Veggies, clothes and toothpaste have gone organic and now politics too, it seems, if the Organic Humanity Movement is anything to go by.
While the name might conjure up images of earnest worm farmers in tie-dye T-shirts and Jesus sandals, the party boasts a support base that extends beyond the “lentil curtain” of the far south: it has candidates in almost every ward, across all provinces in this election.
Advocating individual freedoms over authoritarian government, the OHM could prove something of a wild card in the municipal elections, if it finds traction – in the current Covid-19 zeitgeist – among those resisting government vaccination measures.
The OHM describes itself as a nationally registered political party with the mission to liberate South Africa from oppressive structures and influences. On its Facebook page, it claims to be the political party to end all political parties. Its supporters reject the notion that party politics is healthy for democracy, favouring instead the election of independent candidates from ward councillor to president.
“It is far easier for people to hold individuals accountable than it is for people to hold organisations accountable,” says Lauren Evanthia, an OHM founder member.
The idea for the party germinated in 2017 and it registered as a nationwide party with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) the following year.
“We are registered as a political party because the only way we can make real political change is through the current political system. OHM is working to change that,” says Sue Conradie, of Kommejtie, OHM’s southern peninsula candidate, contesting in wards 60, 61, 64, 69 and 70.
“If we obtain seats this year, we will expose the flaws in the current system and be a voice for liberty and humanity,” she says.
Ms Conradie says through training and education, communities that are self-reliant and self-governed will be relieved of many hardships created by systems that don’t work. The idea, she says, is to remove the influence and authority of large, expensive governmental structures.
“The most pressing issue we face is freedom,” says Ms Conradie. “People must be free to live as they choose without influence from a government that has too much authority and is itself influenced by global organisations and their agendas.
“Humans cannot live without nature – we are nature,” she says. ”All decisions must first protect the vulnerable and consider humans and nature ahead of profit.”
While the party takes no position on the efficacy or safety of Covid-19 vaccines, it condemns all calls for these vaccines to be made mandatory and rejects proposals for vaccine passports and certificates as discriminatory.
Freedom, humanity and self-reliance are the party’s watchwords.
“Government should be a service, not an authority. Residents should have more freedom to live uninfluenced by government,” Ms Conradie says.
Development should put people, particularly the most vulnerable, and nature before profit, she says.
She says it is good to know that people like Nomonde Buthelezi (“Activist sounds warning on food security,” Echo October 7) are growing food and spreading the wisdom of self-reliance.
The party seeks South Africa’s withdrawal from the UN, Unesco, the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum and all affiliate organisations that it accuses of influencing the government’s policy decisions for their own gain.
The party says South Africa has a unique and complicated past and people are still suffering the consequences of decades of systematic oppression.
It rejects South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030, which it says is closely linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s Agenda 21 plan for the world.
The OHM says that once there is an independent government free from globalist control, the issues of land and natural resources can be solved.