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Independent Republic of the Western Cape: Dream on, suckers, it ain’t gonna happen

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Oscar van Heerden is a scholar of International Relations (IR), where he focuses on International Political Economy, with an emphasis on Africa, and SADC in particular. He completed his PhD and Masters studies at the University of Cambridge (UK). His undergraduate studies were at Turfloop and Wits. He is currently a Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Fort Hare University and writes in his personal capacity.

The supposed secession plan of the Western Cape from the rest of South Africa is premised on the impression that the province is well governed, unlike the other provinces, and is able to stand on its own as an independent economic powerhouse. Let’s debunk both these myths.

At the core of the arguments for secession of the Western Cape is racism, nothing else.

It is arrogance of the highest order. To think that we agreed through negotiations to a quasi-federal system in terms of the provinces, only to now be confronted with this insensitive nonsense of secession? How dare you?

This is premised on two fallacies, namely, the Western Cape is a well-governed province unlike the other provinces and is able to stand on its own as an independent economic powerhouse. Really? Let’s debunk both these myths.

On the one hand, Cape Town remains the crime capital of South Africa, with the most murders taking place in this city, but the murders, drugs, rapes and thefts happen on the Cape Flats, far removed from the lush suburbs of Sea Point, Bantry Bay and Camps Bay.

The fact that transport infrastructure does not work for the majority of people in Cape Town does not resonate with the minority white folks. Let’s build a really good rapid transit system but let’s ensure it’s in the Bloubergstrand-Milnerton area and we will say it’s coming to the Mitchells Plain-Khayelitsha side of town. But alas, it’s been years already and still nothing.

The railway lines coming from these areas are also not a priority, but the DA is doing so well for the majority of our people. The apartheid spatial morphology remains intact and we see it daily in the City’s treatment of the homeless and the poor.

As for the Western Cape’s economic prowess, these stats might for now be impressive but it’s premised on the overall performance of the rest of the country and the policy orientation of the national government. The only reason why the province always looks so good statistically is because the province historically was disproportionately funded as compared to other regions in the country.

Allow me to elaborate: because of the obvious “divide-and-rule” tactics of the apartheid government, they spent proportionally more on a so-called coloured national than on the rest of the native folks in the country. Meaning educational and health facilities in the Western Cape received disproportionately more money than other regions in the country.

Hence, infrastructurally, schools, universities, roads, hospitals and much more were and still are better than the rest of the country — all of which the DA claims is their doing since taking office in the early 2000s. Such utter opportunism is what informs these claims that all is well in Cape Town and that the DA is supposedly governing so well over the years. What utter claptrap.

The DA promised to appoint the children’s commissioner — which is mandatory in terms of the provincial Constitution — in 2009. It took 11 years before they did so after relentless pressure from the ANC and civil society. Even now the DA is underfunding the commissioner and not ensuring her independence.

The provincial Constitution provides for the compulsory appointment of an environmental commissioner too. They have defied the Constitution and have not allowed the legislature to nominate one.

The DA has promised to release provincial and municipal land for integrated social housing and reverse apartheid spatial planning, but after 12 years of the DA government in the province and 14 years in the city they have not used any land they own for inner-city social housing.

The DA promised to place learners in our schools, but over 30,000 learners were not placed. They run the provincial education department and yet returned R400-million to the provincial treasury, unspent.

The DA promised to act without fear or favour against errant DA councillors and MPs, yet there’s clearly different standards for some. MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela was summarily suspended after allegedly falsifying his CV and is now out of office. Yet Mayco member JP Smith and Saldanha Mayor Marius Koen, who face similar allegations, remain in office. Why? This is surely nothing but racism. One set of rules for black DA members and another for white members. But we govern in the WC, so much so that we should seek secession from Mzansi.

The DA promised service delivery for all and a focus on poor communities. Yet sewage flows in the streets of many black townships, council roads in many communities are in a shocking state of repair. Since the DA’s Day Zero campaign during the drought, water tariffs were massively hiked and remain exorbitant and are hitting working- and middle-class families very hard.

The DA in the city has chosen to sell municipal land to the highest bidder, instead of using this land for affordable housing. This has deepened the housing crisis. But we don’t want to talk about these uncomfortable truths, do we?

