The independent Republic of Cape Town: Storming into a nightmare vision of the year 2045
CapeXit seems an attractive idea in some respects, given the total mess the ANC is making of the rest of South Africa. Yet, every time I’m tempted to join their ranks, I feel a cold chill running down my spine as another, contradictory thought suddenly occurs to me: What about the Springboks? Is it going to be the Stormers against the world from now on?
Last night, I had a conversation in a bar with a rather fanatical supporter of the “CapeXit” movement.
Now, I’m a Capetonian myself, I was born here and I’ve lived here, on and off, almost all my life, but so far I have not been persuaded to sign any pro-CapeXit petitions, subscribe to their websites, sign up for membership of their party, whatever.
CapeXit seems an attractive idea in some respects, given the total mess the ANC is making of the rest of South Africa. Yet, every time I’m tempted to join its ranks, I feel a cold chill running down my spine as another, contradictory thought suddenly occurs to me:
What about the Springboks?
Is it going to be the Stormers against the world from now on? We can’t even beat the Bulls, how on Earth are we ever going to manage against the All Blacks?
Still. These CapeXit guys are persistent, hey. They’re getting even worse than the anti-vaxxers, if you ask me.
Last night, this bloke assured me that, unless the Cape splits off from the rest of South Africa very soon, we will all be finished and klaar by the year 2025. Of selfs vinniger.
This guy went even further than the political realities. “Not only will CapeXit save us from the ANC,” he claimed, “it will save us from the coming nuclear holocaust which is about to happen on Earth. It will also save us from being annihilated by an asteroid.”
“You’re not serious!” was my incredulous response. “I can understand the bit about how CapeXit might save us from the ANC, but how the hell will it protect us against a global nuclear holocaust?”
“I’ve checked it out,” he said. “In every computerised prediction of what will happen if all the atom bombs in the world go off at once, there is ONE little spot on the planet that will remain safe: the Western Cape.” Then he added, somewhat dubiously: “Of course, that’s if the wind blows in the right direction.”
“Okay, sure, sure! But what about an asteroid impact?”
He was adamant. “Have you ever heard of any asteroids falling on Cape Town? Has it EVER happened? Are there any craters around here?”
Perhaps we had a few drinks too many last night. Perhaps his wide-eyed enthusiasm about an independent Cape state stimulated the wrong parts of my brain.
Be that as it may, once I went to bed and fell asleep, I had a dreadful nightmare.
It was, in fact, the most vivid, spine-chilling nightmare I had ever had in my life.
You will think I’m making all this up just for the sake of writing a funny article, but it really happened!
In the dream, I was magically transported to a future Cape Peninsula, where I was taken on a guided tour by an angel.
Yes, an angel!
“Where am I?” I asked, when I opened my eyes to a panoramic view of what looked like Boland vineyards.
“Be not afraid,” the angel said, with a slight Capey accent. “It is the year 2045. Behold, I will show you things which will shortly come to pass.”
To my astonishment, I saw the N1 highway — it looked like part of the road just outside Worcester, the bit when you drive south towards the Huguenot Tunnel, and there, right by the toll-gate, a gigantic noticeboard read:
REPUBLIC OF CAPE TOWN
Please have your passports ready
And, sure enough, the old toll-gate had been transformed into a border post, complete with long queues of cars, barriers, and gun-toting soldiers in uniform.
Blue uniforms, mind you. And they all had the DA logo emblazoned on their chests.
On both sides of the border post, stretching in both directions for what seemed to be kilometres, was a very high brick wall with barbed wire at the top.
“What’s with the wall?” I asked. “It doesn’t look as if the Republic of Cape Town actually wants any visitors.”
“On the contrary!” the angel said. “Cape Town in 2045 is a very exclusive holiday destination. They welcome all tourists who are willing to pay through their noses. In fact, Cape Town desperately needs their money, because they have had to enlarge the Waterfront to cope with rising sea levels.”
Indeed, it was true: next thing, the angel showed me the Waterfront, with its hundreds of restaurants and bars. I noticed that it stretched from beyond Adderley Street all the way up to Rhodes Memorial (I shuddered with horror, as I realised that the big statue of Cecil John Rhodes had been replaced by an even bigger statue of Helen Zille).
Trying to be nice, I said: “This is all very fancy. They don’t LOOK like they’ve got money problems! And I don’t see any poor people! Have they eradicated poverty at last?”
“Oh yes,” the angel said smugly. “The Cape Town authorities have found the perfect solution. Homeless people are shot on sight.”
He showed me Greenmarket Square. I looked closely, and to my horror, between the hundreds of fleamarket stalls, there were lots of dead bodies hanging from trees and lamp posts.
