There has been much bewildered reaction to the strange pronouncement by Khoi-San king Khoebaha Calvin Cornelius III that “the Cape” seceded from the rest of the country on Monday morning.
In a video of the king addressing the issue, he called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to accord the Khoi-San kingship the same respect given the Zulu king.
According to statements by the Khoi-San king and his supporters, the Sovereign State of Good Hope would be the formation of a new sovereign nation state “being the result of a legitimate and lawful process of secession by the traditional hereditary tribal leader of the Khoisan Nation, Gaob (which loosely translates to King in English) Khoebaha Calvin Cornelius III”.
The new state’s claimed territory apparently covers most of the Western Cape and extends to the northern border of the Cape, ending at the Fish River on the eastern frontier.
Parliament in Cape Town was supposedly served with an eviction notice to vacate the property by Friday. The Sovereign State of Good Hope (SSGH) also symbolically took down the South African flag and hoisted their own flag in Cape Town at 11am on Monday.
The notice went on to demand that all government officials would have to “leave our territory within five days” unless they obtained permission from the king’s officers.
They could be registered as “aliens” if they successfully provided documentation “for the circumstances under which they want to extend their stay in the Sovereign State of Good Hope”.
The king signed the notice and stamped it as being from the “Royal House of the KhoiSan”.
Claims that the National Conservative Party (NCP) and AfriForum, however, support the secession have been strongly denied by Willie Cloete of the NCP and Kallie Kriel of AfriForum.
Parliament’s spokesperson, Molopo Mothapo, has reportedly also denied that government received any notification of eviction, adding that the lowering of the national flag and the hoisting of the SSGH Flag was a criminal offence and parliament was looking at footage to see if further action is warranted.
A number of Khoi-San leaders have rejected the king and his plan. Cecil le Fleur of the National Khoisan Council distanced themselves from it and said they did not recognise Cornelius’ kingship.
They said Cornelius merely proclaimed himself a king in 2012, but the basis for this was not strong. Social movement CapeXit, which wants the Cape to have its independence, also warned on Monday that Cornelius’ proposed action was illegal and could harm the Khoi-San people’s cause and further calls for the independence of the Cape.
Hamish Arries, the leader of the Koranna Khoisan, said they regarded the action on Monday as an act of high treason and want Cornelius prosecuted.
This week Gregg Fick of the First Nation of SA (Finsa) and Sammy Claassen of the Khoisan Defiance campaign also rejected Cornelius’ claim, leaving no major known Khoi-San groups in support of him and his claim.
Presumably, parliament will also continue to ignore the notice.