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CYF letter on minority rights delivered to the Office of the British Prime Minister - July 28th 2023

RE: SUPPORT FOR MINORITY RIGHTS - SOUTH AFRICA

Dear Prime Minister,


I am writing to you as the President of the Cape Youth Front, an organization passionately dedicated to promoting self-determination, minority rights, and non-racialism in South Africa, with a particular focus on the Western Cape province. Our mission is to advance these critical issues and create a brighter and more prosperous future for our home. In 21st century South Africa, the protection of minority rights faces mounting challenges. The policies of the African National Congress (ANC) government have led to an alarming surge in racial laws, unjustly regulating access to essential resources like employment and water based on race. Furthermore, the rise of prejudiced, anti-minority rhetoric from influential political parties and figures, including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and their “Commander in Chief” Julius Malema, is a cause for grave concern, especially as the most likely outcome in next year’s elections is their entry into government. These disconcerting trends have been underscored by a recent report from AfriForum, a highly respected civil rights organization, documenting these troubling incidents since 2020. Minority South Africans are currently subject to 125 race laws - a figure that is significantly higher than the number of race laws imposed under the evil Apartheid regime. While the intent of these laws were to reduce the racial inequalities that had developed under Apartheid, it is increasingly obvious that they are unjust and failing dismally in solving the challenges facing South Africa. Instead, it has contributed to significant disinvestment from the country, as well as a skills exodus from many vital South African institutions, contributing to their collapse and worsening poverty across the board. Meanwhile, these race laws continue to enrich a small racial aristocracy connected to the ruling party. The draconian implementation of these race laws is nothing short of a malicious attack on minority communities, which have traditionally voted against the ANC and have shown a preference for more liberal, more culturally Western and non-racial policies. At risk of major fines for not abiding by these race laws, major corporations are forced to implement moratoriums on the employment and promotion of minorities. This was exemplified during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the government established a fund for supporting struggling small businesses in the hospitality sector. This fund was guided by race-based legislation, with the government arguing that it was perfectly reasonable to deny funds to businesses which were failing to comply with these laws. Due to ongoing legal action, the Supreme Court of Appeal recently ruled that this decision was unconstitutional. Their commitment to racialism was further demonstrated by their decisions regarding the vaccine rollout, where the government attempted to use racial criteria surrounding the procurement, distribution and administration of vaccines. At a time of great uncertainty, crisis and loss of life, the ANC was prepared to play race politics with the lives of its own citizens. Another persistent crisis in South Africa is that of gender-based violence, which forms part of the reason why South Africa has one of the highest female murder and rape rates in the world. However, the government does not waste the opportunity to once again bring race into the equation. In 2022, a legal challenge was issued against the South African government, over the policy of using race-based criteria in determining whether to provide funding to a non-profit group focused on this issue. The group in question, the TEARS Foundation, was requested to provide the racial makeup of its board of directors and proof that they were abiding by the race laws of South Africa. At present, the government is attempting to implement new race regulations in the Western Cape, with the ramifications being that 30% of “Cape Coloured” skilled workers and 80% of Cape Indians being forced out of employment in the province. In the past, ANC officials have suggested that minorities unable to get work in their home provinces due to these laws, should move to another part of the country - a clear attempt to break up and destroy minority communities. The ANC’s attacks on minority rights has also extended into attacks on property rights. In 2021, the ANC failed to amend the South African constitution to allow for the expropriation of private property without compensation. Having failed to change the constitution, they are now using legislative tools requiring a simple parliamentary majority to advance this agenda. The Expropriation Bill, which allows for expropriation of not only land, but includes all moveable and immovable property, was passed in 2022. This is a deeply concerning development, considering the highly racialised climate surrounding the legislation and it is not difficult for comparisons to be drawn between the land rhetoric of the ANC to ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe. Avoiding another Zimbabwe-style situation in South Africa must be a key foreign policy focus of the British government in the region. The ANC has also engaged in attacks on minority culture and language rights, with there being a series of attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) to remove Afrikaans from South African institutions. The most notable recent occurrence of this can be seen in the Western Cape town of Paarl - home of the Afrikaans Taalmonument, an iconic landmark built to mark the 50 year anniversary of the recognition of Afrikaans as a distinct language from Dutch. Despite Paarl having a dominant, Afrikaans-speaking majority, the ANC attempted to remove the reference to Afrikaans from the monument - a blatant assault on minority language riots. Luckily, this attempt has been unsuccessful. The racialism of the ANC has taken an even more extreme and genocidal form through their breakaway party, the EFF. The party has organised demonstrations targeted against Indian South Africans and their leader Julius Malema has stated publicly and under oath that he may one day call for the slaughter of the white minority. He has encouraged violence against white farming communities and has advocated for them to be removed from their properties, as well as stating in a recent speech that his supporters should kill those who stand in the way of his “revolution”. The rhetoric of the EFF is reminiscent of that of the Hutu Power supporters responsible for the Rwandan Genocide in the 1990s. The ANC government has excused, fostered and encouraged a climate of racialism in South Africa, in stark contrast to the vision of the future that was presented to the world by Mandela. As a result it is vital that the British Government, as well as the wider international community which supports the principles of non-racialism and legal equality, put greater pressure on South Africa’s government to respect minority rights. The United Kingdom should also make financial support to the South African state and its institutions, conditional on their abandonment of race-based laws in the country. Yours Faithfully Robert King

President, Cape Youth Front


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