×

We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

An independent Western Cape on the cards? Here is what you need to know about the independence bid

01 June 2021 - 14:00 By unathi nkanjeni
806,862 signatures have been garnered by an independent and non-political movement called CapeXit that is on a mission to split the Western Cape from SA. File photo.
806,862 signatures have been garnered by an independent and non-political movement called CapeXit that is on a mission to split the Western Cape from SA. File photo.
Image: THE HERALD/MIKE HOLMES

At least 806,862 signatures have been garnered by an independent and non-political movement called CapeXit that is on a mission to split the Western Cape from SA. 

The movement wants the Cape region to be declared an independent country.

The movement is seeking to obtain the support of 1.6 million people to request a referendum on whether the Western Cape should be separated from SA.

Here is what you need to know:

CapeXit's mission

According to CapeXit, the advantages of an independent Western Cape outweigh the current situation in SA, saying that it is legal, feasible, fair, practical, and necessary.

“The current ‘democratic’ SA is one where rape has classifications, where murderers get bail, where the accused has more rights than the victim, where unemployment and broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) is a household name,” said the movement. 

“The state-owned enterprises like SAA, Eskom and others, are a bottomless pit of debt and a smokescreen for state capture, land grabs are promised without compensation and questionable people are employed in important positions in government. 

“Add to this the violent strikes, where police are ‘standing by’ and not reacting, the blatant encouraging of farm murders by very prominent people and you sure have a recipe for self-destruction.”

A new government and constitution on the cards 

The movement is legal and if it succeeds in its mission, there will be a new government and constitution in the Cape region. 

“A newly appointed government will propose the changes to the new constitution to make it applicable to the new country/state and these changes will have to be approved by the Cape parliament with a two-thirds majority. The new country/state is then established, and the normal constitutional, real democratic processes will be followed from here on,” said CapeXit. 

The movement said an independent Cape will be freed from “chronic corruption, incompetence, obsession with race and lawlessness”.  

“The new government will be directly accountable to the Cape citizens only, which will ensure that the newly-elected government will act in the best interest of the Cape.

“The tax income generated in the Cape will be spent within the Cape region and to the benefits of the citizens.”

Can Western Cape go it alone?

According to constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos, the idea of an independent Western Cape is nothing but a pipe dream.

Speaking to TimesLIVE he said, “This is not how democracy works. The government would not allow a referendum and they don’t have to call for one if they don’t want to. 

“It is better people know now that this is not going to happen so they aren’t disappointed when it doesn’t happen.”

Western Cape premier Alan Winde said the movement was “trying to fix a problem with the wrong tool”.

“I hear this call for cessation but if you analyse the reason, it’s political. People are not happy with the politics [of SA] but the way to deal with politics is not referendums, it’s called the ballot. You are trying to fix a problem with the wrong tool,” said Winde.

Are the signatures legit? 

Disinformation researcher for Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab Jean le Roux pointed out that the process for the registration does not have verification. 

Le Roux shared on Twitter that he registered on the site using a fake name, e-mail address, phone number and ID number.

“They don't even do basic ID number validations, or send a verification e-mail to the address you provide,” he said. 


subscribe