The DA promised to clean up and upgrade the Mitchells Plain town centre but the situation has worsened with crime, grime and corruption impacting on the lives of small traders and ordinary people. It is clear, they simply don’t care.

If anything, Cape Town is the quintessential tale of two cities, two economies, and indeed two worlds. Rich and white versus poor and black. But independence is what you argue for premised on these two myths.

I see social media abuzz with both the billionaire Rob Hersov’s rhetoric around a plan for the Western Cape to secede from the rest of South Africa, as well as AfriForum’s Constitutional Court application for the referendum laws to be changed, supposedly for the secession plan to be tested with the citizenry of the province. I am very aware of the systematic migration over the years of many whites to the Western Cape informed in part by retirement options, but also supposedly because the province is so well managed under the leadership of the Democratic Alliance. Continue lying to yourselves.

The influx of many black Africans, particularly from the Eastern Cape seeking opportunities in the Western Cape, remains a very scary thing for the DA-led province, I would imagine if the Western Cape should get their way and secede, the borders to black South Africans will be shut. Wouldn’t want the riff-raff to enter our pristine country, or as Rob Hersov says, our second Rwanda.

The history of the Western Cape is integrally part of South Africa and now some arrogant white people want to claim it as their own. Still wanting to just take, take and take as has been their nature in the history of our country. The slave history of the Western Cape should remind us all of the inextricable bond between the Cape and the rest of our country.

Do you know that when in 1652 the Dutch established the Cape Colony, the Cape began to be the recipient of enslaved persons from elsewhere in Africa and from India, Southeast Asia and China? It is this aspect of the European-driven slavery epoch which is often subject to misrepresentation and the full story is rarely told.

According to my good friend, Patric Tariq Mellet, also left out of this story is the slavery story that continued beyond the 1834 Emancipation Day story, both in the Cape Colony and the slavery system in the post-1838 Boer Republics and the cross-border slave-trading by Boers through Mozambique.

The full story begs to be told as it is on the foundations of slavery that colonialism flourished, racist ideology was built, and segregation and apartheid was built. And according to Helen Zille, colonialism for which we should be thankful for. We cannot even begin to hope that we will defeat racism in South Africa without understanding slavery in South Africa.

We need to first look at the size and shape of Cape slavery as many think that slavery was just a numerically small thing. From 1652 until the beginning of the European rape, genocide, conquest and land grabs in the Eastern Cape, there were more enslaved people in the Cape Colony than any other group, European and Khoe. The latter, which once were numerically strong, had by 1795 endured ethnocide, forced removals, genocide, disease fatalities by smallpox and been put to flight as refugees taking sanctuary at the Kai Gariep.

From 1652 to 1806 there were 63,000 first-generation African and Asian slaves brought to the Cape and between 1806 until the arrivals of the last “Prize Slaves” aka “Liberated Africans” in the 1860s there were another 15,000 first-generation, mainly African slaves, bringing the total number of first-generation slaves in the Cape to around 78,000.

Cape slaves were brought to the Cape Colony from Africa and Madagascar (47,300); from India, Sri Lanka, West Bengal and Bangladesh (17,200); and from Southeast Asia (13,500) — totalling 78,000. Post-1838 the Boer Voortrekkers did slave raiding, slave trading and kept slaves to develop farms in the new Boer territories too after they left the Cape in 1836. These latter figures are impossible to relate to. In 1904 there were 385,000 descendants of enslaved persons and other migrants of colour and 92,000 Khoe people of various groups.

The children and successive generations of grandchildren were also born into slavery as Cape Creole slaves. While some slaves were given toponyms denoting the areas from which they were captured or exported, others were given a range of other names including the names of months in the year. A number of prominent liberation fighters had names such as September, February and April.

Such is our rich history in the Western Cape and with one foul swoop, some of you think you can simply take it away from us, deny it from us — never gonna happen.

