If you read the positions of those opposing Western Cape secession, one wonders if it requires a significant drop in IQ to join the club. Consequently, it is only with growing despair that one could have poured through Jan-Jan Joubert’s recent Die Burger article, claiming an independent Western Cape was impossible. It was so irrelevant that it could not go unanswered.
Joubert opens his article with all the legal obstacles that would prevent Western Cape secession, but fails to see the point. Questions about law are really irrelevant. When the United States seceded from Great Britain it was illegal. When Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, etc seceded from the USSR it was illegal. When Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan it was illegal. Laws require legitimacy to have any worth and if a majority chooses to no longer obey it, it becomes nothing more than a scrap of paper that you can wipe your arse with.
“An unjust law is no law at all” – St. Augustine
The legality of Western Cape secession might be in dispute, but he fails to mention that it is perfectly legal for the Western Cape Parliament to vote and consequently for the people of the Western Cape to participate on a referendum on such a question. Once a majority is obtained, many western countries would be perfectly happy to grant an independent Western Cape recognition because:
- Of farm attacks. Countries such as Australia and the United States have declared their outrage at these despicable events.
- Of cultural associations with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
- Of South Africa’s reliance on China, a new Cape Of Good Hope would be a strategic and valuable ally in Africa against Chinese aggression
Similarly, international law states that there are only four requirements for a state to be recognized:
1.) A defined territory,
2.) A permanent population,
3.) A government and,
4.) A capacity to enter into relations with other states.
His one example of a country that unilaterally declared independence, was Rhodesia, a country that was already being increasingly isolated and did not seek the approval of the majority (black people) of the country. Of course, it failed to gain national recognition! The same went for Apartheid South Africa. He perhaps chose a more recent example, just because there are hundreds of examples preceding that disputes his point.
He asks who will protect the borders of the newly established Republic. The newly established Republic will do that. That is the entire point. The new government will be able to recruit an army and a border force dedicated to securing the borders. We fail to understand that once independent, the Cape Of Good Hope would be able to do precisely what is required of a republic.
He asks who will pay for this? The Capetonian taxpayer will and only end up saving money, because he/she will no longer have to contribute to the numerous borders of the remaining South Africa (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, etc.) Not only will the Capetonians have to fork a smaller border, but the newly established Cape government would also be able to massively reduce taxes, as it is well documented that only a fourth of the taxes Capetonians contribute return to the province.
He states that there will be a massive inflow of illegal immigration, especially from the Eastern Cape. If the Western Cape is already doing so well, as he mentions, why are the people of the Eastern Cape not already fleeing here in droves? If it is so terrible in the Eastern Cape, why did 68% vote for the ruling party that supposedly delivered this horror on them?
He fails to realize that one of the chief reasons for increasing Western Cape secession sentiment is precisely because of the voting patterns of the rest of the country. The other provinces simply do not see the ANC/EFF as threats. This means that once broken off, there would not be such a massive inflow, because if the rest of South Africa truly wanted change, they would have voted for it. It seems unrealistic that thousands of South Africans would simply abandon what they are comfortable with for a new life in a Cape Of Good Hope, which could only have an uncertain future ahead of it once it has declared independence.
Of course, illegal immigration would pick up, but it’s not exactly like South Africa does not have a large scale problem with that already, with thousands of Zimbabweans living in the country. But a newly created government could quickly erect barriers at strategic positions and create choke points, largely stemming off much of the problem.
But what about South Africa? What hope is there? Joubert listed all the problems of a future independent Western Cape, but what about the dilemmas we currently face? How will we solve that? How will we solve continued skyrocketing electricity costs and load shedding in South Africa? How will we stave of land expropriation without compensation? How will we sway the South African government’s continued support of Cuba, Iran, Russia, and China against the western countries, thus increasingly isolating us? How will we reduce crime and decentralize the police force, enabling us to combat corruption? And the problems go on and on and on.
No, to suggest that Western Cape independence is impossible is ludicrous and contrary to numerous examples in history. The problems of a newly established Cape Of Good Hope are easily surmountable and would pale in comparison to the problems Capetonians would face with a continued union with South Africa. But at least there is hope and something much more. Free of the shackles of ANC rule, we would be allowed to exercise the greatness that lies in each of us.
In closing, I leave you the words of John Adams, encouraging delegates to vote for independence, in the soon to be United States. While you ponder his words, ask yourself this – Was he on the right side of history?
My worthy colleague of Pennsylvania has spoken great ingenuity and eloquence. He has given you a grim prognostication of our national future. But where he foresees apocalypse, I see hope. I see a new nation, ready to take its place in the world. Not an empire, but a republic and a republic of laws not men.
Gentlemen, we are in the very midst of revolution, the most complete unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of the world. How few of the human race have ever had an opportunity of choosing with system of government for themselves and their children. I am not without apprehensions, gentlemen, but the end we have in sight is more than worth all the means. I believe sirs that the hour has come, my judgment approves this measure and my whole heart is in it.
All that I have, all that I am, and all that I hope in this life I am now ready to stake upon it. While I live let me have a country… a free country!
About The Author:
Donald Brown studied LLB at the University Of South Africa. But he is also a trader (forex/indices), programmer, author and entrepreneur. He spends his free time gaming, creating games and apps, writing and reading, with the latter two mostly devoted to political and philosophical issues. His books can be found here: