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Republic of the Cape (1983: Doomsday)

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Republic of the Cape
Republiek van die Kaap
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday
Kaap
Flag of the Cape
83DD-SouthAfricaMap2
Location of the Cape

Motto
Dit is ons erns (Afrikaans)
("This is our earnestness")

Capital Cape Town
Largest city Cape Town
Language Afrikaans
President (none, under provisional administration by the RZA)
Currency RZA Rand

The Republic of the Cape was a nation in the Cape Town area of South Africa, and one of the members of the New Union of South Africa. Since the occupation of the country by a joint Australia-New Zealand and South American Confederation force, administration in the country has been in the hands of a provisional regime bearing the name RZA.

History

Doomsday events

Though South Africa itself wasn't hit by any atomic weapons during the Doomsday attacks, South African effective governance largely collapsed under the pressure of various black majority uprisings trying to seize momentum.

The only part of South Africa to remain under effective government control of authorities was the relatively Europeanised part of the country around Cape Town. Though even this area does not in fact have a white majority, the fact that the greater part of the population consisted of Afrikaans speaking Coloureds, who generally speaking remained loyal to the regime. Their support in beating down those insurgencies that did occur was crucial in maintaining order in the Cape Town region.

As it became clear that both Pretoria and Bloemfontein were not going to be regained by government troops, a new South African government was formed. To keep the support of the Coloured population some Coloureds were appointed to government posts. The most important posts however remain in the hands of Afrikaners.

Marais

A photograph of Peter Marais, first and thus far only president of the Republic of the Cape

Insurgency

Though initial measures taken to improve the position of the Coloured majority of the Cape so to keep their support seemed fruitful, annoyance over the slow pace with which these reforms were introduced grew over time.

The most ardent critic of this slowness was a Coloured politician called Peter Marais, leader of the People's Congress Party (Afrikaans: Volkskongres Party). A party that transformed itself into the political branch of an increasingly powerful group of insurgents in the Cape Town region.

As the power of the insurgents grew, fear of Marais's party increased, culminating in a ban being placed on the party and Marais himself being forced to leave the Cape Town area. These measures however proved insufficient to halt the rise of the PCP. In an attempt to regain full control over the area, the South African government ended up offering a power-sharing agreement to Peter Marais and his party.

The rule of Peter Marais and Independence

The very first change instituted by the new South African coalition government at the behest of the PCP was the merger of South Africa's three ethnically defined parliaments into one multi-ethnic parliament. Though some hints were made that suffrage would ultimately be extended to the black part of the population (a minority in the area now actually under South African control) no such policy was introduced yet.

In the first post-Doomsday elections, held in 1987, Marais's People's Congress Party attained just two seats short of an absolute majority. The white Nationalist Party finished second, and the coloured-dominated Labour Party finished third. Surprising both friend and foe, Marais formed a coalition government with the highly Afrikaner nationalistic Conservative Party of South Africa (Afrikaans: Konserwatiewe Party van Suid-Afrika). Considered a highly controversial liaison among Conservative politicians, this move caused over half of their parliamentarians to cross the floor to the National Party.

Afrikaansetaalmonument

Inaugural ceremony at the Afrikaans Language Memorial.

Now firmly in charge, with only a severely weakened coalition partner to keep into account, Marais was able to suspend parliament altogether after a failed attempt to blow up the Afrikaans Language Memorial in the town of Paarl was staged by an anti-apartheid activist. Though it never became entirely clear who exactly was behind the act, Marais started a smear campaign against the Progressive Federal Party and its members, and started using them as a scapegoat for many of the problems facing the Cape.

Deriding the PFP's mainly Anglophone support base as 'unpatriotic' and 'treasonous', Marais passed a decree that abolished the English language as an official language of the Republic of South Africa. Not long after a rather pompous ceremony was held at the language memorial, at which Marais formally declared the remaining territories under South African control independent as the 'Republic of the Cape', declaring himself to be its 'President for Life'. A large statue of Marais was placed next to the memorial at the inauguration, an event that would mark the beginning of an all-encompassing personality cult.

As the Cape's financial situation and life standard kept worsening under the Marais administration, more and more blame was put on the Cape's Anglo-Saxon population, culminating in a full ban being placed on uttering the English language in public. The exodus resulting from these policies to the newly founded nation of New Britain contributed substantially to the establishment of the latter.

When the duping of the Anglo-Saxon population started losing much of its effect, not in the least because most of them had left, the Cape propaganda apparatus started agitating against the Islamic Cape Malay population as well. The propaganda however proved less and less successful, and authority of the Republic of the Cape became shakier continuously.

Occupation and Rebirth

See main article: RZA

Demographics

As a dramatic break with past policy, no official ethnic data was collected during the Marais administration. Though plans to revive the population census were discussed by RZA authorities after the fall of Marais, this was decided against. Rough estimates of ethnicity, based on ongoing research, indicate that over half the population is of mixed race heritage. The remainder of the population is quite evenly balanced between the black and white minorities, with the former holding a slightly larger share of the population.

Afrikaans is by far the most spoken language in the Republic of the Cape, a position that was further strengthened by the oppressive linguistic policies during the PCP period. For similar reasons the vast majority of the population adheres to the Dutch Reformed Church, though other Christian denominations are also present. The original Muslim minority is largely decimated.

See also

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