The Western Cape’s quest for independence is doomed to failure.
First, Section 235 of the Constitution does not state that the people of South Africa must recognise the right of self determination. All it says is that the people of South Africa are not precluded from recognising the right of self-determination. The exact wording is:
“The right of the South African people as a whole to self determination, as manifested in this Constitution, does not preclude, within the framework of this right, recognition of the right of self determination of any community sharing a common cultural and language heritage within a territorial entity in the Republic or in any other way, determined by national legislation.”
In other words, the people of South Africa may give a greater degree of independence to areas like Orania, if they so please.
Second, a referendum is not legally binding.
If it was, the ANC would almost certainly be using it to justify expropriation without compensation and a string of other pro-poor measures.
Simply put, in a constitutional democracy, the judiciary has the right to ignore the will of the people, which is why the death penalty has been set aside.
Third, the United Nations does not have the authority to intervene. If it did, Tibet, Hong Kong and Palestine would have been independent states long ago.
On this point, one notes that the UN in its founding documents showed support for nations that wanted to get rid of their colonial masters. It was never the UN‘s intention to allow provinces, cities and suburbs to get rid of/side-step the country’s democratically elected government. One should not waste one’s vote on political parties that have independence as their primary objective.
* Terence Grant, Cape Town.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.