Karl Marx's demand to bring the vote to the working class came from the six-point People's Charter of 1838, with its supporters known as Chartists. The name Freedom Charter probably came from this source. Given the issue of electoral reform which has now surfaced in South Africa, it is helpful for voters to read about the history of Chartism.
Karl Marx, while living in London, played a crucial role in bringing the vote to the majority of British working class men through the Great Reform Act of 1867 - an issue worth considering ahead of the general election in May, after the ANC's party list of candidates revealed a tranche of ministers tainted with corruption in the State Capture inquiry headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
The ministers on the party list appointed by former president Jacob Zuma are Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane, Malusi Gigaba and Mosebenzi Zwane.
This has led to an open letter to "corrupt comrades", from 11 "ANC elders", calling on them to "Remove yourself from the party list".
In a recent article, columnist Mpumelelo Mkhabela argues that these appointments show South Africa's current electoral system is "flawed", and that the Constitution "must be amended".