According to IOL, a group calling themselves by the moniker Gatvol Capetonian are calling for all black people from the Eastern Cape to leave the Western Cape and for the province to become a country independent from the rest of South Africa.
The group claims to represent coloured people and have been called out for inciting racial tensions and for their anti-black values by various people on social media.
The group seems to have been started after land-related protests began in Cape Town recently. It seems that they are unhappy that coloured people are not getting an appropriate share of the land and that black people from the Eastern Cape are coming to the Western Cape to look for jobs and housing.
That uncle that uses racial slurs but "doesn't hate black people", that aunty that only calls your fair skinned cousins pretty; this is what comes from letting that slide. It is insidious, it is rife and IT IS WRONG.— bespokemon (@NGonamission) June 3, 2018
We are better than this Cape Town! https://t.co/T2GjTqpoFB
Coloured people please talk to your cousins about the source of their problems. Because if one of your grievances is that you're mistreated by a black police officer and this is a double standard, you have not been paying attention to black people speak. https://t.co/umil9e5ucK— Yoli (@aNameToCarry) June 3, 2018
But they claim not to be political. In fact, their slogan as can be seen on the back of their t-shirts, says “The only good politician is a dead politician.” How they do not see their cause as political is astounding to me. Gatvol Capetonian chairperson Ebrahiem Davids told IOL that “Our people don’t want to hear about politics any more. They want to move forward. I want to tell my people to rise up and be recognised.”
The group’s spokesperson, Fadiel Adams, also said that their goal was to secure homes and social services for people of the Western Cape.
Now, when I first saw this story I was incited with anger. How dare these people say that they talk for me and my community when they are spreading a racist rhetoric and calling for people to be kicked out of their homes and sent back to the Eastern Cape in a move that reminds me of the forced removals of the Apartheid era – something that affected not just people in my community, but my direct family as my mother’s family was forcibly removed from District Six to make place for white citizens who were given land there.
How is telling people (because we cannot call this asking) to “pack up and go home” not doing the same thing that an oppressive white government did to not just the coloured community, but to people of colour across the country because it wasn’t just coloured people who were relocated.
Adams added in the IOL article that he is “not a racist” and that they have never shown hatred towards black people, but I would like to know how spewing an anti-black rhetoric and calling for our black friends and family to leave the Western Cape is not racist at its core?
While I support getting people of colour jobs and homes, these are not my people. They do not represent me or my views and I do not stand behind their cause.
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And while all this is going on, there is also another conversation happening where coloured people are asking themselves and other coloured people what exactly does it mean to be coloured?
Now if you’ve ever seen the Coloured Mentality YouTube series, you’ll know that quite a few prominent members of the coloured community tried to answer that question, but didn’t necessarily reach a consensus or even agree that coloured people should be called coloured.
What did come out was the fact that the term coloured was given to us by an oppressive white government since we weren’t black and we weren’t white, but there was an entire population of us, so they gave us a name. But does that mean by accepting this term to describe ourselves that we are accepting the decades of mistreatment of our people as well? Or are we taking it back and reclaiming it as an identifier?
I personally love to identify as coloured. There’s something different about my race of people. We’re a mixed bag of colour, culture, religion and music, but we all have things in common and there’s something that unites us all.
But I’ve also been told off for identifying as coloured and that coloured people want to be black when it suits them, but then claim that they’re not black when it doesn’t. This is also a struggle of the coloured community. Being told we’re not black enough or not white enough. We’re stuck in the middle. So while I understand when there are people who want to make place for us in this country, I do not understand or condone displacing another group of underprivileged people of colour to make place for coloured people no matter what anyone says.
We reached out to Gatvol Capetonian and asked them for their response to being called anti-black and being accused of stirring racial tensions and this is what they had to say: "We consider our stance 'Pro Minority' - we are NOT 'anti Black'." They continued: "We say to those people that racial tensions between black and coloured people have been there for decades now - we were simply bold and crazy enough to 'tell it like it is'. Again, if you don't believe us, we'll take you to Colorado Park, Old Woodlands and Parkwood to see and hear for yourself."
I also asked what they think their methods will achieve when it comes to their cause and their spokesperson Oscar Lyons told me in an email that "Our methods will help the people of the Western Cape, by opening their eyes to how they have been royally screwed over, purely because of the colour of their skin - don't believe us? Ask Jimmy Manyi!"
Lyons insisted that the group do not want black people to leave, but rather want cooperation between black and coloured people: "We don't want black people to leave. We want them to be law abiding citizens, that seek to work WITH the coloured community, to overcome the obstacles that they face - NOT to go into Coloured communities (like Siqualo did with Mitchell's Plain) and cause havoc."
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