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By Malibongwe Dayimani

Premium Journalist

‘Covert racism’ – Cape Independence Party slammed as it faces failure to get support for election

The Cape Independence Party doesn't have enough numbers to make the ballot for the 2024 elections.

The calls for Western Cape to become an independent state have been slammed as highly divisive covert racism.

The criticism comes as the Cape Independence Party continues to hog headlines for advocating for the province to be independent of South Africa.

However, their efforts are so far proving to be futile as it emerged they are struggling to garner enough support for the upcoming general elections.

ALSO READ: Cape independence is a ‘pipe dream’ not even the DA could support

They have reportedly managed to get only 200 signatures of the 7 000 needed for placement on the Western Cape ballot.

The party has three days to reach that figure of 7 000 the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) cut-off date for independent candidates who can contest for the first time, and new parties, is Friday.  

To make it to the National Assembly, they need 13 000 signatures in line with the Electoral Amendment Act.

For years the Cape Independence Party has been calling for Western Cape’s independence, an idea that divided opinion.

The Democratic Alliance, the governing party in the Western Cape, has opposed the idea of provincial independence.

READ: Cape ‘homeland’ a thinly veiled yearning for the past

Contacted for comment on Tuesday, DA federal chairperson Hellen Zille said: “We have made our position clear. We are in favour of maximum devolution to provincial and local governments but not provincial independence.”

Professor Ntsikelelo Breakfast, from Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Security, Peace and Conflict Resolution, said the Cape Independence Party was a danger to social cohesion.

He said while there is nothing wrong in taking pride in being a Capetonian and displaying examples of exceptionalism by the city, there are signs of racism in the call for independence.

“Why breakaway from the rest of the country? Why not contest state power and make changes from there. This impinges negatively on social cohesion. It is covert racism and is highly divisive,” Breakfast said.

ALSO READ: CapeXit: DA reiterates it ‘does not believe’ in Western Cape independence

Breakfast added that he thinks Cape independence lobbyists want to protect certain privileges for certain people.

“This doesn’t fit well in the glue that holds the country together. In terms of the constitution, there are nine provinces. This idea is divisive and not going to fly.”

The upcoming elections, which are taking place 30 years after the country held its first democratic elections, is considered the second most important event after the 27 April 1994 elections.

Only 19 parties were on the ballot when former president Nelson Mandela’s ANC won the elections by a landslide in 1994. This year, more than 300 parties and several independent candidates are set to contest.

The Cape Independence Party leader Jack Miller could not be reached on the phone on Tuesday. His comments will be added once received.

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