Author Archives: Gabriel Louw

Is the dissolution of the Afrikaner tribe only a century away? Part 2: Historical determinants and role players in the establishment and maintenance of racial discrimination in the mindsets of Afrikaners

Gabriel Louw

Research Associate, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Arts,

Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa




Corresponding Author:

Prof Dr GP Louw

Focus Area Social Transformation

Faculty of Arts

Potchefstroom Campus

North-West University

South Africa




Apartheid, Afrikaanse, Afrikaner, ANC regime, assimilation, Boer, Burgher, Calvinistic, Cape Dutch, civilisation, conflict, discrimination, dissolution, ethnicity, genocide, Herodotus curse, doctrine, internalize, miscegenation, non-White, parent stock, proto-Afrikaner, Protestantism, race, racism, violence, White


Ensovoort volume 37(2017), number 9:2





Separation on the basis of ethnicity and race in South Africa during apartheid to benefit the Whites and to suppress the Black majority was not only a very controversial move, but also a devastating political dispensation driven by Whites up to 1994. It was not a voluntary process, but one that Whites one-sidedly forced on Blacks, Asians, Coloureds, and other races from 1671 onwards. The pertinent question is: What motivated the Afrikaner to practice statutory racial and ethnic discrimination up to 1994? Was it an erroneous belief in White supremacy; a selfish appropriation of prosperity at the cost of others; a doctrine implemented by leaders with masked intentions to abuse their mandate to obtain benefits for themselves at costs of the other Afrikaners and Black population? Was it an outcome that resulted from the Afrikaner’s negative personal and collective experiences over many years, resulting in revenge, and compensatory behaviour? Or did they learn and internalize deviant behaviour from bad examples during their historical development?1-5


Present-day research on racial discrimination is mainly focused on the negative consequences for the victims of apartheid. The emphasis is on the situations and environments that developed from apartheid, like the implications of the financial burdens and poverty it created for and the psychological hurt and scars left on the victims. Many of efforts are aimed at finding ways to correct the wrong-doing with strategies like affirmative action to create equal work opportunities and to restore the civil and personal rights of the victims of apartheid. The focus on political correctness that developed after 1994 has hampered balanced research on the structure and dynamics of apartheid. This trend led to a very one-sided, emotional, and superficial focus on apartheid victims and their fate in the new South Africa. The outcome is that apartheid has not been researched as an entity in itself. Research with a focus on the victims and the culprits of apartheid, the Afrikaners specifically, is rare in South Africa. There has been very little reflection on possible historical determinants and role players that inspired apartheid, caused it to be internalized, and drove, and maintained it in the mindset of Afrikaners. Critics of apartheid have generally ignored the context surrounding the origin and practice of apartheid in research since 1994 in their efforts to blame Afrikaners as solely responsible for all South Africa’s present-day political, social, and economic ills. Worldwide, Afrikaners are successfully portrayed as selfish White racists without any pity, mercy, or empathy for other racial groups or their interests. The true reasons for the development of apartheid and the way in which Afrikaners were born into this controversy are blindly ignored by political opportunists and human rights critics. As Afrikaner numbers and their political impact diminish, they are dropping below the radar for “Apartheid crimes” and revenge for the past. Balanced research on the possible historical determinants and role players in the establishment, maintenance, and practice of racial and ethnic discrimination in the mindsets of Afrikaners is of critical importance. Only once these factors have been fore grounded can apartheid be understood in its full complexity and a sound judgement been made.1-8


Spence8, p. 13 writes that the phrase ‘white civilisation’ is often dismissed contemptuously as euphemism for ‘white supremacy’, but he states that is the oversimplifying of a complex set of attitudes and beliefs unique to the Afrikaners: the Afrikaners were rightly the first nationalists in Africa as Harold Macmillan already remarked in 1960.This nationalism included a complexity that can not easily defined. Should the Afrikaners bowed already in the 1960s to pressures, it would be more than a system of privilege that will crumble, more than deep-rooted prejudices that would suffered, a nation would be lose its identity (as reflected well in 2017). Spence argued so far back as in the 1960s that the Afrikaners’ ideological inflexibility in the face of internal and external criticisms of their racial policy had given Afrikaner-politics a rigidity far removed from the tradition of compromise and adaptation to changing circumstances which animates political activity in Western societies.8He writes8, p. 19:


Apartheid is no subject for mockery or facile comment. It is very grim, very important, very difficult. Of the men in South Africa who support it some are uninformed and deeply prejudiced; still others are angry or frightened: many feel helpless or bewildered; selfishness and indifference are common. These attitudes are easily discernible amongst both English and Afrikaans-speaking sections of the population. There is, however, a gross and dangerous error in not recognizing that the best of the advocates of apartheid are men of personal worthiness, with genuinely conscientious and moral spirits. This concession is not in conflict with the opposite admission that there exists in the present government an ugly and sinister self-righteousness which seems prepared to sacrifice the liberty and comity of a democratic society in order to attain the harsh ends of an imperious racial nationalism. Yet it is still wrong to believe that a body of ungenerous and selfish motives is all that sustains the doctrine of apartheid.


The racial discrimination perpetrated by Afrikaners against other races because the blood of these races is contaminated by Black blood, is clearly unjustifiable when using the genetic heritage of Afrikaners as a measuring stick. What is more, White Afrikaners cannot claim to be the sole owners of the name “Afrikaner” and the Afrikaans language. Their use of racial discrimination to fight off challenges to their name and language is without any basis. The fact is that the Afrikaner is bio-physically part of the multiracial South African community. Afrikaner discrimination against other races could not always have been driven by sound thinking and reasoning. This lack of insight is inexplicable. Various agents, determinants, and role players, sometimes outside the constitution of the Afrikaner, could have activated these deviating behaviours and could have played masked and unspoken roles in its development.


Various negative and conflicting Afrikaner experiences over generations made them conform and adapt to specific behaviours to survive in a system where they felt threatened. Certain experiences can result in psychological predispositions in the human mind about the behaviour and intentions of other persons. Such predispositions could have dominated and steered the Afrikaner’s actions and reactions over a long time. Their ideas may have included assumed and real cognitions on negative Black racial inclinations and actions. In the Afrikaner, this ended specifically in discriminatory and opportunistic behaviour towards other races. The racially discriminatory examples set by government authorities and other Afrikaner institutions and groups, set the stage for discrimination as an approved and acceptable, even a prescribed, lifestyle for the Afrikaner.2-5


In this regard is it important to note that negative experiences with the current Black majority government can still stimulate or strengthening established racial attitudes or reignite racist behaviours. This is the action-reaction syndrome.8-12


Belief systems that had been inculcated over generations and which had become firmly established in individuals and groups remain part of these individuals and groups long after the initial stimuli have disappeared. It has a momentum of its own. This also goes for certain negative past experiences losses versus positive experiences gains. This learned predisposition, awakened, and maintained by conditioning, overrides even the soundest cognitive thinking.11,13


The Afrikaner propensity for racial and ethnic discrimination and their disregard for sound thinking and reasoning seem to be anchored in their own history as individuals and ad a tribe in South Africa on the one hand, and the history of the South African peoples on the other. The relationships between these peoples as historical entities, sometimes intertwined, and sometimes oppositional, show many similarities with that of the privileged and racially subjective Whites of the Old and New Europe. Peoples in the Old and New Europe are also inclined to ethnic violence and genocide. There is also the masked racial domination of the Whites of the United States of America up to the 1960s and the current racial conflict and discrimination in Europe in reaction to migrants from Syria, Iraq, and Libya. On the other hand, history reflects a Black propensity for serious racial and ethnic violence and genocide in Africa, especially in early South Africa, comparable to the events that marked the worldwide de-placement and elimination of racial and ethnic minorities from the late 1800s up to the present.4,14-18


It is important to note that not all Afrikaners agreed with the National Party’s (NP) racial policy or were ever members of the NP and nationalist Afrikaner organizations like the Afrikaner Bond (AB) and the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC). They were not all racists in their lifestyles, even though they had been exposed to bad examples. There is often a clear political and cultural difference between nationalist Afrikaners and ordinary Afrikaners. There is evidence of this in the strong support many Afrikaners had for the South African Party (SAP) of general JC Smuts up to the late 1950s, and their membership of the later Progressive Party and its successor, the Democratic Alliance. Many Afrikaners belong to cultural organizations like the Freemasons, an international British-orientated organization that is quite the opposite of the AB, which solely underwrites Afrikaner nationalism. This division is also reflected by the Afrikaans membership of English churches, which early on opposed apartheid and the political ideologies of the nationalist Afrikaners. The political division among Afrikaners on racism was so prominent that descriptions for this phenomenon emerged as Afrikaner liberals were referred to as “Afrikaner Sappe” while nationalists were referred to as “Afrikaner Natte.”3,4,17-21, 23


