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When Premier Alan Winde tweeted ‘Our message to the national government is clear: Give us our R1.1 billion or we will see you in court’, South African musician David Scott, better known by his stage name ‘The Kiffness’ responded to Winde by tweeting, ‘This wouldn’t be a problem if the Cape was independent, lol.’

Matters quickly escalated when a DA youth leader, Lindokuhle Matanzima Sixabayi, suggested Scott should leave the country, with Scott responding that the DA could consider his vote lost. Scott later tweeted that he had received and accepted an apology from the DA, and Sixabayi’s tweet was deleted.

This is not an isolated instance. Since the launch of the party at the start of November, the Referendum Party (RP) has been the source of considerable controversy. It has received many positive engagements, but it has also been subject to abuse and threats from opponents on TikTok and Twitter. A key focus of this abuse has been RP Leader Phil Craig, who has faced calls to be deported, stripped of his citizenship, tried for treason, and killed.

Craig says, “We welcome heated debate on Cape Independence and we are calling for the Western Cape people to be consulted on the issue, by means of a referendum, as provided for in the Constitution. What should not be acceptable in a democracy, is for people to be told to leave the country just for holding a perfectly legal political view. Far too much of the debate around independence is the veiled racism of African nationalists. Those opposed to Cape Independence should argue why it is not in the best interests of the Western Cape people if that is what they believe, not that people of other races should leave South Africa if they don’t like the political status quo.”

Non-racialism is a fundamental principle of Cape Independence, and an anathema to African nationalists.