WC Peoples Bill is about Democracy, Non-racialism, and Freedom

RIGHT TO REPLY: CIAG responds to an inaccurate and inflammatory article published by the Weekend Argus

Original article: https://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/news/wc-nonsense-on-stilts-exclusive-bill-in-final-stages-07f8b495-0d66-405b-9970-36f18478ba2b

CIAG Response

The Cape Argus’s article on the WC Peoples Bill was unfortunate, and badly missed the mark.

It claims legal experts have dismissed the bill as nonsense, yet none of the experts the Argus quoted have even seen the bill since it has not yet been released for comment. The bill was written by a highly qualified legal team, and those independent experts who have seen the current draft have indicated that its impact will be profound.

In addition, the commentary offered is factually incorrect and sensationalist.

The South African Constitution establishes the Western Cape as a province, grants it legal authority, and establishes a provincial legislature whose explicit role is to represent the people of the Western Cape. The current Western Cape Government was elected on the promise of trying to redefine the balance of power between the province and the national government. This is exactly what the proposed bill intends to do. Talk of ‘Bantustans’ is dishonest and ridiculous.

In the language of international law, the people of the Western Cape are not governed according to their ‘freely chosen policy’. South Africa is falling apart at the seams, and the Western Cape, where the majority have never once voted for the architects of South Africa’s destruction, wants to take more control over its own destiny.

Post 1994, South Africa has repeatedly sworn to uphold the right to self-determination as contained in international law, and the people of the Western Cape are perfectly entitled to claim it should they so wish. The UN say it can be exercised in the form of devolution, federalism, or independence.

It was especially disappointing to read Prof. Nico Steytler attempting to suggest that ‘ideology’ has never been an indicator of ‘a people’. Not only is this factually incorrect, because in its description of a people UNESCO specifically lists ‘ideological affinity’ as a potential characteristic, but does Prof. Steytler really want to steer the debate around self-determination onto ethnic lines because the argument would be legally easier to make?

Morally as well as legally, the people of the Western Cape are entitled to take control of their own destiny and South Africa should rejoice that Western Cape self-determination is being pursued peacefully and democratically.

When it is tabled, the Western Cape Peoples Bill will enhance non-racial democracy, not threaten it.

UNESCO Description of a People

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