This highlights the enormous differences in the political, racial and cultural thinking of the earlier racially driven Northern Afrikaners (the Transvaal’s and Free State Boers and Burghers) and the earlier liberal Southern Afrikaners (Cape Dutch). This division became more overt after the 1980s, especially as Afrikaners started publishing anti-apartheid content or started making anti-apartheid statements. Many started joining political parties that opposed the NP and the AB.19-21


Notwithstanding these differences among different Afrikaner groups, most Afrikaners are stereotyped as racists. After 1994 the incoming ANC regime and prominent Blacks have been discriminating against Afrikaners for their own political profits. The initial strong opposition against the NP Broederbonder-Afrikaners’ thinking from the side of liberal (dissident) Afrikaners, the English, and Portuguese-speaking White South African minorities, religious dominations outside the domain of the Dutch Reform Church families, like the Charismatic and Roman Catholic churches and the Islamic and Buddhist religions, dramatically declined from the 1970s onwards. This made the regime of the NP-Broederbonder-Afrikaners politically untouchable and uncontrollable. On the other hand, these opposing liberal Afrikaners never stepped away from the benefits of apartheid under the NP regime. In practice, many Afrikaners outside the NP-DRC-AB regime were involved in the practice and maintenance of apartheid. The system generated many benefits, directly, or indirectly. They embraced these benefits while at the same time publically criticizing and opposing apartheid. It was only in the 1980s that true political liberalism emerged again and that liberal Afrikaner resistance to apartheid resurfaced more openly. However, this new level of opposition did not mean that liberal Afrikaners, despite their more open hostile orientation against apartheid and the NP-Broederbonder-Afrikaners, stopped participating in apartheid, or stopped benefitting broadly from the system. It was still with them, but only well masked.2,3,5-7


There is an enormous difference between objecting Apartheid and opposing Apartheid because you don’t like it and automatically being a beneficiary of Apartheid because you are White, an insight even the “liberal” Afrikaners seem to miss or are not honest enough to recognize publically. These long-term exclusive benefits and enrichment that apartheid brought for most Afrikaners, notwithstanding their political orientation, is reflected in the current call of Black politicians for the “second revolution” of the 1994 dispensation. This would entail radical economic transformation (RET) through White capital capture. Apartheid is seen, in the eyes of Blacks, as a collective guilt shared by every Afrikaner, young, and old, past, and present.19-21, 25-29

What motivated proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners to accept, underwrite, and practice racial discrimination?

The aim of the study is to analyse and describe the historical determinants and role players in the establishment and maintenance of racial discrimination in the minds of Afrikaners.


  • This article is the second in a series of seven. The seven articles address the following research topics: 1) who is the Afrikaner?; 2) historical determinants and role players in the establishment and maintenance of racial discrimination in the minds of Afrikaners; 3) present and past negative determinant and role players in the establishment and maintenance of injustices in the minds of Afrikaners; 4) the Afrikaners’ failure to understand, accept and intertwine the indigenous realities of South Africa; 5) the vicious cycle of revenge and contra revenge around apartheid; 6) preparedness of Afrikaners to deal with the realities and challenges of new South Africa; 7) 2017 is the time for thinking, planning, and action.


  • The overarching intention of the total study is to determine the position of the Afrikaner in the year 2117.



  • Method



The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a view from the evidence as the research develops. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established library, like the Afrikaner’s present and future position in South Africa. EBSCOHost and Sabinet online were used to source articles from 2016 and 2017, books for the period 1944 to 2017, newspapers for 2016, and 2017 to reflect on the Afrikaners and to put thinking trends, views, and opinions on the Afrikaners in perspective. 30-32


The research findings are presented in narrative format.



  • Results



3.1 The Afrikaner’s propensity for racial and ethnic discrimination


In-depth reflection on the Afrikaner’s interactions and experiences with other races in South Africa is paramount for insight and understanding of the Afrikaner’s racially discriminatory psycho-social, historical, and political set-up. At the moment, the devastating impacts of certain historical events are completely ignored. Many Black leaders, politicians, and opinion makers, when confronted with it, even reject it as untrue, in step with the post 1994 policy of political correctness. The impact of these negative events and their internalization in the minds of the proto-Afrikaner and later Afrikaner is intentionally side-lined by proponents of Black empowerment in the new South Africa. These events influenced the design and maintenance of discrimination, and this is the case even today. The spirit of political correctness that grew out of an honest attempt to bring reconciliation after 1994, does not allow the people of South Africa to confront untruths and myths with truths and facts.4,33


In order to put the roles that Jan van Riebeeck, the proto-Afrikaners (often described with names like Cape Dutch, Voortrekkers, Grens-Boers, Boers, and Burghers, etc) and the Afrikaner of today played in the racial and ethnic colonial wrong-doings in South Africa into clear perspective – away from the current emotional and political rhetoric – it is necessary to also put possible Black colonial wrong-doings in South Africa into perspective. Only through such an attempt can the Afrikaner’s role in racial and ethnic discrimination be understood and evaluated in context, although still limited. Such an approach offers the opportunity to use the Herodotus rules on proper government as a yardstick to measure if the many current discriminative racial, ethnic and political accusations against the Afrikaner as an individual and as a group are full truths, and if the overwhelming national and international prejudices against the Afrikaner are fully justified. Are the labels racism, political power abuse, and genocide not applicable to all the peoples of South Africa to a certain extent?2,3,5,25,34-39


Intertwined conflicts, suffering and exploitation formed central determinants in the development, appropriation, strengthening and execution of the Afrikaner’s racial and ethnic discrimination. The following learned behaviours, all with a political, psychological, racial, and social under-build and clearly unique to the Afrikaner’s past and present context, need further discussion:


  • Negative ethnic and racial influences of early Cape authorities
  • Black-on-Black violence and genocide in South Africa
  • White-on-White violence and genocide in South Africa
  • Negative modern-day European and Western influences
  • Afrikaner institutions of racial and ethnic discrimination


3.1.1 Negative ethnic and racial influences by early Cape authorities

Some of the external influences to which the Afrikaners were exposed were clearly not good social and political standards and principles. Some of these influences were accepted, but influences were also sometimes forced on the Afrikaners by the various early Cape and South African authorities. These influences became their leadership examples and were internalized in their mindset. This internalization of examples and values contributed to the Afrikaner’s improper and inhuman actions later on with respect to other racial groups. The early Cape authorities’ views and laws on the human and personal rights of other racial groups led to the internalization of racial discrimination as correct and normal. This propensity for racial discrimination was further enhanced by the compensations that racial discrimination and exploitation had for the proto-Afrikaner right from the start of the Cape settlement. The inclination to discriminate against other races was further strengthened by the slave ownership by Whites at the Cape. Slavery nullified the personal rights and dignity of other racial groups. The abnormal became the normal.3-5, 23


Various determinants and role players in the Afrikaner’s negative learned behaviour can be identified: The Goske instruction of 1671 and the other internalizations of racial discrimination in the thinking of the early Cape Settlers and Colonists


The years immediately following the Dutch settlement led by Van Riebeeck and the arrival of various other Europeans at the Cape of Good Hope were marked by intimate social association and miscegenation between the different races, including the slaves (Indian-Malaysians and Blacks from Madagascar). In 1958 slaves started to arrive from Malaysia and other places, and indigenous people like the Hottentots and sometimes the Boesmans (KhoiSan) entered slavery as well. With the introduction of the system of free burghers at the Cape in 1657 the social- and workforce changed from strictly controlled VOC officials and employees (and the accompanying European lifestyles) to private entrepreneurs like free fishermen, bakers, hunters, masons, wagon builders, woodcutters, gardeners, etc., characterized by a much less rigid behaviour code. These newcomers not only made their own living, but also started to live a lifestyle away from the VOC’s moral restrictions. Restrictions included prohibitions on social association and intermixing with other races. The shortage of female citizens stimulated social interaction and miscegenation between White free burghers and other racial groups. The authorities did not intend for the further growth of the settlement’s population, which numbered 144 persons by 1659. This plan was fast undone by the miscegenation between the races because of the shortage of incoming women from Europe and the subsequent increase in mixed offspring. Racial mingling progressed so fast that 75% of all the children born to slave women between 1650 and 1670 had White fathers.18,40-42


