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CapeXit latest: Could Cape Independence plotters face treason charges?

The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) has responded to claims that ‘they must face criminal charges’ for trying to separate the Western Cape from SA.

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It’s an issue that is refusing to go away at the moment: Cape Independence – the movement which aims to take the Western Cape out of South Africa to become its own state – has become a prevalent topic ahead of the 2021 Local Elections. However, critics believe that those behind ‘CapeXit’ should face treason charges.

What is CapeXit?

Al Jama-Ah party leader, Ganief Hendricks, said during a live interview on Thursday that the so-called ‘plotters’ should be liable to criminal proceedings, alleging that the group ‘wants to re-invent apartheid’.

“It is unpatriotic, it is treason, and we should lay criminal charges against those who want CapeXit. You don’t do that in a democratic country. The Constitution, though, does allow for a referendum to be held. This is a sad day for us in Cape Town, not least because we have five white mayoral candidates for the city.”

“They want to reinvent apartheid. In the last two elections, the Cape Party has been used by the DA. I will not have my freedom if this happens, I’ll be living in a police state controlled by whites – and that is completely unacceptable.” | Ganief Hendricks

Cape Independence: Critics accuse separatists of treason

Such allegations warrant a right of reply, and Phil Craig – the Cape Independence Advocacy Group co-founder – spoke with TheSouthAfrican about Hendricks’ position. As far as he is concerned, Al-Jama-Ah are the ones in the wrong.

Craig has accused the Al Jama-Ah leader of ‘wanting to take away the only right people in the Western Cape have’, when it comes to expressing their democratic rights. The CIAG representative explains to us that there is a legal precedent for secession – and dismissed the suggestion of treason as ‘bizarre and contradictory’.

“We’ve had a case like this before. Law enforcement agencies have previously stated that secession is a political matter, not a criminal one. So there’s no notion of treason there. The Constitution clearly allows for self-determination, even though there would be some hurdles. In fact, the right to self-determination is a basic human right.”

“What Hendricks is alleging, saying that we are undemocratic, is quite ironic. He’s the one who wants to change the Constitution so provinces don’t have the right to hold referendums. The majority of the Western Cape voters have never voted ANC, but have no means to remove the ANC. The only mechanism left is through our right to a referendum.”

Phil Craig