Never! DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Kb1066 . says:

    This article wants to debunk the idea of the independence of the Western Cape, something most residents are not in favour of. However it ends up being a typical DA bashing tirade, and monologue of how bad it is in the Western Cape, even though he states that there is an influx of people from the Eastern Cape looking for a better life. Go figure. Finally after listing all the National government failures in the region, SAPS, ESKOM and PRASA, he still wants to blame it on the DA local government. Finally the DA has not got a policy of an Independant Cape. I feel for the authors students at Wits, they must be very confused.

    • Bradley Harber says:

      The likelihood of any of his students at Wits being confused is remote as they do not exist. He is at the University of Fort Hare. I don’t know what benefit you derived from going out of your way to be that unashamedly rude and condescending, but it doesn’t reflect well on you. That you referenced the wrong university in a comment about his students being confused is, for you at least, unfortunate. You now also look like an idiot.

      • Hendrik Jansen van Rensburg says:

        I didn’t think that the comment that you replied to was particularly rude or condescending.

        Shouldn’t one expect a supposedly highly qualified academic of stature to state and argue his opinion on a public forum in a well-reasoned and articulate way, instead of simply succumbing to delivering what is largely no more than a petulant anti-DA rant?

        • Stephen T says:

          I thought the first few sentences of the article itself were more rude and condescending.

        • Bradley Harber says:

          It isn’t the comment as a whole, just “I feel for the authors students at Wits, they must be very confused.” That goes beyond disagreeing with the views expressed in the article and expressing an opinion that one thinks the author is biased. The language and tone of that statement suggests that Mr Burns is somewhat dismissive of the writer’s capabilities generally and armed with the belief that his intellect is superior to that of the writer, he somehow feels entitled to tell him just that (in an appropriately condescending manner). Which is all well and good – some people are just like that. But when you get the only factual component of your comment so fundamentally wrong, you look and stupid.

          I have a rule that I do not include anything in comments on media platforms that I would not be prepared to say in person. I doubt that this approach was adopted by Mr Burns in this instance.

          • Pete Juds says:

            Well, that’s your rule, isn’t it Mr Harber? Perhaps others have different set of rules they stick to? I think Mr Burns was saying (quite clearly) that the author’s article was simply a debunking of the DA (he could have said a lot worse). Saying that his students (which he erroneously ascribed to being at Wits) must be confused, would be taken by many, including myself, to be a little humorous as he takes a dig at the author’s content. What is wrong with that?

            You somehow infer that he feels superior and it suggests the author was biased. I see nothing wrong with condescending to such drivel, BTW, and Mr Burns is not alone in thinking the author was biased. This one sentence (that the author’s students must be confused) you claim suggests “that Mr Burns is somewhat dismissive of the writer’s capabilities generally and armed with the belief that his intellect is superior to that of the writer, he somehow feels entitled to tell him just that (in an appropriately condescending manner)”. That is quite a lot to read into such a few words, don’t you think?

            I have a rule, too. It is that racist vitriolic BS should be called out. Thanks Mr Burns!

      • Kb1066 . says:

        The fact that I misread the University is all you picked up, but well done. So now his students are probably part of the people who are migrating from the Eastern Cape. Why would they do that??

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Mr author while I have no issue with the Cape being part of ZA, your tone and approach make it clear to me that you are not part of the group we all, (you included whether you realise it or not), need so desperately to focus on inclusivity rather than divisiveness.

      It is clear that you’re bitter but I would ask that you try to leverage the bigger part of your character and try to write articles that are constructive and will help all our people find common ground rather than further increasing division.

      It is easy to foster hate but wise not to.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    I agree that independence for the Western Cape is not going to happen and that those promoting it are deluded. BUT not for the reasons you give which are half truths at best, your critusm being an exercise in malice or ignorance of the facts. There is no doubt that not only is the Western Cape the best run province but, by any form of measurement, a very well run province under the DA.

    • Colin Attwell says:

      To be fair, the DA should be afforded the right of reply. To start with, it should be a simple matter for them to list all to city owned property turned over for low cost and affordable housing, and show us how far they have managed to roll out the city’s mass transit system to the areas most in need of it. And also, show us a report on how the city has addressed road and infrastructure roll-out to the (euphemistically speaking) underdeveloped areas….. It’s fine, we can wait….

