Evita Bezuidenhout presents the vision and manifesto of the Party

Molweni Nonke! I'd like to welcome the premier, her worship the mayor, leaders of political parties, ladies and gentlemen of the media. Good morning everyone. Welcome. My name is Evita Bezuidenhout and I am an African. I do not belong to a political party. I think we have had too many parties in the last 14 years. We must now stop having parties; we must start working. And working together.

Evita's Peoples Party is not about politics. It's about people. It's about what people do to make politics work. It is about elections. It is about the vote. Before 1994, democracy was too good to share with just anyone, and as a result there were only four million people in South Africa. When apartheid ended in 1994, suddenly there were 27 million more people - in the maid's quarters and behind the garage. People who had all the reason in the world to say: 'take the farms, eliminate the whites.' But no one said those words. Nelson Mandela came out of 27 years in jail and smiled and said: 'Tannie Evita, give me another koeksister.' Nelson Mandela gave truth to that old saying: 'Love your enemy. It will ruin his reputation.'

Thank heavens our reputation as white racists was destroyed by his generosity and the compassion of a liberation movement that did not allow revenge. And so we changed. In fact everyone changed. The legacy of that first election of 27 April 1994, when millions of South Africans queued to vote for the first time, and many voted many times - that legacy is simply this: we got a second chance then. We will not get a third chance.

We have been spending a fascinating time replacing a president, premiers and politicians. Our third general election is due within months. There is turmoil in the financial markets as well as behind the political fire-curtains. Never before have so many people been so scared by the words of so few. It is time to stand up and say: enough talk of war and killing and replacements. It is time to look beyond the political roundabout and see who really matters. The people matter. Their opinion matters. Their vote matters. Without them we have no democracy. The fact that we are here today I hope is proof enough we will never become Somalia.

Evita's Peoples Party will focus on the vote. On voter registration that gives you the key to the future. Without that key you can't get beyond the backdoor. The vote is secret. The vote is sacred. Even voting is a choice. People say they will spoil their papers. But that is to vandalize your opinion. Nothing comes from nothing. If you don't cast your vote for the future, you lose the right to complain about that future.

  I say to every father and mother, grandfather and grandmother, gogo and tata: Vote. It's not only about you. It's also about your children and your grandchildren. They need you to care, so that they can make their dreams come true in a country that is free and fair. Our Constitution gives us freedom of choice: so choose. It gives us freedom of speech: so ask questions. It gives us freedom of expression: so laugh, when it all threatens to fall apart. If you can't decide whom to vote for, find out what they all stand for. Get the facts, then be empowered by your opinion - and vote. The cross on a ballot is a worthy cross to bear with pride.

Evita's Peoples Party will invite each party that intends to contest the upcoming election to publish their manifesto on our website so that the nation can study all the menus. Think about it as food. At present we are all mesmerized by the arguments coming from the ANC kitchen. So much so, that we forget to focus on the dining room of democracy. Our dining room has many kitchens: ANC, DA, ID, IFP, UDM, ACDP, FF+ and maybe even an ANC+ or an ANC- quite soon? Each party manifesto will present their best recipes for a future. Shop around and find the dish to your taste.

We have a Constitution that is arguably the greatest in the world. Evita's Peoples Party will focus the attention of the people on what the Constitution offers us all. We must make each aspect of the Constitution as familiar as the songs in "Mama Mia."

The EPP is not about politics. There are excellent committed politicians, professional and dedicated, who lead political parties with passion and vision. They deserved the vote that they deserve. There are some who don't deserve the vote. I have no comment to make to those, other than to say: Oppas boeties, as from today, you're being watched.

Evita's Peoples Party will be the Jack Russell terrier at the gates of our democracy to bark loudly when our Constitution is threatened or insulted, to howl when our Constitutional rights are demeaned. And with other democrats to ensure a fair and free election, where all South Africans can positively contribute their choice for robust multi-party alternatives to honest committed government.

Let the people lead and the politicians will follow.