This interracial interaction, however, was quickly restricted by the narrow-minded Calvinistic bureaucracy of the autocratic local ruler of the Cape, the Dutch East India Company (better known as the “Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie” or VOC). An official instruction in 1671 from the executive manager of the VOC, Commissioner Isbrand Goske, prohibited sexual intercourse between Whites and slaves, while the Political Council of the VOC also forbade extramarital sexual intercourse between White men and young slave women in 1678. This was followed by a prohibition on marriages and extramarital sexual relations between Whites and freed slaves in 1685. The focus of racial discrimination was initially on foreign peoples (slaves of Indian-Malaysian origin and Blacks from Madagascar) and other indigenous people like the Hottentots. It seems as if indigenous Blacks, like the Xhosas, were not initially included in the South African racial discrimination that started in 1671. Indigenous Black assimilation only started by 1730 with the first contact between the proto-Afrikaners and the Xhosas on the borders of the colony.17,18,40,41


The racial discrimination described above, exclusively based on skin colour and officially recorded in 1671 with the Goske instruction, can be regarded as the first apartheid law of South Africa. Goske was the first White proponent of organized racial discrimination, eventually against all people of colour. However, this discrimination seemed to adhere to a view where ethnicity is seen in terms of class, meaning that the poor, and therefore to a certain extent the underdeveloped non-Whites at the Cape, were regarded as having a lower socio-economical standing and as “untouchables.” The slaves especially were stripped from their human rights and dignity and their financial and personal independence. They were impoverished. Also, the initial problems with the behaviour of the first slaves in 1658 and the Hottentots in terms of work and social habits and aggressiveness already manifested from 1652. This contributed further to levels of social differentiation and discrimination between certain sectors of the White community and other racial groups in general (specifically guided and practiced officially by the Cape authority). It is in this context that the VOC implemented a strict policy of separation between Whites and the other races like the slaves, Hottentots and Blacks from 1671. Later the Xhosas, with whom the Whites started to make contact in 1730, were included. This was extended to all Blacks and to all other races in South Africa from the 1850s onwards, especially in the republics of Transvaal and the Free State. The year 1671 can therefore be considered the beginning of socio-controlled racial manipulation and engineering in South Africa, specifically with the aim of Whites limiting and managing the personal and group rights of all other racial groups in some way.17,18


This means that discrimination based on skin colour was legally established in South Africa in 1671 by the VOC. It was managed from the Netherlands, and not initially by the White incumbents. Notwithstanding this early legal discrimination, illegal clandestine relationships and illegitimate relations between the different races still continued in South Africa, even up to 1994 when the Immorality Act that legally prohibited sexual relations and miscegenation between White and non-Whites was struck off the law books.5,18


The majority of the early Cape Whites, mostly of whom became the proto-Afrikaners, were not only introduced to statutory racial discrimination and domination by the authorities from 1652 onwards, but also became acclimatized to racial discrimination due to the formal human and political wrong-doings of the authorities towards other races. Formal discrimination became internalized in the thinking of the proto-Afrikaners as “normal and correct” and this was strengthened by the many benefits the system brought them. The immediate result was that they started to practice discrimination themselves on a continuous and extreme basis.4,17,18 Discrimination policies of the Dutch and British authorities


Discrimination against other races was not only impressed on the Whites at the Cape by the racial policies of the VOC, but also later by the Dutch and British rulers. The tendency of the British authorities to position Blacks and Whites against each other was another contributor to the later negative racial inclinations of the proto-Afrikaners. It strengthened of their established discriminatory inclinations. Prominent here were the liberal British authorities at the Cape’s equalization of Blacks and Whites in 1828 with Ordinance 50, as well as the negative political and financial impact that the emancipation of the slaves in 1834 had on the proto-Afrikaner, the liberal Cape Constitution of 1835 with its non-distinction between races, together with the negative political and social influences of the liberal English missionaries on the political and personal rights of the proto-Afrikaner. Afrikaners saw these liberal British outcomes as endangering their immediate livelihoods and positions as citizens. The other races were not only directly responsible for this situation, but also became future competitors in a new liberal-political society that not did not favour Afrikaners.17,18,43


These official liberal political outcomes undoubtedly further increased and hardened the already established racism of the proto-Afrikaner. This official British race-linearism, together with the British denial of the proto-Afrikaner’s political rights and the Afrikaner’s own developing proto-Afrikaner nationalism led to the Great Trek and the establishment of the two independent republics, the Free State and Transvaal. The republics were both racially defined (although free from slavery) from the beginning and were outright anti-British establishments.3,17,18,44


The liberal British politics of the 1830s at the Cape also affected the proto-Afrikaner churches’ racial inclinations and practices negatively. From the 1850s, the three main Afrikaans churches [the DRC and the two other Reformed Churches (RCs) established in the two Boer republics] also developed a racist slant and reflected a dramatically hardened racial and ethnic discrimination. This growing discriminative and hard core racial attitude of the church managements was successful transferred to the members of the three Reformed churches in the Cape, Free State, and Transvaal after 1902, especially through cooperation with the NP and the AB.17,18 The racially discriminatory policy of the Union of South Africa


The rigid racial discrimination that started to emerge in the 1850s was not eradicated with the annexation of the republics of Transvaal and Free State and the formation of the Union of South Africa. Just like the Civil War between the North and the South in America failed to erase immediate racial discrimination (even up to today), the Anglo Boer War also failed to erase racial discrimination in the new Union of South Africa after 1910. The new government structure brought a new, more rigorous, even ruthless, racially defined lifestyle to benefit exclusively the Whites of South Africa.3,4,15,18,23,44,45


The racial and ethnic, cultural, political, and social attitudes of the Boers that started to develop and to manifest before and after the Great Trek, not only led to the development of various proto-Afrikaner subgroups in the Cape Colony, but also in the republics of Transvaal and the Free State. Each group had their own learned and institutionalized racial foundations. The existence of such  segmentation in cultural and racial thinking was ignored, or at best not noticed by the British government and most of the Cape Dutch of the Union of South Africa as they compiled the Constitution of the Union. There were at least six proto-Afrikaner subgroups, although not always clearly separated: the Transvaal Afrikaners (Transvaal Boers), the Orange Free State Afrikaners (Orange Free State Boers), the Natal Afrikaners, the South-western Cape Afrikaners, Eastern Cape Afrikaners and Northern Cape Afrikaners (Northern Cape Boers). The differences were noticeable in lifestyles and the groups were sometimes very different from each other in political and socio-cultural orientation and thinking. Racial discrimination was very similar between the various subgroups. They showed a general (a fact that seems to be true to a certain extent even today) inclination to steer away from liberal and unity thinking. Unity was impossible in the Union and even the later Republic of South Africa. Racial discrimination seems to be the only unifying factor.3,5,19,21,44-46


This tendency to discriminate against certain racial groups was also evident among the White political leaders during the formation of the Union of South Africa. Smuts’ memorandum of proposals for the formation of a Union reflected no trace of concern for the fate of the Black man in South Africa. In reaction to the “Black question”, the Cape politician Merriman for instance wrote to J C Smuts3, p. 18: “… I do not like Natives at all and I wish we had no Black man in South Africa. But there they are, our lot is cast with them by an overruling Providence and the only question is how to shape our course so as to maintain the supremacy of our race and at the same time do our duty.” Smuts answered in a very similar tone3, p. 19: “…I sympathise profoundly with the Native races of South Africa whose land it was long before we came here to force a policy of dispossession on them… But I don’t believe in politics for them. Perhaps at the bottom I do not believe in politics at all as a means for the attainment of the highest ends, but certainly so far as the Natives are concerned politics will to my mind only have an unsettling influence.”


General Hertzog showed a liberal insight with respect the Coloureds in 1925, persons directly related to the Afrikaners44, p. 194: “They came into being and today still live in the midst of the Whites, they know no other form of civilisation than that of the White man; however much they may on occasions fail in this connection their ideal of life is that of the White man and not that of the native and they employ the language of the White man as their mother tongue. Their can thus in their case be no question of segregation.” Hertzog clearly differentiated between the general coloured people of the country versus the Cape Coloureds, which he favoured. This emphasizes his racist attitude towards Blacks and his ethnic differentiation between “different” kinds of Coloureds. At the same time he makes it clear that the social mingling of the Cape Coloureds with the Whites is not desired.44


Hertzog showed further preference for a liberal programme of separate development with the division of territories between Whites and Blacks in South Africa. He wanted to give Blacks their own political rights, but clearly wanted to keep political rights from Blacks in White territories based on his “test of civilisation.” The politician Pirow in this regard writes about Hertzog’s viewpoint44, p. 195: “He often said that the time would come when a black skin was no longer such a test. He felt that at such a stage direct political rights could no longer be withheld from the black man. If, however such rights had to be given in the white man’s country the time would come when the latter would be swamped politically and thereafter it would be only a question of time until white civilisation would disappear completely.”