      • Willem Botha says:

        You’re right, we can wait, Colin. Because we wait in our lush, safe suburbs. I would like to see them answer these questions before the election though.

        Why do the return R400m of housing budget back to the treasury? Why are they using taxpayer money to pay for legal defence for DA members accused of corruption? Why does the city keep the drought premiums in place if it is sitting on billions of Rands unspent? Why is it sitting on billions unspent?

        The DA does not care for the poor, it does not care for righting the wrongs of the past. Prove me wrong, DA, but until then I will not buy the knight in shining armour rhetoric you keep selling.

        • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

          Before any benefits can come to anyone, rule of law must be established, as this is the framework on which everything rests, but to do this requires removing the ANC and its criminal politician. And to do this, requires people to use their brains and not the easy old racist apartheid option. Everyone has to be in this together, as we will all win/lose together. I will tell you straight: Your only sensible option is to vote DA if you want a better country for ALL.

  • Karl Sittlinger says:

    Are you guys even still trying to print a balanced view on the DA any more, or are you really comfortable publishing an article full of unfounded hate, accusations, emotions and a whole host of fallacies? A little disappointed that DM is printing this hog wash.

    • Paddy Ross says:

      One could argue that these articles actually help the DA as they demonstrate the authors bigoted hatred of a party that does what it claims it will do. The articles demonstrate also the authors ignorance of what functions in the province are the provincial government’s responsibility and which the national government’s responsibility. In summary, these authors end up shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Johannes Nel says:

    Your headline shows that you’re an arrogant little man with no respect for Maverick supporters and readers. You need to learn to disagree without being disagreeable. I won’t read this article or any future articles you write.

  • Dr Know says:

    Tilt. What a biased view.

  • Hendrik Jansen van Rensburg says:

    I’m no fan of the an independent WC, or of the DA for that matter, but I don’t quite get why the idea of a referendum to formally determine support for secession is such an unappetising idea to Mr van Heerden. I mean, a referendum would give the great-, great-, great-, great- … grandchildren of the erstwhile slaves from a couple of centuries ago the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they are for or against such a plan, wouldn’t it?

    PS: I read that “How dare you?” in Greta Thunberg’s angry voice in my head.

  • Peter Doble says:

    Of course Cape independence is a pipe dream but, at least for the moment, it is the best functioning place in South Africa to live. Even the President thinks so!

  • Sandra Goldberg says:

    The examples given by the writer of DA non discipline of certain members for misrepresenting their educational achievements, hardly can be compared to the ANC’s dreadful record of non punishment of its corrupt cadres!

  • Pet Bug says:

    The DA has never and is not campaigning for Cape secession… why this almost hysterical attack on the party?
    There are many good reasons why secession is a misguided idea, so argue these – for an academic, this must be Oscar’s most angry and confused article.
    Policing is a national incompetence, so is the metro rail system – the DA has absolutely no control here, Oscar surely knows this.

    This anger seems to be all about identity: my feelings of rage are more important and valid than your feelings rage. And it’s racial. So where to from here with this level of interaction? It’s a red herring, leading down a rabbit hole of more racial hatred.

    • John Laurence Laurence says:

      Hear hear

    • Steve Smith says:

      Well said, ‘Pet Bug’. Couldn’t help wondering whether one could ever have a proper discussion around this topic with Mr. van Heerden?! I’m imagining such a discussion descending into a tyrannical, one-sided rant, filled with fury and anger!

  • Hermann Funk says:

    I fully agree with you Oscar. The Western Cape is such a horrible place and so badly governed that we should actually kick it out of the republic. We don’t need this horrible stain on the otherwise clean vest of SA.

  • Jo Van says:

    This is a very disappointing article by Mr van Heerden. He does not let reality and truth influence his politically motivated hogwash – nice descriptive image of low quality reasoning and thinking, this word “Hogwash”. Balderdash would also suffice to describe the impression his article makes. I think I’ll also avoid his writings in future.

  • Camille Augustus says:

    I’m stunned that an academic can write an article filled with such indignant outrage and self righteous posturing. It skirts around and assigns blame randomly, descending into political mud throwing in any direction – a Hail Mary that whatever sticks was worthy of the shot. I’m all for debate, but this kind of angry outbursts reminds me of an Anti-Vaxxer: rather not engage constructively as the energy trying to do so is wasted.

