Mailbox: In response to RW Johnson – Cape Independence

From BizNews Community Member Richard Boothroyd

I would have expected better of RW Johnson than his somewhat contemptuous dismissal of WC independence.  Whether our hope for it is realistic or not, it has thrown up serious issues.  As you know, the DA has officially reneged on its promise that we would get our referendum.  That sort of dishonesty would have cost the DA my vote if I had not deserted it already.   This is the reply I got from Cllr Norman McFarlane yesterday:

“The South African Constitution does not make provision for secession. The self-determination clause, by the way, is NOT of relevance, in the view of multiple constitutional law experts, nor do international law provisions trump our constitution. South Africa is a sovereign state, and no international law can supersede local legislation. The only way around this, is for a change to Chapter One of the SA Constitution, which requires a 75% majority in the National Assembly.”

I told him that other “multiple” experts say otherwise, including Prof Malan of Pretoria University and Dr Corne Mulder whose doctorate is I believe in constitutional law.  In any case there have been many secessions since WW2, most against the opposition of the parent states, many of which had specific prohibitions against it.  As far as I can tell, the key principle is that people can’t be held captive irrespective of what legislation is used against them.  Whether a majority of WC voters want independence can only be tested by referendum, and CapeXit’s 800K signatures and the recent 78% Victory poll are surely enough to justify it being so tested.   The DA’s refusal, I think, shows that it knows what the result will be.   So much for democracy.

Norman McFarlane also insisted that the DA has shown “massive growth” in by-elections since the 2021 elections but avoided the unpalatable truth of significant loss in the WC.

So let’s look at the national picture, for which RW Johnson is about right I think.  Forgive me for repeating what I have said before, but Brenthurst’s recent poll showing increased support for the EFF tends to support what I said.  ANC/EFF combined support declined by only five parliamentary seats from 2004 to 2019.  ANC declined from 279 to 230, but EFF increased from nothing to 44.  The inescapable conclusion is that ANC supporters are turning left.  The EFF took 25 seats (6.25%) at its first attempt in 2014 increasing to 44 (11%) in 2019, so Brenthurst’s poll of 17% (68 seats) fits that trajectory exactly.   If Brenthurst’s forecast holds, ANC support will have to decline to 32% to bring combined ANC/EFF support to below 50%.  I don’t see that happening, do you? 

Despite the much publicised animosity between the ANC and the EFF, they are closer to each other than to any other party, and won’t be able to resist the power of coalition.  I regard DA/ANC discussions about possible coalition as bad news.  I want to escape from destructive ANC rule as do the majority of WC voters.   But the DA blocks the clear wish of the majority for it to be tested by referendum.   Unfortunately we’ll get nowhere unless WC voters putting independence before loyalty to the DA.


Dick Boothroyd

Somerset West

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