Gatvol Capetonian in negotiations with Patriotic Alliance and Aitsa after IEC rejects 'Gatvol' as 'offensive' party name

2019-02-03 12:50
Civil activist group ‘Gatvol Capetonians’ protest outside the Department of Labour offices. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

Civil activist group ‘Gatvol Capetonians’ protest outside the Department of Labour offices. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

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Controversial "pro-brown" organisation, Gatvol Capetonian, is in negotiations with Gayton McKenzie's Patriotic Alliance and the newly-formed Alliance of Indigenous and True South Africans (Aitsa), following the rejection of its application to be registered as a formal political party.

Gatvol Capetonian, which claims to represent all minority groups in South Africa but primarily coloured people, has sparked controversy for its calls for the Western Cape to become independent of South Africa.

Its push for the advancement of the interests of coloured people, and the outspokenness of its leader Fadiel Adams have led to accusation that the group is pushing a racist agenda.

But in an interview with News24 in July last year, spokesperson Oscar Lyons said the group is not anti-black, but pro-brown.

Lyons told News24 on Sunday that the group had reluctantly decided to register as a political party to contest the 2019 elections, despite its earlier decision that it would not do so, to give coloured people a voice in Parliament.

Formal representation

It had previously decided against forming a formal political party, as it wanted to remain a community-based one, Lyons said.

But it was later decided that coloured people needed formal representation in Parliament.

Aitsa was formed by former ANC councillor Sammy Claasen, while the Patriotic Alliance is currently led by businessman-turned politician Gayton McKenzie.

Gatvol Capetonian applied to register as a party called "Gatvol" in September last year.

In a letter from the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) seen by News24, the organisation was told that their chosen name was offensive and that their application had been rejected.

"The etymology of the word 'gatvol' may be benign and in its literal sense intended to convey a sense of being very fed-up. However, in its contemporary usage it may have unsavoury and vulgar connotations that may offend the intrinsic values of the Constitution and offend certain sections of society," the letter from the IEC states.

The IEC also says that it must "foster discourse that engenders decency and decorum" in conducting its decision-making process.

Lyons said more communications ensued, and the organisation was eventually told that the decision was final.

Gatvol Capetonian then entered into negotiations with the Patriotic Alliance and Aitsa in an effort to see it could reach the legislature in a coalition.

But Gatvol Capetonian has one non-negotiable demand: That Adams must be number 1 on the list to be sent to Parliament or the provincial legislature, "to give coloured people a voice".

Lyons says the organisation is also "very, very wary" of possible concessions that it might have to make should it enter into any coalitions.

"We have to make sure that those conditions do not restrict us…. We are very wary of what the trade-off will be. We are literally riding with the hopes of the Cape Flats on our shoulders," he said.

He said the organisation also did not have enough time to change its name as this would require canvassing all its members across the country, when it needed to start campaigning for the May election.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela indicated to News24 that the IEC could not comment on internal communications between the commission and political parties.

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Read more on:    gatvol capetonian  |  iec  |  cape town  |  election 2019  |  politics
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