    • Stephen T says:

      “Small-mind people blame others. Average people blame themselves. The wise see all blame as foolishness.”
      ~ Epictetus

    • Pet Bug says:

      Agree.
      Found out just now that my partners entire family in EC are anti-vaxxers, from age 22 to 67.
      We agreed that it’s this Afrikaner of “f* you, nobody tells me what to do” attitude – and maybe it will have to take a serious hospital stint, probably a death too, before they realize the implications.
      Off point, but Oscar’s attitude in the article resonates with this ostrich head in sand approach.

      • Wilhelm van Rooyen says:

        Hey Pet Bug, I’m Afrikaans, have been fully vaccinated and I don’t have the “f* you” attitude. Suggest you can the generalisations…

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    At least in the Western Cape we can “live the dream”

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      On re-reading the article, a lot of what the author says it true – but who wants to live in a “s***hole African country?” Not me…my Ancestors arrived with nothing, more than 300 yrs ago…worked hard and made contributions that are still enjoyed by “all” South Africans. This is a heritage I would like to continue respecting and honouring and which I feel can be done still in this part of the world. Every person is racist, no matter the color of their skin.
      Racism will never be eradicated – it is part of the human condition. A Survival Instinct. It is something we need to learn to live with.. Tolerate and overcome. I don’t see the harm in dreaming about a Utopian society that benefits all.

  • Rod H MacLeod says:

    Oscar needs an Oscar for that one. I have been criticised for saying this about Oscar before, but his views are racist in essence. There is a boiling anger and envy at the fact that DA run municipalities score unqualified audits versus ANC munis. He cannot abide the fact that he perceives the DA as a white run party and that they (despite some failings) on average turn in a stunning performance in this country.

    Oscar, before you remove the speck from my eye, take that log out of yours. And what’s wrong with a referendum? Is that not a pure form of democracy? Or are you scared of the possible outcome?

  • John Gosling says:

    “Me thinks the lady doth protest too much” – wasn’t it old Will S. that said that? Brings our Oscar to mind…

  • Eulalie Spamer says:

    Oscar you are a closet racist and therefore even a respected intellect such as yours paints a world view forever coloured by your undisguised racial prejudice.

  • Alan Jeffrey says:

    This has nothing to do with race. The current ANC government is the most incompetent, corrupt and disgraceful administration to blight our country since the 1994 election. I say this as a man who voted ANC in that first free election. Cyril Ramaphosa is in my opinion a basically good man but who needs to get a grip in order to fix SA. So, given the opportunity and in the current state of affairs-if the Western Cape could secede from SA I would move there immediately as would many other good South Africans of all races.
    It is that simple and the reasons are glaringly self evident

    • Paddy Ross says:

      Poor CR can’t get grip. There was a lovely quip in the TV series ‘The Office’ which was “that one can only stab somebody in the back when you are 100% behind them”. Poor Cyril has probably at least fifty per cent of his ‘colleagues’ 100% behind him.

  • Louis Potgieter says:

    Oscar van Heerden is a man with a great past ahead of him.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Correction, we don’t have a quasi federal system, or certainly not to the extent the US states run their own affairs.

    The key delivery departments like Health, Education, Police are all national. Provinces have very little that they can control policy and implementation on.

  • Johan Buys says:

    All the other reasons set aside : the western province plain and simple does not have the tax base to be independent.

    but certainly looking at people’s preferences they seem to be flooding out of the rest of the country to western cape!

    • sl0m0 za says:

      “the western province plain and simple does not have the tax base to be independent” — neither does the rest of South Africa…..

  • Tim Watkins says:

    One would assume that a Deputy Vice-Chancellor with PhD from Cambridge would understand the concept of hypocrisy. Labelling the secessionists as racist in his first sentence only to go on an anti-white and anti-DA rant immediately thereafter, adequately exposing his own bigotry. That is aside from his lack of understanding of the difference between local vs. national government responsibilities. I am seriously considering my support of DM if this sort of diatribe is allowed in the future.