Hertzog’s ideas became the blue print for the NP’s later rigid and discriminative apartheid (and the homelands / Bantustans). Apartheid kept the Blacks out of the political domain of the Whites completely, but they were received with open arms into the Whites’ economical sphere to benefit the Whites only. He introduced these ideas as an influential leader at a time when Afrikaners were insecure and he projected it as correct and applicable political, social, and personal behaviour.3,5,44


The to and fro on the political rights of other races in South Africa, especially the Blacks, together with naive political thinking of the 1910s to the 1930s, served as early manifestations of what became a permanent feature of White thinking on the “Black question.” This thinking was internalized among Afrikaners and it was what nationalist Afrikaner leaders thought was right and just for the Blacks. It is the counter-reaction to this political manipulation and the erroneous thinking that is Afrikaner nationalism that has been rattling the Afrikaners back to reality from 1994. They are now learning what the concept humanity means. Friedman wrote about these early double standards in political thinking and the activation, establishment and promotion of hard core racial discrimination in the 1930s by Afrikaner nationalist leaders in the mindsets of Afrikaners3, p. 19: “Liberal principles, it seems, could be successfully invoked in the case of the Boers, but they somehow lost their efficacy where the Natives were concerned. In principle liberalism is a fine doctrine, but in practice it is for Whites only.”


Smut’s conclusion best described the fates of Blacks and other races and the racist indoctrination of the Afrikaner masses up to 1994 when he says3, p. 19:” When I consider the political future of the Natives in South Africa I must say that I look into shadows and darkness; and then I feel inclined to shift the intolerable burden of solving the sphinx problem to the ampler shoulders and stronger brains of the future.” That this “darkness” was indeed a nightmare in an “exceptional” darkness for the Afrikaner and the Whites in Africa, is illustrated by the fact that in 1950 that there was only 4 million Whites in the whole of Africa out of a total population of 170 million.16 This denial of the political realities and dangers became a confident bluff with which the NP-Broederbond-leadership approached the South African racial predicament. They concealed long-term political disaster for the common Afrikaner through “a policy of living the present politics and awaiting the political future.”4


The above context forms the unstable political heritage of other races, especially Blacks. This combined with a rigid, racist doctrine internalized in the thinking of the nationalist Afrikaners that Dr. DF Malan, Adv. JG Strydom and Dr. HF Verwoerd of the NP inherited since 1948. These three NP leaders (seen today by many as Nazi sympathizers) were just too willing and too eager to expand racial and ethnic discrimination and domination so that it became extensive and legalized. They were, with great pride, the “Fathers of Grand Apartheid.”3,4,47,48

The political and socio-cultural conflicts and flawed thinking that made racial discrimination the dominant feature of certain of the nationalist Afrikaner subgroups (especially the Transvaal and the Free State nationalist Afrikaners, the Northern Afrikaners), was obvious from day one of the Union.3,5,44


Although it is sometimes alleged that it was the “Cape Dutch” Afrikaner who dominated the Afrikaner’s political future from 1910 and who forced the name “Afrikaner” onto the Transvaal and Free State Boers, the opposite happened with political thinking, sentiment, and governance. The early appropriation of hard core thinking on discrimination and the racist influences of the nationalist Boers from the Transvaal and Free State influenced the Union. All the prime ministers of the Union and the presidents of the old South Africa since DF Malan (himself living in the North after his studies) came from the Northern part of the Union. Racist Afrikaner attitudes greatly influence the political, social and cultural thinking of some of these Northern subgroups even today. In the past this has led to deep divides, even violence, mistrust and dysfunction between the various groups of Afrikaners. This split was one of the main reasons for the de-internalization and unlearning of the doctrine of racism. This led to the failure of the nationalist Afrikaner attempts to morally and politically justify apartheid and to establish an exclusive independent Boer state in South Africa since the 1960s.3-5,19,21,46,49


The result in 1910 was that the more liberal political rights available in the Cape Colony were not extended northwards after the founding of the Union. To the contrary: the extreme racial discrimination that was internalized in the minds of proto-Afrikaners and later nationalist Afrikaners moved south-wards from 1902 onwards. It quickly spread all over South Africa, overwhelming the liberal human rights from the Cape. This negative outcome and the constant indoctrination with ideas of White supremacy led to growing numbers of nationalist Afrikaners and later the NP-Broederbonder Afrikaners all over South Africa since 1910. There is evidence of as much as ten grand apartheid laws that were promulgated before 1948 to control and to limit the personal lives and political rights of the other races.3,5, 23,47,48 Grand apartheid from 1948 to 1994


The leadership and members of the NP, a group of staunch White supremacists, inherited an established racist political system in 1948. As indicated, it originated from the Dutch authorities in 1671 and was already 277 years old when the NP took office in 1948. The racially discriminatory system of 1671 was constantly developed and intensified after the late 1890s by several White racial-political dispensations (the Cape and Natal colonies, the republics of Transvaal and Free State and the later Union of South Africa) before the NP took office.


Since 1948 this engrained racism against Blacks was further developed and steered by the NP and its nationalist Afrikaners into a comprehensive ethnic-racial system. The NP’s discrimination also showed traces of ethnic discrimination, imported especially by BJM Hertzog against the English-speaking Whites. It took hold as early as 1912 and escalated from 1930 to 1939 due to Afrikaner nationalist anti-Jewish actions, propaganda and legislations guided by NP-Broederbond-Afrikaner leaders such as DF Malan, JG Strydom and HF Verwoerd. They wanted to stop the immigration of Jews to South Africa out of sympathy for the Nazis. As in Greater Europe, lower classes of nationalist Afrikaners had a jealousy and fear of the successes of the immigrant Jews in business and professional life. Nationalist Afrikaner politics since the early 1930s to 1946 reflected the kind of racial and ethnic ideology of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. After 1946, the ghost of Hitler and his racist ideology remained, only disguised as something more refined. The well-planned policy of discrimination and the constant inculcation of the ideas on which it was founded led to the successful establishment of an ethnic and racial despotism in South Africa within half a century. The NP, supported by the AB and Afrikaner churches, ostracized dissident Afrikaners and shamed them for deviating political anti-Afrikaner behaviour and compensated approved pro-Afrikaner behaviour. This political and racial milieu was not challenged or questioned by the grassroots nationalist Afrikaner at any time. It was instilled into the new generation of nationalist Afrikaners as appropriate and correct behaviour.3-5,18,23,44,48,50


Within this undemocratic political set-up with its indoctrination, most of broader population of nationalist Afrikaners grew up and partook freely in a lifestyle guided by the bombastic and arrogant leaders of the NP-AB leadership. These leaders took away the average Afrikaner’s independent thought and decision making. They were caught in a frame of reference where discrimination against non-Whites and negative ethnic behaviours towards other non-Afrikaners were morally justified, underwritten fully in the opinions, advice, views, and integrity of the leaders of the NP-AB. Independent thought was of secondary importance. For the most nationalist Afrikaners, apartheid became a permanent way of life dredged with benefits that could only improve with time.4,23,51


3.1.2 Black-on-Black violence and genocide in South Africa


Notwithstanding the constant reference to the Afrikaner as an “alien, murderous colonist” in South Africa by Black politicians, is it undeniable that the current Black population are also foreign to South Africa and is indeed in the same boat as the Afrikaners, “alien murderous colonists.” The Black migration downwards over Africa was accompanied by extreme Black-on-Black violence and genocide, stretching over more than 30 years (1810–1840). It was nothing less than one group forcing a Black ethnic, racist and undemocratic political system on other Blacks. It was equally, if not more extreme than the Afrikaner’s apartheid regime later on.14


Just before the official occupation by Van Riebeeck in 1652, the ancestors of the current Black population moved to South Africa from Central Africa and became settlers here. These Southern regions, which were traditionally Khoi and San territory, were illegally possessed by incoming Black groups. Today objective historians see these migrations from Central Africa and the subsequent establishment of a permanent stronghold in a new homeland by these Black settlers, as the first true colonization (and thus the first Black colonization) of South Africa.14,17


After this first Black colonization, ownership and peace did not last long for many of the Black colonists (conquerors) in South Africa. There was infighting over land, livestock, water resources and group political rights. This quickly resulted in conflict, and led to wars in the newly occupied areas. Driving each other off territories soon became the order of the day. This series of expulsions from territory and evictions are regarded as the second Black colonization (or Black-re-colonization or re-conquering) of South Africa. The period 1810 to 1840 (known as the Mfecane in the coastal areas and the Difaqane in the inland) especially led to widespread Black-on-Black chaos and bloodshed in the North of South Africa. This process took place more or less simultaneously with the Afrikaner Trek Boers and Voortrekkers’ move northwards from the Cape Colony.14

