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'Vote No' campaign causes waves

President Jacob Zuma has reportedly told the SABC he hopes to talk to Ronnie Kasrils about the campaign.

Former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils and Former Deputy Minister of Defence Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge launched the 'Vote No' campaign at Wits University on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has reportedly told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) he hopes to talk to former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils about his 'Vote No' campaign.

The SABC has quoted Zuma as describing the call by Kasrils as 'a very funny thing'.

The president reportedly said Kasrils and the ANC have fought hard for South Africans to have the right to vote.

But Kasrils said Zuma and the ANC must not take the criticism personally.

"It's true we were close friends in exile, but things changed. It's not a personal issue."

The presidency said that Zuma had been quoted out of context, but declined to correct the report.

As the 'Vote No Campaign' gains momentum, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has become the latest senior party official to blast Kasrils by calling him a reckless individual.

Kasrils, together with former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, yesterday launched their campaign in Johannesburg.

It calls on South Africans to spoil their ballots or vote for smaller parties in next month's polls and send a message to the government that corruption will not be tolerated.

Mantashe, who's on the campaign trail in Mpumalanga, said the initiative was adventurous, but added Kasrils caused the Bisho Massacre which resulted in the deaths of nearly 30 young people 22 years ago.

Kasrils said the campaign aimed to shake the complacency of the ANC and provided a corruption free future for South Africans.

"This is where we speak as people of conscience and we want to set an example."

He said he hoped more veterans would join the campaign and strengthen the opposition against the ruling party and curb corruption.

"We expect many more to sign on as the campaign gets going."

The ruling party has rejected the campaign saying spoiling ballot papers only undermines the long struggle of those who fought for democracy.

Video: Campaign launched.

RELIGIOUS LEADERS CALL ON PEOPLE TO VOTE

Religious leaders in Cape Town have called on people to go out and vote because it's their hard won democratic right to do so.

Methodist Church Bishop, Michel Hansrod, said the 'Vote No Campaign' was adding to a growing chorus of pre-election hype.

"It's one of the many voices and ours is to give encouragement to people to give expression to that right which was denied to millions of people for a long time."

The group of religious leaders, led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, held a media briefing yesterday to unveil their plans to march on Saturday in protest against corruption.