Al Jama-Ah party seeks to 'prevent the apartheid Cape-Exit' with constitutional amendment
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Cape Town - The Al Jama-Ah party has said it will push for an amendment to the Constitution, to prevent a referendum on the Western Cape seceding from the rest of South Africa, or what pro-referendum activists are calling “Cape-Exit”.
Party leader mayoral candidate for Cape Town Ganief Hendricks said the calls to secede were nothing but a wish to return to apartheid.
“The growing calls by political parties, including the official opposition – the DA – for a referendum for the Western Cape to breakaway from South Africa and form an independent country, are a blatant and defiant return to apartheid.
“We will take steps to amend the Constitution to prevent the apartheid Cape-Exit, which is sponsored by imperialist conglomerates,” said Hendricks.
Hendricks said that to counter the movement to secede, he is negotiating a memorandum of agreement with the Nama Royal House and setting up a provincial Constituency office in Lavender Hill. This agreement will see subjects of the Nama House return to Big Bay.
Hendricks was speaking as the Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) formally requested a referendum on Cape independence.
The request was made to Premier Alan Winde, in a letter delivered to his office, and notification of the request was delivered to the Presidency at Parliament.
In his letter to Winde, CIAG spokesperson Phil Craig said that the group's recent opinion poll had demonstrated that a clear majority of Western Cape voters now support a referendum being called, to allow them to break away from South Africa, and to form a new sovereign state.
“We are aware that the enabling legislation to allow you to enact this constitutional right is currently defective, but acknowledge that your party has already placed a Private Members Bill before the National Assembly to resolve this issue.
“We hereby formally call upon you, as premier of the Western Cape, to give your public assurance, that within 90 days of the Electoral Commissions Amendment Act being passed into law, you will call a referendum on Cape Independence, at a future date to be determined by you, in conjunction with the Electoral Commission of South Africa,” read the letter.
Premier Winde’s spokesperson Cayla Murray said: “The premier’s office received the correspondence from CIAG and is currently considering its contents.”
After the CIAG poll in August, Winde said: “While we understand and sympathise with the concerns that many in our province and indeed the country have regarding our country’s trajectory under the national government, we do not believe that secession from South Africa is a realistic solution. It will likely cause conflict and chaos.”
Last week, civil rights organisation AfriForum said it was heading to the Constitutional Court, in an attempt to force Parliament to change South Africa’s referendum legislation, so as to give premiers legislated powers to call for a referendum.
AfriForum said the move was part of its plans to gain greater autonomy for the Western Cape.