Citizens abroad must vote

Sibo Maputi's letter (Sowetan, 28 January 2009) makes false conclusions about the DA's decision to take the IEC to court to allow South Africans living abroad to vote.

Sibo Maputi's letter (Sowetan, 28 January 2009) makes false conclusions about the DA's decision to take the IEC to court to allow South Africans living abroad to vote.

We have done so not because we think they will vote for us, but because we believe that the right to vote is a fundamental right of all South Africans, irrespective of whether they are currently in the country or not.

Because of the importance of the right to vote, this right is guaranteed to all adult citizens in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Therefore, to deny South Africans the opportunity to exercise this right goes against the spirit of our Constitution.

There are many South Africans living abroad who would like to vote, but who are unable to do so because there exists what seems to be an unreasonable and unconstitutional exclusion to vote for those living abroad.

If we deny South Africans living abroad the vote, we will be ignoring that the central objective of the struggle against apartheid was always about guaranteeing the right of all South Africans to vote for the party of their choice.

We will continue to pursue this matter in the highest court in the land in the belief that the right to vote is an inalienable right of citizenship and worth fighting for.

Donald Lee MP, DA National Spokesperson

X