Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Gatvol Capetonian sets its sight on 2019 elections

If coloured nationalist group Gatvol Capetonian has its way, it will soon be campaigning for the 2019 elections.

The controversial group has become infamous for its derogatory remarks about black people and its calls for the independence of the Western Cape. It confirmed this week that it had applied to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)
on September 21 to register as a party.

“The time for change is here. All minorities need to stand up for their collective rights. The DA [Democratic Alliance] has failed miserably; Gatvol is your alternative.” This is Gatvol Capetonian president Fadiel Adams’ message to voters.

READ MORE: ‘Gatvol’ Capetonians stir up tensions

“We weighed up our options. We didn’t want to go the political route, but the established brown leaders are compromised and none of the other parties is aggressive enough,” he said.

The Cape Town-based group was propelled to national attention after it began agitating for the Western Cape to be separated from the rest of the country. Most notably, the group demanded that, if the Western Cape became independent, all black people from the Eastern Cape should be forced to leave. Adams accused them of stealing land from coloured people.

As yet the group cannot sign on members because it is not registered with the IEC. On Facebook, where it initially gained traction, The Gatvol Capetonian page has 35 936 likes and 38 895 followers.

Adams described the group’s voting base as “mostly the people considered ‘coloured’, but we have strong support from other minority groups and even a few black people see the truth”.

Although the party drew some support after it appeared to be active during land protests mostly by coloured protesters around the Western Cape, it also has its critics.

“I don’t support racism and narrow tribalist politics of any kind. It is my belief that Gatvol Capetonian individuals are being used to split the already fractured Western Cape vote to the benefit of conservative and racist forces,” said Henriette Abrahams, a Bonteheuwel community leader.

Gatvol Capetonian members were forced to leave an anti-gang protest in Bonteheuwel — a predominantly coloured township on the Cape Flats.

Her views that Gatvol Capetonian is being used by “racist forces” was echoed by Victor Altensteadt, the president of the Bishop Lavis Action Committee. He accused the group of “being bankrolled by sinister remnants of the old apartheid state”.

There is no evidence to back up these claims and Adams said the group is “self-funded” but it gets an “occasional donation”, which is spent on community projects. He did not reveal who donates to the party.

Altensteadt said: “They are a very dangerous player on the political front with their secessionist politics. Gatvol Capetonian will reverse some of the gains that were made and will lead us straight into a race war.”

It wouldn’t be the first time the IEC has accepted a political party thatwants the Western Cape to secede from the rest of the country. The Cape Party, which is registered with the IEC, has a similar agenda.

READ MORE: Coloured civic ‘bloc’ set to contest poll

The IEC is still considering Gatvol Capetonian’s application and has said the policies in the party’s constitution will be considered.

Adams said the group was pressing the IEC to reach a decision and issue a certificate because the commission had seemingly missed the deadline to do so. The IEC confirmed that “it is in the interest of the party” to register with the commission before the proclamation of the election date if it wishes to contest.

“I’m not pro-white or anti-black; I’m pro-brown and we are aiming to be aggressive from a pro-brown standpoint,” Adams said.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Johannesburg council member Jolidee Matongo touted as front-runner to take...

The ANC will likely announce a candidate to take over as the city’s mayor next week after consultation with provincial and national leaders

Covid-19 jab: a ticket of responsibility, not a ticket to...

Being fully vaccinated ‘makes you a little bit more comfortable in your skin’, says 61-year-old Elize Parker

More top stories

Johannesburg council member Jolidee Matongo touted as front-runner to take...

The ANC will likely announce a candidate to take over as the city’s mayor next week after consultation with provincial and national leaders

Clashes in Tunisia after president ousts PM amid Covid protests

Street clashes erupted Monday outside Tunisia's army-barricaded parliament, a day after President Kais Saied ousted the prime minister and suspended the legislature, plunging the young democracy into a constitutional crisis

Five things to watch in the Zambian elections

Zambia will hold presidential elections in three weeks’ time amidst an ongoing economic crisis and rising political tensions. These are the five most important things to look out for in the elections

Covid-19 jab: a ticket of responsibility, not a ticket to...

Being fully vaccinated ‘makes you a little bit more comfortable in your skin’, says 61-year-old Elize Parker
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×