    • Alan Jeffrey says:

      Tim-we have to listen to all sides. freedom of expression and the inclusion of as many different views as possible is the essence not only of a good Press but of Democracy itself. Otherwise you and I and many others are having a conversation with the converted- a self indulgent waste of time unless we can project iiur ideas and opinions to others

      • Tim Watkins says:

        Fair enough and of course you are right. However I seriously doubt DM would publish an opinion piece that made similar generalisations about other race groups, which would truly give voice to all sides.

      • R S says:

        Ya Alan, we can listen, and then still say “your argument is rubbish”, which in this case it is.

  • Shareen Singh says:

    The DA’s hypocrisy must be outed. The ANC has let down millions and is talked about all the time – as it should be. But the DA – especially under Helen Zille has turned to the right and it is like the South of France and the Favelas. Steenhuinen in an interview with Peter Burce said he would take any job President Ramaphose would offer him. He remains Zille’s puppet. The DA wants poor people out of sight – take them away from the streets. Muslims’ call to prayer is on the list of noise. This is Zille’s DA. Under better leadership, this party could do a lot more and get a lot more support.

    • Hendrik Jansen van Rensburg says:

      Perhaps, but under the banner of an opinion piece which is, ostensibly, an argument against an independent WC – albeit less of a well-reasoned argument and more of a racist and emotional diatribe – it is simply dishonest. It is no less than a clumsy, unsophisticated attempt at a straw man attack, where the premise – an independent WC – is very clearly not supported by the target – the DA (and likely white South Africans in general).

      The author’s intentions should also be outed.

    • R S says:

      “The DA wants poor people out of sight – take them away from the streets. ”

      Poor people being out of sight is not the same as getting them off the streets. Also, it makes me chuckle that someone says “we must get homeless people off the streets” and people are upset by this.

      “Muslims’ call to prayer is on the list of noise.”

      It’s not. Plato clarified this. GOOD are just trying to stir up rubbish to get votes.

      Like it or not, the DA have gone “we are a non-racial, merit based party”. It’s a hill they seem willing to die on and to be honest, I like it. Most SA people view everything through a racial lens, but I believe that in time the DA will be vindicated. Skills and performance will eventually come out above all else.

  • Max Hutchinson says:

    It is disturbing that certain elitist academics believe that their prejudiced opinions reign supreme. While claiming that racism lies at the core of the movement for Cape independence, the racial bias of the author is obvious throughout.
    The fact that the residents of the Atlantic seaboard are used to illustrate the racial disparity
    in wealth illustrates a total lack of true knowledge of what has, and is happening on the ground throughout Cape Town. Most suburbs and schools in Cape Town are now racially and harmoniously mixed, with whites in the minority. No educational system can plan for a flood of students from other provinces. Many of these learners reside in communal residences in order to secure a local address for educational enrolment.
    I find it more disturbing that the author chooses to ignore the fact that all of the citizens of Cape Town welcome all newcomers with open hearts, minds and purses. It is the most tolerant, open-hearted and open-minded city in South Africa.
    History is a study of past events – what we now have and why. History, when viewed and interpreted through the modern lens, however, should not be used to fit a particular (prejudiced) opinion or narrative. I lived in an orphanage – later in a (rented) house with a dilapidated chicken wire fence. I experienced the bucket latrine system – others used paraffin lighting. Our family was poor which meant fewer opportunities at the time. I am white and I love all people but I will never be your victim.

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    While the DA is trying.. In both senses of the word.. the alternatives aren’t at all enticing. The Hersov Cape independence clique seems, much as the author says just plain selfish.
    One feels the idea was cooked up on a halcyon evening on the stoep of some wine farm after a long day of tippling. A racist’s exclusionary dream . It is nothing but a delusion and totally repugnant. Hopefully it will soon sink into the sea at sunset off the Clifton shore.

    • Hendrik Jansen van Rensburg says:

      Again, I am no supporter of WC independence, but it is a fallacy to suggest that not wanting to be governed by the ANC is inherently racist, if that is indeed what you are suggesting. Or am I missing the part where the secessionists are suggesting that only whites would be allowed to live in the WC?

