From the Cape Party – 8 August 2020
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”
~ Mahatma Ghandi
This week a fresh round of opinionistas took up the task of attacking the idea of Cape Independence. This is now a growing trend and it seems that an ever dwindling group of editors and columnists can resist the temptation of telling us how unrealistic an independent Cape is.
Take Jan-Jan Joubert who opines that Cape Independence is according to him “Impossible” and incredulously that “Some people actually support it”, arrogating to himself the right to decide which democratic opinions are worthy and which aren’t.
Cape Independence sparks outrage amongst South Africa’s editorial gatekeepers like Joubert and Max Du Preez (who also put pen to paper criticising Cape Independence recently). Because they oppose it, they throw any number of obstacles (Many far fetched) in its path to trash the idea and stop it from gaining traction.
The truth is they are terrified of it because they know it IS possible. They know that a political majority exists here that could vote to end ANC Rule forever. It is the terror of being proven wrong that they are most scared of. Wrong about what you might say? That South Africa was doomed to fail under ANC control. That its break up is inevitable, its borders in any event are completely arbitrary and even the name of the Country is more of a description of a geographical area “South Africa”.
The media elites got it wrong. They venerated the ANC’s unitary state constitution, it’s murky past in exile, and beatified Nelson Mandela.
In recent times they have however pushed a number of failed alternatives to ANC rule. First COPE crashed and burned, then it was the turn of Mamphele Rampela who famously starred as the DA’s Presidential candidate for all of two days. AGANG was launched with much fanfare and money like water. Then came Mmusi Maimane the “Obama of Soweto”, fast tracked too fast, he too suffered the same fate.
Project Rainbow nation was not the work of the masses, but rather of the champagne left situated in the editorial offices of the country’s news media, in its universities and think tanks. They wanted to believe that a succession of rational western educated ANC leaders could make South Africa the Cinderella story of the world. Now their fairytale is taking the wrong course at every turn and unable to contemplate defeat they lash out at those who espouse “unconventional” alternatives.
Alternatives are in short supply. No opposition party or coalition can cobble together a majority nationally to break the ANC-EFF duopoly. Mergers have been tried but have failed. Fast tracking black leaders in the DA has failed. Deposing the ANC by democratic means is simply not going to happen. Many of those who believe that Cape Independence is impossible somehow continue to hold fast to the fantasy that even in the extremely unlikely scenario that the ANC is defeated at the ballot box, that it would peacefully transfer power to some DA type political party.
If you believe that Cape Independence is unlikely/improbable or impossible consider for a moment how unlikely it is that the ANC does NOT resort to stuffing ballot boxes, and other ZANU PF style shenanigans in a desperate attempt to cling to power. The stakes for them are as considerable as those for the ruling party to our North. Having grown rich by criminal means, very few in the ANC’s leadership would escape without jail time should a new government replace it.
So what is more likely? The DA wins a two thirds majority over the ANC and EFF on a national level and reverses the country’s communist policies, the ANC then relinquishes all of its entrenched positions of power and hands themselves over to the DA to face trial for 3 decades of ill gotten gains… Or rather, the one province that the ANC has never even come close to winning in an election (floor-crossing crookery excluded) pursues its constitutional right under international law to govern itself, offers to cover a bigger part of its national debt, and negotiates a mutually beneficial agreement for the ANC to relinquish the one politically troublesome territory that has hammered them endless headaches over three decades?
There are no simple solutions, but those who try to ignore and discard secession do so at their our own peril. The mere threat of it will likely produce reforms and more decentralised powers for provinces. It is the only political leverage we have over the ANC, it is the only political threat we can exercise to prompt reform. We threaten to leave and second prize we get greater autonomy with a devolved legislature. Threaten nothing and we live permanently under ANC rule, perpetually repenting that we did not act earlier to save what is left of our home and this the most beautiful corner on earth.
Dear DA, Stop Complaining and Lead the Cape to Independence … It is long past time for the DA in the Western Cape to do some soul-searching. Stop complaining. Stop whining. Stop blaming. Start acting. Use the power you already have. Use your mandate as real political leverage to get what you say you want: a free, prosperous, democratic, and non-racial society. The present ANC will never deliver this. But you can if you just dare to be great.