King Shaka, the king of the powerful newly formed Zulu kingdom and his murderous behaviour around 1819 is prominent in this tragic political, social and economic chaos. He was the main instigator of Black colonial wrongdoings and Black colonialism between 1810 and 1840.14

The eradication and re-colonization of other Black tribes (and the remnants of these broken and fleeing tribes wherever they settled away from the Zulus and other occupying tribes), led to the depopulation of large parts of South Africa. Intense food shortage followed and more than 28 independent Black tribes were completely wiped out. The total death toll of the above Mfecane and the Difaqane has never been satisfactorily determined, but it is estimated to be between one and two million. Many displaced Black tribes like the Batlokwa, amaHlubi, amaNgwane, Mfengu, Makololo and many others turned into colonial villains themselves. While fleeing from Shaka and the murderous rage of other tribes, they would themselves occupy other tribal territory and resources. Black tribes like the Tembus and Xhosa enslaved tribes such as the Bhaca, stripping them of personal rights and their tribe’s jurisdiction.14

Mzilikazi, the king of the Matabele in Transvaal between 1826 and 1836, also played a prominent and murderous role in this genocide. He ordered widespread killings and devastation to remove all opposition to his new Ndebele order.14

Even the Griqua tribes and other Coloured groups committed inhuman wrongdoings in the former Northern Cape and Free State to oust Sotho and Tswana neighbouring tribes to seize their land. The latter, in turn, searching for new territory, again perpetrated inhuman violations of other Blacks.14

During this second Black colonization only the Khoi and the San were not guilty of significant wrongdoings like xenophobia and genocide. In fact, they were the only victims to ever fall victim to cannibalism under Black tribes like the Bafokeng.14


In other words, regarding Van Riebeeck’s (and thus the Whites) arrival as the start of colonialism and racial and ethnic discrimination in South Africa is a fallacy. It is more correct to say that South Africa’s racial and ethnic troubles actually started with the migration of Black tribes into South Africa from Central Africa and the first Black colonization, together with their re-colonisation between 1810 and 1840 of each other’s territory. These first and second colonisations also represent South Africa’s first genocide.14

Today, Black South Africans seem to refuse to accept personal blame and responsibility for their ancestors’ colonial atrocities and wrongdoings; behaviours that included genocide and invoked the Herodotus Rules of Revenge by the other suppressed Black tribes, a revenged in waiting up to today.52 The only difference between this early racial and ethnic discrimination of Black-on-Black and that of the nationalist Afrikaner’s White-on-Black, is that when the Black-on-Black political aggression stopped during the 1840s, the ethnic and racial aggression of the nationalist Afrikaners had only just begun, ending in 1994. In 1994 the third Black colonisation of South Africa began to awaken.14


All Blacks and Whites are therefore collectively guilty and responsible for past atrocities as settlers in South Africa, not only the Afrikaner. Most importantly, the Afrikaner is not naive about what had happened during this 1810 to 1840 Black-on-Black violence and genocide in the Greater South Africa. They are aware of the potential that such extreme violence and genocide can happen to them in a collapsed political system. Nationalist Afrikaners used the potential danger of unpredictable and all-encompassing Black hostility and aggression, the so-called “Black Danger,” as a way to rule Afrikaners with fear. This fear has become internalized in Afrikaners. They stereotype Blacks as a lower social, ethnic and racial class, beset with aggression, making apartheid necessary for survival in South Africa.53-55


On the one hand, knowledge of the early extreme Black aggression and the negative experiences of the Boer settlers from the 1730s onwards with other races, as well as the proto-Afrikaners’ direct physical encounters with the Blacks in their early days in Natal, Transvaal, and Free State, aggravated their negative view of Blacks. It strengthened racist views and attitudes, and clearly not without reason. The contact that the Natal, Transvaal and Free State Boer settlers and burghers had from the middle-1830s created further a negative view of Blacks as murderous people and their leaders as incapable, untrustworthy and ruthless rulers.14,17


On the other hand, it seems that Black-on-Black ethnic violence, reaching a climax between 1810 and 1840 and to a great extent occurring far away from the Whites, played a role in the current Black tribalism and the origins of the constant conflict between Whites and Blacks. Whites were initially unaware of the Black-on-Black violence in the interior. Some of these early tribes and their leaders, like the Zulus, Xhosas and Tswana, are still dominant role players against the Afrikaners in the ANC regime more than 170 years later. The 1810 to1840 Black genocide is ignored and shielded from the public eye in the present context of the ANC’s post-1994 policy on guarding Black politics, empowerment and unity. Some of these events and their early impact on the Afrikaners on the later racial dispositions are unknown to a great contingent of the current Afrikaners. Currently, the sole, unchallenged focus is on blaming all Afrikaners and bashing apartheid as the only and culprit responsible for South Africa’s present manifold problems. Black require a constant guilty plea and petition for forgiveness from the Afrikaner for their apartheid mistakes as part of this permanent blame game, even from Afrikaner school children. Requests for forgiveness for their own Black-on-Black genocide and murderous actions against the Afrikaner Boers on the Eastern Border and in Natal, Transvaal, and the Free State is totally absent. Blacks are currently portrayed as “uncontaminated angels.”14,33,45,57-61


The Black-on-Black ethnic violence described above and the lingering ethnocentricity has made Afrikaners cautious about the behaviours and inclinations of Blacks. It is still regarded as a stern warning for the future. The present rise in xenophobia in South Africa is a cruel reminder. For many Afrikaners the golden rule for South Africa and Africa and its people is that they are not European or North-American, they are unpredictable entities in terms of political, racial and ethnic behaviours: changes in these domains are seldom obtained in Africa through pacification. This view strengthens the inherently negative mental dispositions that guide the racial discrimination of the Afrikaners against Blacks. One implication of the earlier Black-on-Black violence is that these groups all harbours the potential for new and future ethnic discrimination, revenge and flare-ups between Black groups, as the Afrikaners fade from the scene as the sole scapegoat (and the former peacekeeper between Blacks). There is the possibility that the focus may in future moves to one Black tribe seeking total dominance of other Black tribes as in the period 1810 to 1840, carrying the disempowered and destroying Afrikaners with their stream of destruction.14,39,45,57,62,63


The political power games and face-offs between the Zulus and Xhosas since 1994 are obviously disconcerting. Hate that springs from the past and revenge for Zulu, Xhosa or other tribes’ serious wrongs may well emerges among the Black tribes of the country. With it come a need and an urge to settle vendettas of 200 years ago and more. Up to the1990s, these dynamics were suppressed by the Afrikaner’s apartheid. Evidence of lingering ethnic and racial feelings of revenge and murder are evident from events like those in Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Syria, Iraqi and Algeria. These are all countries with unresolved past racial and ethnic disputes like in South Africa. These old disputes can be activated very suddenly. In such an eruption the Afrikaners as Whites and as members of a minority group of “colonists” (and therefore subject to xenophobia), will surely unwillingly become victims to this battle and be gobbled up.14,34,39,45,51,64


Not only old, but also new racial and ethnic Black conflicts are a responsibility. Consider the rising xenophobia. There are new role players from among the various existing South African Black tribes. Constant public talk of war and murder aimed at Whites and cases of unrest and damage to property like in Coligny and Lichtenburg in 2017 result in massive financial losses for Whites and a constant fear for attacks on their lives. The Afrikaners as a lone White tribe may be in the firing line as a new victim and a subject for revenge. The story of Bloedriver (Blood river) is also etched in the memory of the nationalist Afrikaners.27,37,39,55,,64-67


It is clear that the Afrikaner’s experiences with South African Blacks over the course of the country’s history were at times terrible and disastrous, leaving emotional scares. These experiences fed the racial attitude they learned in the Cape and caused it to be transferred from groups like the Coloureds to the Blacks. Negative stereotypes and fear of the unpredictable behaviour of some South African Black tribes fed into their learned racial attitudes and discriminatory lifestyle in the form of statutory apartheid up to 1994. Emotional reactions and infringements against Whites by some Blacks rekindle these feelings.3,5,14,18,23,44,50,55,65


3.1.3 Early White-on-White violence and genocide in South Africa


Violence in terms of racial, ethnic and war crimes in South Africa is not limited to the above Black-on-Black behaviour, but is part of the wrongdoings of White races from 1652 up to 1902. Learned bad behaviour has been internalized by Afrikaners, not only due to the example and their exposure to deviant and discriminative White behaviour against other Whites, but also due to the ethnic discrimination they experienced at the hand of the British.3,17,18,23,48