    • Stephen T says:

      Katharine, please explain why you think secession is selfish, delusional, and totally repugnant.
      I’ve never lived in the WC nor do I have any immediate plans to move there, but I am genuinely curious why something as sensible as simply not wanting to be governed by the ANC can evoke such vitriol as your comment and not include an explanation.

  • Smudger Smiff says:

    Oscar van Heerden is, it seems, very very angry with anyone who believes Western Cape could or should secede from RSA.
    That much is clear from his diatribe but there is little else worthy of rational debate.

  • Andrew Blaine says:

    If this is an example of the quality of writing being trafficked from the University, it reflects poorly on both the author and the institution.
    Fort Hare has a reputation of high quality which, apparently, no longer happens.
    I suggest the author should “stick to their knitting” and strive for improvement, there surely is place for it

  • R S says:

    “At the core of the arguments for secession of the Western Cape is racism, nothing else.”

    As a person of colour Oscar, I say “you know where to stick that statement”. Whether the secession succeeds or not is irrelevant, but anyone knows it is not because or racism but that the people of Western Cape will do anything in it’s power to build a better life for the people who live there, and that includes secession, not because of “racism” but because the ANC that so many South Africans STILL vote for. Like a partner trapped in abusive relationship, too many people in this country cannot find it in themselves to vote for a better future.

    They would rather vote for a party that beats them black and blue than trust people who are actually doing a better job.

    It’s this sheer madness that pushes people towards secession.

  • Stefan Le Jeune says:

    Disappointing article.

    Headline appeared to maybe give a constitutional or economic argument why “it ain’t going to happen” but in the end it just turned out to be a reason for the author to rant on about things that are wrong in DA controlled WC. I don’t believe they have called for an independence anyway.

  • Jennifer Hughes says:

    Wow, 49 comments… Personally, I think the Western Cape has marketed itself well but when I’ve spoken to people who live down there, they tell a different story; one of the poor left to struggle through taxi violence, lack of housing and sanitation, segregation, and general hardship. If the ‘haves’ spent a little more time considering how they might give back to their communities… But then, that’s always my bleeding heart stance, isn’t it?

  • Simon Schaffer says:

    I’m a betting man. I would bet my house, my car and my wife (of nearly 17 years bless her) that if you were to fast forward the clock twenty years and compare a DA controlled independent Cape to the rest of an ANC controlled South Africa you would without any shadow of a doubt see a barren and desolate wasteland with a thriving, rich and happy Cape at the tip. Bet against me Oscar??

  • Sarena Baxter says:

    There are a Bruderbond of interested parties invested in trying to secceed Western Cape from the rest. The tentacles are deep and numerous. AKA the militant objective of keeping areas white. Not so long ago there was a concerted effort to deprive me of my property as non white owner in a predominantly white area. It was both shocking and sobering to discover the extent of the collusion by those involved and how far they would go to succeed. Racism is alive and kicking in Cape Town. No doubt.

  • William Kelly says:

    Meh. You can live ruled by dead men if you like. I prefer the living and I prefer being allowed to make my own choices thank you. You talk slavery – and yet seem perfectly happy to enslave everyone else to a past that you seem will magically disappear should secession take place – a decision that actually, should be up to the people that live there don’t you think? The right to choose their own destiny and their own fate – the same rights denied to others all those years ago I might point out. Makes me wonder who’s trying to enslave who now?

  • Brian Cotter says:

    I propose KZN independence and not Western Cape independence. Then we can have a settled country devoid of all the political killings and the majority of corruption emanates from there. Western Cape is crime-based and the ANC Police Minister is a bit half-hearted in his approach.

  • Gerrit Marais says:

    Dear lord. University of Fort Hare explains it all. How low can you go?

  • Chris Hill says:

    As someone who thinks the Western Cape seeking independence is a really dumb idea, I was looking forward to reading this article. I thought it would put some clear arguments for my position!

    Well, it was so disappointing to find it was a complete load of rubbish. Almost made me want change my mind 😀

  • Chris Green says:

    So, Oscar, I guess you have no party to vote for on 1st November – LOL !! If you’re so obviously unhappy, ever thought of emigrating.

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