thing and many black people my age still play the race card. I am not interested in the Oscar Pistorius case, but I am not interested in the upcoming elections either.”
Chris Nderitu, 23, Durban
“I haven’t registered to vote, and I’m not even planning to register. I know you should, and it’s your responsibility. But I have a little bit more to focus on in my life right now… like normal stuff. I am just trying to make something out of myself. I do think though that we need more skate parks so the sport can grow. Also, it’s a space that keeps kids from doing stuff they shouldn’t be doing. Yah, I know who Oscar Pistorius is, but I’m not interested in the trial. I am proudly South African because of the people… they are all so friendly, and I love their vibes. I am all about the people and not about what is going on in government.”
Vuyisile Mqoqi, 38, Durban
“I will be voting this year… I will be voting for change! The change I want to see is a fight against corruption. We have given the ANC 20 years.
I think perhaps it’s time to look at alternative party. I am keeping an eye on the Oscar trial. I think the upcoming elections and the trail are both a high priority, but I am more up to date on what is happening with the Oscar trial. I am proudly South African because this country is one where change is possible.”
Sanelisiwe Ndimande, 27, Newlands
“I’m not planning to register or to vote. I am vote-apathetic. I don’t see the need for my vote. I think it’s people who went through Apartheid who generally will vote. I think the ANC will keep winning the elections for a long long time because they have a history, whereas the other parities don’t have that. I am not at all interested in the Oscar trial. The trial and the elections are on my radar, but I am just not interested in either of them. Everything about this country makes me proudly South African. When you go abroad you see how people love our country and how they view it. It makes you see things with a different perspective. I don’t think South Africans appreciate their country as much as they should.”
Bongeka Mpofa, 25, Chesterville
“Yes, I am voting this year. I have already been to register. I hope that it will help with more job opportunities. And I also think the government needs to provide more RDP housing for us. I don’t know who Oscar Pistorius is. The freedom in our country makes me proudly South African.”
Nomtha Chili, 20, Durban
“Yes, I already registered and will vote! I am happy with the government. I don’t know Oscar Pistorius is. I am proudly South African because our country is a democracy.”
Stha Buthelezi, Durban
“Yes, of course I will be voting. I hope my vote contributes to the education system in South Africa, and to decreasing the poverty rate, because it is really bad. At the moment, It feels like we are voting for nothing. We want to be able to see our votes working for us, and really count. The elections and the Oscar trial are both interesting to me, but I feel we need to hear a lot more about the upcoming elections as we aren’t getting enough information. My heritage and the people make proudly South African… and the food!”
Janet Luthuli, 48, Chesterville
“Yes, I am going to vote. As a South African, I have to vote! We all have to! I have been voting since ’94 and I haven’t seen many things change. It makes me feel very bad about the country, so I am going to change who I vote for…I can’t tell you, it’s my secret. The current ANC, they don’t achieve change. If you can change the people in the current ANC, then maybe they can achieve something. I think Oscar is guilty, and so I am not interested in the case. There is too much crime in South Africa, so it makes it hard to be proudly South African.”
Alvna Santhilal, 21, Chatsworth
“Yes, I will definitely be voting for the first time this year and I have already completed my registration. I am not voting for the ANC, but even if people vote for other parties, the ANC still prevails. People aren’t thinking properly when voting and don’t consider what is good for the country before voting. Instead they follow the ANC like sheep. This Oscar thing… it’s just too too much. The upcoming elections are far more important. But I feel most of the news coverage is focused on the trial, and the elections are not getting as much coverage as they should. I’d rather leave South Africa when I am done studying and maybe live in Singapore.”
Fikile Ntshangase, 22, Durban
“I don’t see why I should vote. So I haven’t registered and don’t intend to. Even if I do vote, the same thing will keep on happening. There is never real change. In some aspects the government are doing a good job, but the corruption is not acceptable. I think the Oscar thing is racist. If a black person does the same thing, they wouldn’t take a long time investigating the case. But he has a lot of money so they are spending more time on the case. So I am not really keeping up with the trial. I would like to leave South Africa when I am done studying and maybe live in the USA.”
Megan Smith, 18, Durban
“Honestly, I am not planning to vote. I am not that interested in politics and I don’t have an opinion on where the country should be at the moment.
So I don’t think I should be voting. I am scared of what direction the country may go in, but I do think it has a lot of potential and and just needs to be run by the right party. We need a new party in power to run the country. I have been keeping fairly up to date about the Oscar Pistorius trial, but I think the elections and the state of our country are definitely more important than the Oscar trial. I am proud to be South African because of the heritage of the country and our weather!”
Aurelie, 18, Kloof
“I haven’t yet registered to vote, but I am planning to. I don’t think just my one vote counts. I think we all need to vote in order to get somewhere.
I hope the country changes for the better, and not just for some peoples back pockets. I think the political party currently in power needs to change.
The ANC have been in power for too long, and the power is getting to their head. I mean look at our president, with his huge property.
It’s so wrong! There are people who are starving and he is sitting, smiling. It’s incredibly unfair. A different party may possibly use the money more wisely. I haven’t been watching the Oscar Pistorius trial. I think it’s a load of rubbish. They put so much focus on it, when there are more important things we can focus on. There are so many people though who are so engrossed in the trial, but that should rather focus on things in their own lives that are important, not necessarily just the elections. I am definitely proudly South African I love South Africa. The weather is great, the people are great, the multiculturalism is awesome. Where else can you get this in the world?”