Dagga Party Elections 2019 Announcement/ Press Release 17 March 2019.
After a crazy week of fund-raising and donations from all around the country Dagga Party supporters are waiting with baited breath to know if we made it into the National Elections of 2019
The short answer is “No. we did not meet the deadline of 17h00 on 13 March 2019, and the Dagga Party will not be on the ballot in the National elections.
So what went wrong?
This information is shared so we are all clear in the facts, and can learn from them for next time.
We must remember that on the evening of the day before the deadline, our fund-raising was only at R55 000 so it was already going to be a no show.
But, at about 21h00, a the first ever mobilised supporter of the Dagga Party of South Africa, and the longest standing Ward Group leader in the Dagga Party, Ras Bongo Wiseman Hlophe of Ndwedwe, near Durban, phoned to tell me he had taken a loan of R150 000 to enable use to register for National elections.
The money was transferred at 09h00 the next morning, and then I and a helper, Mr. Basil Lotter, who knows online banking better than I do, (I only use ATM’s and pay points) went to the bank to establish the payment process. The IEC had not given us their banking details earlier in the week after a direct inquiry in the matter and had insisted that we use a payment portal on their website. After a complicated rand obscure online registration process on the IEC website, on Monday 11th March, as guided through telephonically by a member of IEC staff, we were ready to do transactions.
We upped the daily transaction limit of our account but we told that a card swipe or internet payment would be limited to R100 000 per day. A transaction by a teller at the bank could make a R200 000 deposit but we did not have the banking details of the IEC. They wanted us to do a card transaction. Mr. Thomas Le Roux, began looking for another way to pay the other R100 000 using a different account.
The online payment attempt failed about three times and resulted in the account being frozen, and only lengthy online interrogations with the call center allowed us to keep trying.
Basil eventually just found the IEC banking details on the website, which the IEC had refused to provide earlier in the week. And then he and Tommie finally made direct deposit EFT transactions to the IEC account, avoiding the online card process on the IEC website altogether.
These struggles extended past the deadline, and there had been no opportunity to upload the ID numbers of our candidates, which would have taken about half an hour anyway.
So at about 16h30 I realized that this was not going to happen, and began to make peace with the situation.
So what happens now?
The Election Deposit Money
The IEC has our payment of R200 000 and we are trying to get our money back, but this possibly will only be paid back after the elections. The amount of R150 000 borrowed by Ras Bongo Hlophe will be repaid to him in full as soon as we do get the money back.
The funds gathered by the raffle and donations will be kept and used to develop an online membership application portal and website shop, and to stockpile funds in a fixed deposit account for National elections in 2023, so that there is no mad rush to raise funds at the last minute. This fund-raising will be ongoing with a funding 'thermometer' so that people can see how far we need to get to fund the deposit for National Elections 2023
The next time we have to pay an election deposit, I know we will have all of the necessary funds to pay upon promulgation of the election date, and way before any payment deadline that is declared.
The Fundraising Raffle
The raffle draw will be dealt with once our famous ZolBarbie Alessya Brookes is back from her 7-day ban by Facebook. The raffle draw will be made once 2000 tickets have been sold, so these will be tallied up and the number of tickets sold will be announced.
What we Achieved. (and didn’t achieve)
We achieved the mobilization of people from all over the country in paying donations, and the buying of raffle tickets, which was astounding and showed that the Cannabis Culture can really unite towards a political goal.
We have achieved a small list of quality people as candidates for this Election, and we hope to build the list over the next 4 years to at least a list of 200. Candidate's personal profiles will be featured on the website in the future.
I would have LOVED to have made it onto the ballot to eventually see the response of the electorate at the ballot on 8 May 2019, but there is plenty of other creative work to be done till next National elections.
We failed to achieve access to possible extensive election media for our cause and the cause of the Plant as an economic resource for the public good,
We failed (so far) as a movement to become active in political discourse within the precincts that determine policy direction and decision-making for South Africa's future.
We learned in this effort that we cannot lead the way for other citizens if we are running to catch up to deadlines, so let's make a promise to ourselves that we are walking together towards a South Africa that WILL give the Cannabis resource to the future of our Children.
Looking Ahead at Cannabis Legalisation
We must remember first that the Constitutional Court judgment (Case 108/17 CCT) pointedly refused to consider Cannabis as a source of nutrition, or as an industrial resource, or as a possible clean carbon resource for energy, and even as a medicine, (as we filed for), and still only considers the plant as a DRUG.
The forthcoming legislation ordered by the Constitutional Court in teams of Section 14 Privacy, will not develop the idea of Cannabis as a resource but will only make the law it was ordered to make by the Constitutional Court. The government may even not bother with a Green Paper process and simply let the judgment become law as it was read into law by the Constitutional judgment.
ONLY the ongoing activism of the Dagga Party as a political platform for the Plant and its People will ever result in the unlocking of all of the economic benefits of the Cannabis Plant, and the overthrowing of those prohibitionist forces that profit from the prohibition of the plant.
South Africa is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and great hardship for all citizens, and we have to get to political power in the nearest possible future to minimize the harms that will arise in a permanent economic downturn.
Future Dagga Party Strategy
The Dagga Party will create an online membership application portal and use this to link locals up into Ward -based groups so that we can build inclusive and co-operative local 'tribes' in every suburb, 'Kasi and village, centered on the Tree and based on mutual respect for each other and for Cannabis.
Members will receive newsletters and information to use in creating better livelihoods for people on the ground, and to mobilise such groups when election time comes around again. ONLY a Dagga Party in Parliament will be able to create the positive future depicted in this chart, with its list of necessary policies to achieve this future, because the Dagga Party is the party with the Dagga.
The formation of local on-the-ground groups is essential for any success in a Municipal Election, and to promote our Culture, and to gradually create a People-centered Economy, with values as shown in this chart.
This is not a Conclusion.
I have included these slides as part of this communication so that we know what we must do and what the solutions are that we need to implement, at Home, in the Hood, and Nationally.
This last comment is a call to all to start walking together towards becoming a government/governance that will provide the Cannabis resource to our economy, and to consider this time as only the beginning of our path, and may we achieve our goals of a greener, healthier, happier and wealthier South Africa every day , and may we ALL become more e effective leaders in forthcoming election processes, and on the ground in all our local areas. FORWARD.
I would like to lastly say a massive THANK YOU to those who made a commitment to this path by donating towards the mission over the last 3 weeks.
In the meantime, I encourage you all to MAXIMISE your private plantings of Cannabis and to use it for your personal benefit in health and in the promotion of our Cannabis Culture.
May your harvests be bountiful.
Dagga Party of South Africa