“But that’s like the Taliban,” I gasped with horror. “They can’t do THAT!”
As if on cue, I was transported to what used to be the Houses of Parliament in the Company’s Garden. It had been rebuilt to resemble, in shape and size, the Pretoria Voortrekker Monument.
“How the hell did they copy THAT?” I asked. “It must have been very difficult to build such a replica.”
“It’s not a replica,” he said. “They had it moved here. The whole thing. The original Voortrekker Monument. A remarkable feat of engineering! The Afrikaans voters wanted it here.”
“But weren’t the people in Pretoria angry when Cape Town stole their monument?”
“Pretoria! Ha!” the angel said scornfully. “There’s nothing left there, my dear friend. Everyone who could afford it has long since moved down to Cape Town! In fact, there’s nothing left of what used to be South Africa. It’s one big garbage dump, with running sewage, stinking swamps, and broken buildings. The ANC has finally managed to destroy everything!”
“Good heavens! And who rules Cape Town now?”
He showed me a large gathering in front of the Voortrekker Monument. Crowds of people — most of them white — were cheering a group of politicians who were standing on a podium in front of the entrance to the Monument. I could see a smiling little man with a Hitler-like moustache waving his hands and delivering a frantic speech.
When I looked closer, I saw, to my shock and dismay, that it was John Steenhuisen. Slightly older, and dressed in a blue uniform, but unmistakably him.
To his right, in a similar blue uniform, but with a police hat on his head and rows and rows of medals decorating his chest, stood a stern-looking JP Smith at attention.
As Steenhuisen delivered his speech, and JP looked very stern, a cordon of soldiers was marching by. They were all singing a song together, to the tune of the hit by the band called Trio. “Da da da…”
“DA DA DA, aha! DA DA DA!”
They were also in blue uniforms, and they each carried a surfboard, which they held straight up as they marched, as if the surfboards were guns.
“They’re doing something funny with their feet,” I remarked. “Why are they kicking forward? Why the pointed toes?”
“It’s what Capetonians call the Liberal Goose-Step,” the angel explained. “This is the army of the Republic of Cape Town. They keep a close watch on everyone. If anyone isn’t liberal enough, the army will goose-step right up to your house and arrest you. They may be surfers in their free time, but they are very disciplined!”
My eyes travelled further afield. On the outskirts of the part of Cape Town that had now been transformed into one gigantic Waterfront, I saw lots of wide highways with very broad lanes. In some of the lanes, cars seemed to be stuck bumper-to-bumper, unmoving.
“I see they haven’t eradicated the rush hour traffic problem yet,” I observed, pointing towards the rows of cars, hooting and emitting smoke.
“Not quite,” the angel admitted. “But they’re working on that…”
“Then what are those empty lanes with no traffic? Why don’t they use those?”
“Oh, but they can’t!” he sounded horrified. “Those are the bicycle lanes!”
“But I don’t see any bicycles!”
“Well, there SHOULD be.”
As if to draw my attention from the traffic problem, the angel transported me in the spirit to Cape Town Stadium, the one that had been built for the 2010 World Cup. “Look!” he says. “The British and Irish Lions are touring here again. This is the last of the test matches! And the final whistle is about to blow! If the Stormers can kick over one more penalty, they win the series!”
And, as fate would have it, hardly had the angel spoken these words when I heard the referee’s whistle blow.
“Penalty for us! This is our only chance! Oh, look, they’re bringing on a substitute…”
Some match officials were pushing a wheelchair onto the field. As they reached the point where the ball had been perched, they helped someone out of the chair, pointed him towards the ball, and they also pointed towards the posts.
Good golly!” I shouted, suddenly wild with excitement. “Is that who I think it is?”
“Indeed it is,” the angel smiled. “He is 60 years old this year, but he is still our only decent kicker.”
The man jumped out of his wheelchair, stormed towards the rugby ball, and promptly booted it through the posts. Then, assisted by the match officials, he promptly fell back into the chair before being wheeled off again.
“We win again!” the angel shouted gleefully, spreading his arms so that one could clearly see his wings. “Just like in 2009, 2021, and again 2033!”
“MOR…Né…..! MOR….Né!!! MOR….Né!!!!!” the crowd cheered.
And I cheered with them. “Count me in!” I shouted at the top of my voice. “That clinched it! From now on, I will support CapeXit!”
That turned out to be the only good bit in the entire nightmare, however.
And I must admit that, now that I am awake, I’m quite a bit ashamed of myself… DM
Joe Kitchen is a South African musician, singer, songwriter and writer who sometimes goes by the name of Koos Kombuis, André Letoit and/or André le Roux du Toit.
NB This is a satirical piece.
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