IT IS saddening that the referendum, which was meant to enhance our rights, failed. However, it should be noted that some of the factors that led to the failure of the referendum include the twisting of facts. Some political parties took advantage of peopleâ€™s ignorance to mislead them by twisting facts about the referendum.
Inability to explain the proposed rights also disadvantaged the referendum because a lot of people still do not understand the specific rights proposed and the interpretation. It is, therefore, important for those who understand, especially our learned colleagues, to interpret the Bill of Rights for the general public.
This is because people want to be sure of what they are committing to before casting their vote. People are scared of working up one day and finding that the rights they voted for actually also favour gay rights; after all homosexuality is considered a right by human rights activists. And the interpretation of rights being infringed upon is all dependent upon the Constitutional Court. It is not in black and white.
Party allegiance also contributed to the failure of the referendum because people were voting on party lines. Those who supported the opposition United Party for National Development, for instance, rejected the referendum regardless of its contents.
The press did not also seem to support the referendum.