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The South African Muslim Network (SAMNET) provides guidance come election day

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By Kouthar Sambo

The South African Muslim Network (SAMNET) has a critical role to play when it comes to the political sphere in South Africa. The public at large has been overwhelmed with various promises from political parties as we edge closer to elections, resulting in the confusion of many.

Speaking on VOC’s PM Drive show on Monday, SAMNET’s Faisel Suleman, said its network focuses on voter education, political advocacy, and issues of Islamophobia, just to name a few.

“We do not build Mosques and hand out food hampers, we do the other stuff nobody wants to do and the stuff you do not see in public. As far as elections go, we try to narrow it down for the Muslim community as they do not have the time to read every manifesto,” explained Suleman.

According to Suleman, there are various other smaller parties that we believe are very unlikely to achieve the 65,000 to 80,000 votes nationally or in a province to get a seat.

Strategically, voting for less supported parties or unproved leaders, explained Suleman, however attractive their policies may be, could make our votes ineffective (dilution).

“There are two fundamental elements in any choice when voting (in any context): 1. Are you the voter voting on what is critical to their beliefs or aspirations? 2. Are you voting strategically, to have your vote count or to ensure a less appealing candidate or ideology does not get power?” advised Suleman.

He further highlighted the importance of voter education before heading to the polls tomorrow.

“Voter education is important as people cannot make an informed electoral choice if they are not well-informed about political matters,” stressed Suleman.

Photo: Pexels

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