The war crimes of the British military and politicians against the Boers and their immediate families during the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) are excellent examples of White-on-White violence and genocide. The mighty British Empire invaded the small republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State purely for sake of the enrichment of the British people and for future British political manipulation and power-play in Southern Africa. However, these events are seldom acknowledged as such. The impoverishment of the Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State republics after the Anglo Boer War, their loss of independence and their voice in the international world, the well-oiled propaganda system of the British Empire and the Afrikaners’ desire for reconciliation with their new masters, all contributed to the true events and genocide of Afrikaner women and their children by the British government and military management remaining to the outside world. The consequence is that it has never been a topic for public discussion as war crimes against humanity or for comprehensive war compensation for emotional suffering. It was much easier for the British press and government to portray the Afrikaners as racists and obstructers to peace. The Afrikaners were the true and only victims of the Second Anglo Boer War. This false portrayal denied the Afrikaners their humanity, economical development and “genuine” British interests; they were war losers who in the eyes of the British deserved the war outcome. Lord Alfred Milner’s outright dislike for the Afrikaners, the treatment he sanctioned between 1899 and 1906 and his lack of acknowledgement of their suffering after the war from 1899 to 1902 war, bares evidence of this. 3,17,18,23,48


The true impact of the British war effort was much greater than what history reflects. It taught that political and social abuse of one human by another is acceptable and correct in the eyes of the world. These actions go without any punishment of the aggressor (if that party is the winner). The genocide of the proto-Afrikaners by the British between1899 to 1902, and the continuation of British aggression after 1902, entrench racial and ethnic prejudice in the Afrikaners’ collective psyche as good and acceptable by world standards. They saw it as the way to survival as a group in a complex racial society. The Afrikaners were already trapped in a racially discriminatory mindset that developed over hundreds of years. The effect of the war between 1899 to 1902 was catastrophic: it laid the foundation for grand apartheid with the other experiences that fill the history of the Afrikaner.4,48


Today the war methods of Lord Kitchener, the British commander, and Lord Milner in South Africa would be seen as harsh and extreme war crimes. They acted with the full approval of the British government. They did not attack them on the battlefield, but instead drove their already overburdened wives and children from their farms, burning their homesteads and killing their livestock. Many were taken to concentration camps where the conditions were atrocious, leading to the death of one in three inmates as result of poor sanitation, disease, and lack of food. According to modern standards, this was nothing less than crimes against humanity and the genocide of the Transvaal and Free State Boers and their families. A total of 34 116 Afrikaner lives were lost between 1899 and 1902 in Transvaal and the Free State. About 3 990 burghers died on the battlefield and a further 1 081 died during commando from illnesses or in accidents, bringing the total to 5 071 burghers. Of the remaining 29 045, 1 118 burghers died as prisoners of war, while 27 927 Boers died in concentration camps. Only 1 676 of these were men older than 16 years, 4 177 were women older than 16 years and the remaining 22 074 were children under 16 years who died as a result of malnourishment and illness. The impact of these deaths becomes clearer when analysed in terms of the 100-comparison: 12 died in battle, 6 died in indirect action, 16 women died in concentration camps and 65 children died in concentration camps. This collective trauma of the Northern Afrikaners as a result of the British genocide not only limited their immediate personal and group functioning after the war, but also steered future ethnic and racial relations in the direction of a focus on survival, with Afrikaner interests as a first priority.3,4,18,44


Milner himself admitted to the British government in London in 1901 that the war effort was a black stain and that he saw it as a mistake. If Milner himself saw it as a tragedy  more  the experience of it by the Boers as the suffering victims and lone survivors. This retrospective British apology meant nothing to the Afrikaners: it only shaped their existing ethnic and racial hatred into a political orientation.3,18


The intense abuse of the Boers and their families stirred immense negativism in their collective psyche on the financial, emotional, psychological and religious consequences by the actions of other groups. It created a blueprint for how they would react in the future if their existence in South Africa is endangered. The constant abuse by specific culprits became prominent in their thinking. They had two enemies and dangers that had caused negative learned dispositions over many years: the Blacks and the British. Not only was their general hate against the British intensified after the war, but the denial of their political and personal rights evoked mass efforts to obtain independence within South Africa. The most immediate obstructions to this independence were the British and the growing “Black question.” The most vulnerable and closest of the two were the Blacks: the “Black question” became the main point of focus from the Union onwards. From 1910, the leadership of the nationalist Afrikaners shamelessly promoted the doctrine of White supremacy and the Blacks’ human inferiority. They were regarded as a racial danger for the Afrikaners’ future. This doctrine not only fitted well with the already established propensity of proto-Afrikaner for racial discrimination, but strengthened it enormously. The pathway to formal apartheid in 1948 and grand apartheid in the 1960s was successful laid in the 1910s.3-5,17,18,44,48


3.1.4 Negative modern European and Western influences


Racial and ethnic discrimination and domination (apartheid) up to 1994 were not unique to South Africa, but a worldwide phenomenon. Although there was initially great support from authorities and governments for early settlers in North and South America, Madagascar and Senegal to intermingle with the indigenous people there, a worldwide revulsion in it started to develop after the 1600s. British settlers in North America found themselves facing laws designed to discourage miscegenation in the 1600s. Interracial marriages were punishable offences in the Virginia colony as early as 1630 and was formally prohibited by legislation in Maryland in 1661 and in Virginia in 1662.15


In the century after the founding of the USA as many as 38 states banned interracial marriages. By 1915 a total of 28 states of the USA still had such statutes, while ten states went as far as to prohibit racial miscegenation. Even definitions of “whiteness” and “blackness” became more prominent, precise, and discriminative. Some states simply declared interracial unions null and void, while other conferred penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment for such offences. Although slavery was abolished after the American Civil War, the Southern states still successfully introduced a system of segregation that prohibited intermarriage and intercourse between Whites and Blacks.15


In the 1940s the African Americans who fought as part of the USA forces in World War II (WW2), representing 11% of the total USA forces, were segregated from their White counterparts into separate units. In the1940s segregation was still practiced in the Southern States of the USA. It was only in the 1960s, after bitter fights between Whites and Blacks that formal “American apartheid” fell away, although it seems to still be present informally in the USA as evident from protests, unrests and riots activated by the “Black lives matter” movement. Deep-seated racial and ethnic hate in the American society became quite apparent in the recent Trump presidential election.15,68,69,71-74


Ethnicity has also played a dominant role in differentiation and discrimination between different White immigrants in the USA. Intermarriage between Irish and Americans, Italians and Americans, Protestants and Catholics, and Jews and Christians have only become more acceptable in recent years.51


South Africa was a close business partner of the USA for a long time. Up to the1980s, the political relations between the two states were excellent. South African received much support, although hidden, for its racist politics. The influence of American support and the many similarities in the racial attitudes of White Americans and nationalist Afrikaners strengthened and guided the Afrikaner’s racial discrimination at a time when the world started to condemn and to fight it.3,4,15,17,44,68,69,71


The USA has a history of supporting governments with poor human and political records and radical leaders as long as they benefit. The African continent is dotted with such examples. South African was not an exception, specifically because of its ruling pro-Western White regime, its military empowerment and stand against the communist military actions of Russia and China in Africa, and certain strategic minerals. American cooperation and support for the NP regime strengthened and influenced the apartheid ideology. It was only during the office of President Ronald Reagan that the relationship started to sour and apartheid was identified as inhuman and unacceptable.47,68,69


The British and other European colonial powers also practiced racial discrimination in their territories all over the globe. In 1808, Eurasians were excluded from the East Indian Company Forces, while in 1835 intermarriage was formally banned in British India. From 1857, interracial sex was frowned upon when a general process of segregation was introduced there. In 1919, the Crewe Circular expressively banned officials throughout the British Empire from even taking native mistresses. Today, Black activists are protesting in the UK under the banner of “Black lives matter” about racial discrimination and wrongdoings.15


Whites in South Africa were exposed to British influences and their ideas on race for many years, notwithstanding British liberalism on racial relations and status. South Africa’s partnership with the British Empire, followed by membership of the Commonwealth after 1910, brought them direct and indirect support for racism and confirmed the racist ideas of the Afrikaners up to the 1940s, especially due to the British hypocritical policy on racism. The British gave the nationalist Afrikaners free reign to introduce racist political ideologies after 1910 in the Union and helped to establish racially discriminatory policies and belief systems.3,18,44


There is no doubt about the fact that racism and ethnocentricity were directly or indirectly instilled in proto-Afrikaners by the British during their various occupations of South Africa. After 1910 this was strengthened by their hypocritical management of racial issues to please the various White factions’ political ambitions and needs and to reach reconciliation between these factions. They also wanted reconciliation between the proto-Afrikaners and the British Empire with the founding of the Union. This free-reign British on South African politics freed the British government from any further South African political headaches. This political outcome gave the incoming nationalist Afrikaner leaders strong support for the practice of apartheid and a free hand to establish a new, more rigid and suppressive racial policy than ever. The ideas underlying this policy was transferred very effectively to the insecure proto-Afrikaners as a way to gain their freedom and to handle the growing “Black question” in a new political dispensation.3,4,47,68,69


For a long time (up to the 1980s), British Conservative Party governments and American administrations fully and publicly supported the NP and the racist policies of the nationalist Afrikaners. Various other European as well as African and Asian countries like the Netherlands, France, Israel, Switzerland, Zaire and Belgium, which were themselves cradles of racism from an early time at home or in their colonies, supported and influenced the racial orientation of the Afrikaners up to the 1980s and the government of President PW Botha.4,47,68,69


International support for and approval of apartheid over many years led to Afrikaners regarding apartheid as good, acceptable, and correct. The racial policy became more and more extreme from 1948, until it became virtually untouchable by both insiders and outsiders by the 1970s. In the end external role players like the Dutch, British and Americans who all in some way introduced, instilled, supported and compensated South Africa for apartheid for many years, turned on the Afrikaners, leaving them confused in new South Africa with a set of unacceptable and conflicting international and local racial attitudes, values and beliefs.

