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"I wouldn’t have the rights I enjoy today if it wasn’t for Zackie"

Queer Revolution activist Lara Aucamp shares why she is voting for Zackie Achmat.

Wednesday is election day, and I’m excited to vote for Zackie Achmat. Zackie is running as an Independent Candidate and will appear on the Orange Regional Ballot. Here’s why he deserves your vote:

Zackie Achmat is best known for his groundbreaking work with the Treatment Action Campaign, which ensured free access to antiretrovirals for all South Africans. His efforts have saved millions of lives. Yes, millions.

But Zackie’s contributions don’t stop there. He has tirelessly advocated for constitutional rights and the dignity of marginalised communities. From education, housing and sanitation, to fighting state capture and championing LGBTIQ+ rights, Zackie has been a relentless force for justice.

As a queer woman, I’ve directly benefited from Zackie’s work. Thanks to him, South Africa became the first country in the world to prohibit unfair discrimination based on sexual orientation. I wouldn’t have the rights I enjoy today if it wasn’t for Zackie.

People who say one person can’t make a difference have never met Zackie Achmat. Indeed, there is only so much that one person can do. Zackie’s true power lies in his ability to empower communities. A key part of the Zackie2024 campaign is his work with Activists Forums. These are knowledge-based movements that educate people about their rights, teach them how to engage with government, and inspire them to lead change. Zackie doesn’t just drive change; he enables others to do the same.

Now, let’s talk about Parliament. Many believe you need to be part of a big party to make an impact. But the truth is, party members often can’t vote according to their conscience. You have to follow what the party says. As an independent MP, Zackie would act freely, serving the people’s interests rather than a party’s agenda. Imagine the difference that could make.

On Wednesday, you’ll receive three ballots. Zackie will be on the Orange Regional Ballot. If we can get him 86,000 votes, he’ll secure a seat in the National Assembly as South Africa’s first Independent MP. This would be a historic moment.

Let’s make history. Give Zackie Achmat one of your three votes on Wednesday!

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