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The Referendum Party (RP) has received a formal letter from the Multi-Party Charter (MPC) rejecting its application to join. The RP is disappointed but not surprised. 

Referendum Party leader, Phil Craig says, “At our launch in November 2023, we promised voters that nationally we would vote with the Multi-Party Charter (MPC) to play our part in at least trying to remove the ANC from power. Regardless of this decision, we will honour that promise and vote with the MPC whether we are formally admitted to the charter or not. We are a party who keeps their promises.” 

This decision does not reflect well on the MPC.

By their own admission, South Africa is staring down the barrel of a catastrophe which will leave all South Africans destitute. Meanwhile, no serious polling company has given the MPC even the remotest of chances of becoming the party of national government post 2024. Support for the MPC is important symbolically, but to suggest (as Action SA have done in their response to the RP) that it is the only solution is terrifyingly naive. Were it to be the only solution, then South Africa is already doomed.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Cape Independence offers a legitimate and attractive solution to the people of the Western Cape, the majority of whom have never once voted ANC. 

Supporting Cape Independence as a solution for the Western Cape should not mean that the RP cannot support other solutions for other parts of South Africa where the political environment is fundamentally different.

With the very real prospect of an ANC/EFF government on the horizon, the right to self-determination is the most powerful weapon at the disposal of those wishing to neutralise the havoc and destruction which such a government would undoubtedly unleash.

Many of the parties of the MPC are already openly campaigning for various forms of self-determination.

In their rejection of the RP, Action SA described the pursuit of Cape Independence as ‘constitutionally offensive’. This is simply absurd.

The Constitution and the international charters which South Africa has signed explicitly endorse self-determination, of which secession is one widely recognised form. Section 127(2)(f) allows provincial premiers to call referendums, and section 231(2) ensures that the international charters signed by South Africa and which guarantee self-determination are law in the republic.

In the final reckoning, the MPC has rejected the support of RP based upon our desire to formally ask the Western Cape people, in a constitutional referendum, how they want to respond to the very threats the MPC was created to thwart.

The ultimate irony is that many of the parties to the MPC support the devolution of power. Seemingly they want to devolve it away from the ANC down to their own officials, but not quite as far down as to the people themselves.