3.1.5 Afrikaner institutions of racial and ethnic discrimination


Political parties like the NP and civil bodies like the AB and the Afrikaner churches were initially established and steered by nationalist proto-Afrikaners and later on by nationalist Afrikaners with the main aim of promoting the interests of Afrikaners over a broad spectrum, from the cultural to the political spheres. This was done very successfully through racial and ethnic discrimination.5,44 The National Party and the Afrikaner Broederbond

The NP and AB quickly became independent safe havens for and guardians of the nationalist Afrikaners and their comprehensive political and cultural interests. Their interlinked functioning and accompanying political and military empowerment as part of the Afrikaner government during the period 1948 to 1994 made them mighty and unchallengeable political machines in the form of opinion-forming and politically radical executive bodies. This position offered them the opportunity of forcing the racial-political opinions of a small group of super-nationalist Afrikaners on their fellow Afrikaners, other Whites and the Black majority. The corrupt and nepotistic end result was that more or less 20 000 AB members, supplemented by as many members of its “Junior ABs” (the groups “Ruiterwagte” and “Rapportryers”), enjoyed many work, financial, and other benefits and privileges that the non-member Afrikaners were denied. In addition, there was open discrimination against dissident Afrikaners. They were basically in the same situation as the oppressed Blacks.18,48,75,76


Dissident Afrikaners and other non-conformers were labelled “communists” by means of well-planned propaganda and stigmatization. These Afrikaners have good reason to say that they have only ever experienced discrimination. They most often grew up in the liberal Southern part of the country, studied at various Afrikaner universities and worked in the Northern or Southern parts of South Africa. They were first outcasts under the NP-AB alliance from 1948 to 1994, and then under the ANC and its partners from 1994. This inclination to discriminate against this group of Whites certainly contributed to a slow turning away of English-speaking Whites and liberal Afrikaners and other races from the Afrikaner nationalist establishment after 1948. For these dissidents the NP and ABs political views and vision resembled Nazism too much. The doctrine of the nationalist Afrikaner leaders and their programme of indoctrination were so effective and overpowering that the arguments and opinions of these political opponents of the NP-AB never made any impact on ordinary nationalist Afrikaners. Much of the resistance was scandalously silent. The tragic fate of dissidents like Abraham Fischer and Beyers Naude are well known. The NP regime had secret agents and co-operators of political opponents like Ruth First, Jeanette Schoon and Dulcie September murdered. This behaviour was approved and sanctioned by ordinary nationalist Afrikaners6,18,48,53,54,75-77


The NP-AB alliance of political mischief was already very active during the 1930s in efforts to indoctrinate the common Afrikaner, especially the poor. This alliance and its negative impact on social society with regard to instilling political contamination in nationalist Afrikaner members with time was aptly described when general JBM Hertzog declared in 1935 that the secret AB is nothing less than the NP operating secretly underground and the public NP is nothing less than the secret AB operating in public. These were wise and prophetic words about what was to come with regard to racism and racial disharmony, steered by the NP-AB. It is still raging South Africa today. The degree to which the AB became intricately intertwined with nationalist Afrikaner thinking and the nationalist Afrikaner’s doctrine of racism, could be foretold by looking at reverend SJ du Toit intent to establish the AB in 1879 with the main aim of incorporating all the Afrikaans-speaking Whites in Southern Africa into one state. It is therefore no surprise that the AB later entered active politics to form the Cape SAP. The top management of the NP-AB alliance quickly became the sole thinkers and decision-makers for the common nationalist Afrikaner – and thus the inspiration behind the view that racism is appropriate and correct. The Afrikaner youth especially became their main target.4,5,18,44,47,48,54,78,79


This godfather syndrome among Afrikaners of dependence on spiritual-political-cultural leaders and mentors resulted in the growing political and personal disorientation within the NP as a group after the1970s, a process that started with the deaths of their dominant leaders DF Malan, JG Strydom and HF Verwoerd. It ended in the total collapse of the NP following the chaos brought about by Vorster, Botha, De Klerk and Van Schalkwyk. The mighty “Afrikaner company” of the 1960s faded fast to became the insecure “Afrikaner incorporated” in the 1980s. By 1994 they started splitting into small, less rigid, and less extreme Afrikaner cultural, political and financial bodies. However, this disintegration does not mean that the beliefs and values on race and the intentions to act on it, phased out. These views were instilled, learned and strengthened constantly over many years. To the contrary, these inclinations have become fixed, and many Afrikaners are still guided by these views today.4,5,18,44,47,48,54,78,79


Since the late 1990s, nationalist Afrikaners have been leaderless and politically disorientated. Many have gradually become reactive about their well-being and they pursue survival individually. They seem to seek more and more individual economical and social empowerment, outside the growing corrupted NP and AB-family tree and its extreme racial policy. The engrained beliefs are being abandoned more and more in view of the lack of compensations to support it. Once an unstoppable and mighty political, cultural, economical and emotional bullying giant under the NP and AB, the nationalist Afrikaners are now orphaned and frail, with the NP vanishing and the AB scaling down. In 20 years Afrikaner nationalism has gone from a hyper to an irreparable hypo-state.


The nationalist Afrikaners’ daily frustration with and objections to the doings of new South Africa are now confined to court cases, appeals to the Constitutional Court and complaints in the few struggling Afrikaans newspapers still publishing. These are all stumped and dishearten actions that were previously unknown to Afrikaners in their heyday of power. It seems as if these growing numbers of unhappy and deserted Afrikaners are putting their last hope, trust and money into various Afrikaner organisations and other mainstream institutions as their true saviours to repair their lost political, economical, social and civil rights. They have even founded their own universities to accommodate 100 000 and more Afrikaner students. In all honesty, these organizations do not have real political power, know-how and the finances to restore the Afrikaner’s dignity and rights. They do not even have the stamina to live the Afrikaners’ growing problems with them.8,80-92


It seems as if the most modern Afrikaners (less than 3 million, of whom many are already politically and culturally differently minded than their parents of 40–60 years ago) are driven in their daily lives and future planning by their own life needs, decisions and planning. About 2 million plus Afrikaners are outright ignoring the various exclusive “Afrikaner bodies” like the Freedom Front Plus Party (VF Plus with approximately 166 000 supporters) and Solidarity (with approximately 350 000 members). These two Afrikaner bodies, however humble and honest their intentions may be, have been struggling to attract more than between 5% and 13% of the total Afrikaner population respectively. The VF Plus’s support went 600 000 votes in 1994 to only 166 000 in 2014, reflecting a decline of nearly 70% in 20 years. The AWB, the prominent nationalist Afrikaner right-wing organization that promised to free the Afrikaner physically, just collapsed.80,81,92-95


