Hundreds of supporters of an independent Western Cape marched into Stellenbosch, where a heatwave had hit in the 1930s, to present the DA mayor with a memorandum calling on the local government to recognize its right to hold an independence referendum for the province.
“The people of the Cape are demanding our right to self-determination in the face of a corrupt, racist and incompetent national government that we have not agreed to. It is time to fight institutionalized racial discrimination and to build a fair and prosperous Cape for all citizens,” said the Cape Independence Advocacy Group, one of the organizations organizing the march.
Brian Damonse, a local healer and resident of Cloetesville, a largely colored community in Stellenbosch, said, “I joined this march today to liberate my nation, my customs and my culture because I don’t think the DA and the ANC have a plan for how we can improve or practice our culture as a people,” he said.
“From the community where I come from, thousands support this. Even in the surrounding areas I estimate that 60% are in favor of an independent Cape.
Organizations for Cape independence are calling on the people of the Western Cape to register their support for a referendum on the separation of the province from SA.
One organization, CapeXit, has received almost 600,000 registrations pleading for a referendum. They estimate that they need 1.6 million registrations.
Rudwin Gertse, a resident of Kuils River, a town near Stellenbosch, said: “I am doing this for my future children – if times are difficult for me, what will it be like for my children?
I am not only doing this for me and my race, I am doing it for all people in the Western Cape. For me as a minority in this country it is difficult to get a job because of the national government policies. They like to say that we are black, but if we have to tick the boxes, we have to tick the coloured box that prevents us from getting a job”.
But criticism of an independent Western Cape came from EFF deputy Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who slammed the movement.
“Cape Town will never be an independent state. A Boer republic is a failed dream, that will never happen! There will never again be a white ruled country anywhere in Africa”, said Ndlozi.
Others, such as the constitutional expert Pierre de Vos, said the idea was “a cake in heaven, a pipe dream” and that “the call for a secession of the Western Cape should be abandoned immediately”.
However, the supporters did not blink an eyelid when asked if they were affected by the comments of those who are against the move.
“These people benefit from the status quo, that’s how obvious they’re going to say it,” said Cape Party Chairman Jack Miller. “The government has a legal obligation: if we get a majority for independence in the Western Cape, they must grant us independence.
It is the free will of the people of the Western Cape, so if we want to be independent, we can be independent”.