Apart from the above organizations various other less significant organizations and initiatives surface from time to time to represent the interests of today’s “lost” Afrikaners, like the AfriForum, the Institute of Race Relations, the FW de Klerk foundation’s Centre for Constitutional Rights, the National Dialogue (Nasionale Stigting-dialoog Inisiatief or NSDI), the Organization for Unrepresented Nations and Groups (UNPO) and the Africa-European Indaba. There are also efforts of religious groups to almost mesmerize the directionless Afrikaners. They overrule rational thinking with emotional and unsound religious ideologies and this finds favour with some Afrikaners in their political confusion and uncertainty. However much these organizations, initiatives, leaders and prophets would like to present themselves as saviours, the lifespan of these groups is at most ten years, very superficial, directionless, nor viable or sustainable in the new South Africa. Secondly, it seems as if these “saviours” are intentionally (seeing that some of the leaders themselves raise the alarm that the Afrikaners are in a process of becoming distinct) not informing their oblivious followers that in 30 to 60 year there will only be between 300 000 and 1 million Afrikaners left in South Africa. This makes the “pure” Afrikaners as a dynamic and profitable entity that can generate income through membership and donations for all these initiatives, insignificant. Their rescue efforts are already in vain. A change of heart that would inspire positive Afrikaners to accept the new South Africa unconditionally, to completely discard apartheid and racial discrimination, to accept and internalize the South African indigenous realities, is the only solution to becoming “adjusted” South Africans. Such sentiments are absent from these initiatives’ intentions and modus operandi. All these “saviour” initiatives do is to give false hope of a new Afrikaner South Africa. They strengthen outdated apartheid ideas and racial discrimination in the minds of the confused and directionless Afrikaners with talk about the “injustices” done to them the denial of their Afrikaner “rights and privileges,” making their adjustment to a non-racial society basically impossible. 80,85,89,94-101


For the upkeep and supporting of right-wing dogmas and socio-political misled and doctrines of the NP-AB-alliance, well-planned internalized in the mindsets of Afrikaners over more or less 50 years and cleverly adapted and steered since 1994 for new South Africa, are there clearly not much place left in the political and cognitive reasoning of most of the Afrikaners of today: the new independent Afrikaners have drawn a line between themselves and the slow outgoing nationalist Afrikaners. The de-internalization of wrong believes on racism and the dissociation from false “saviours” has become essential for the Afrikaners survival. 80,85,89,93-101


Above can be an indication of an already unsaid written-off by a large group of Afrikaners of the internalized cognitions on racial policies of the NP and AB which the majority nationalist Afrikaners had blindly endorsed and promoted for many years, as well as a gradually positive adjustment of their racial cognitions to fit them successfully as individuals into the political lifestyles of the new South Africa. The question becomes prominent if this majority Afrikaners are not regretting that they had foolishly and unquestioned believed in the manipulated- and untrue-stories of the NP and AB about the “Black-Danger” (Swart-Gevaar”) and the “Communist-Danger” (Kommunis-Gevaar”), and if it would not be better if they had instead put their loyalties and votes on the side of the ANC in 1994.


To reach the ideal outcome of non-racism is not so easy, as fixed mindsets are not very much changeable. This fact is well reflected today by many Afrikaners still today under-writing negative racial attitudes and –behaviour against non-Afrikaners, although mostly not openly reflected.

. The DRC

All that is left in some strength of the Afrikaner’s previous bullying institutions, still to guide, to support, and to a certain extent, to doctrine him with Afrikaner-ideologies in his present-day of political disorientation and insecurity, are the three main Afrikaner churches, with the DRC as the dominant role-player.


The historical-roles of the DRC in the establishment and the upkeep of racial discrimination are prominent and well-known. Even today is it, in the absence of the NP and AB, still the most strong conditioner and booster of the Afrikaner’s racial attitudes, although most of the nationalist Afrikaners had moved from hyper- into hypo-nationalism.


Racial discrimination was apparent in the Cape Church from an early time, as reflected by certain church-customs like the separate baptizing of slave-children and other rituals excluding non-Whites, although not prominent. It must also remember that the church-reverends were initially in the service of the VOC. Also the church was under the control of the VOC. In the time of De Mist’s reforming of the Cape Church in the1806s, the existing church-apartheid was not approved as his church-order described that public religious services could only be practiced on Sundays in the church and that the doors must be open to allowed all persons, Christian, or heathen, White, or Coloured, slave or freeman, entrance to the service.18


Clear racial discrimination by the church started in 1817 when the Holland’s (Netherland) Church, the most prominent church-entity at that time at the Cape, declared officially itself against mixed marriages of Whites and Blacks (names referring to this early church at that time are Nederduits Hervormd, Nederduits Gereformeerd, Gereformeerd, and Hervorm).18


The DRC obstinacy with apartheid itself is deep- and well masked in a church-political foundation where racial diversity and racial purity are prominent church-doctrines from the 1850s. Here, in particular, it is a White-Christianity versus a Brown-Christianity and a Black-Christianity, as well as seemly a White-Afrikaner versus a Brown-Afrikaner in church-life.17,18


This race-based doctrine, based on “human goodness” and “human badness” between races, is unique to the character and history of the DRC, how hard the hierarchy of the church is trying to make-believe outsiders that it is untrue or by denying it outright. To understand this dogma in all its complexities and consequences in the DRC’s current functioning and intermixing with the Afrikaner’s upkeep as a tribe and of Afrikaner-racism, the DRC century-old history of the doctrine of racism as cognitions into the mindsets of Afrikaners must be fully known and understood. A short trip into its past is thus needed.


This history shows that the DRC’s formal racial diversity began in 1857 when its Cape Synod introduced segregated congregations. That was a policy that was consistent with the already racially discriminatory church-policies of the DRC itself and the two other RCs that were founded and very active in the Transvaal and Free State Republics.3,5,44


This decision of the DRC in 1857 is seen by many today as one of the main instigators of the later 1948-1994 NP-Apartheid. What is clear is that it fuelled a unique church-political life and way of thinking under most of the DRC-members and was internalized gradually in the members’ mindsets across the country. This is a church-culture that has becomes gradually embedded in a contaminating alliance and interaction between the hierarchy of the DRC and the nationalist Afrikaner-politicians, as well as the leaderships of the NP and that of the AB. In particular, after 1948 this interaction became acute and was internalized in-depth in the thinking and behaviours of its members.3,5,44


Immediately after 1948, the DRC gave its unconditional support and approval to the NP’s newly established policy of apartheid and started to forcefully build the DRC’s political authority within this church-political Alliance. For this purpose the hierarchy of the DRC unashamedly used official church-literature to advocate and to justify apartheid (which they claimed not to be discrimination but “godlike-diversity”). Several influential and leading DRC -ministers, -academics and -writers intensively produced early written propaganda to promote and to establish apartheid in general in the church-live, to justify Scriptural apartheid in the DRC and thus for the DRC-members to accept it unquestioned in their mindsets and religious, social, and personal lives apartheid as absolute correct.3,5,44


For this they reformulated and misrepresented texts from the Bible. This post-1948 DRC propaganda-campaign among DRC-members were so successful embedded in their members religious, political, and cognitive mindsets that in 1950, at a joint-congress in Bloemfontein of the three Afrikaner churches and the Dutch Reformed Mission Church [the Brown- or Coloured-DRC at that time, now known as the United Reformed Church (URC)], the four sister-Churches decided overwhelmingly in favour of total racial-separation in their church-life. This declared DRC apartheid’s policy was reaffirmed at several successive General Synods of the DRC and was official introduced to and internalized into the mindsets of its members as religious correct. This officially authorized socio-economic and political racial discrimination by various Afrikaner institutions was quickly embraced, internalized and promoted in their daily lifestyles by many opportunistic nationalist Afrikaner-DRC-members because apartheid-legislation led to the expropriation of the land and properties of non-Whites in created White Areas. Financial it benefited them enormously by the cheap obtain of ownership of these properties, while it also favoured them in their new exclusive scope of work rights above non-Whites. Additionally, it also seems to serve as an external force to protect themselves and their fellow Afrikaner DRC-members against the temptation of miscegenation with non-Whites.3,5,44


The DRC’s racial diversity and policies evoked criticism by some of his liberal theologians, such as the outright rejection by the Cottesloe Declaration in 1960 and the Open Letter by 123 DRC-theologians that church and political racial discrimination were unscriptural, but impact was minimal, and was promptly suppressed by the hierarchy of the DRC. Also the expulsions of dissident DRC -ministers and -thinkers were strictly adhered too to demolish criticism and thus the possible de-internalization of established faulty racial cognitions and dispositions in the minds of DRC-members. Even the DRC’s General Synod decision of 1974 that the Church of Christ (and hence the DRC) had to be opened to all races, peoples, and nations, were entirely ignored by the nationalist-Broederbonder-Afrikaner- hierarchy of the DRC and the managerial boards of the various DRC-congregations.3,5,44


The DRC-NP-affiliation became more and more contaminated by racism. Their in-forcing of racial discrimination – theological, juridical, economic, and social – into the South Africa religious and social life, were intensively internalized since 1948 until the fall of the NP in 1994. This church-political- interaction was very powerfully and had extremely influenced the DRC as an equal partner to the NP. To such extent that it’s stated principle of Afrikaner Christian-nationalism has changed quickly in practice to Afrikaner nationalism-Christianity with hyper-Afrikaner nationalism in the first place. In this system racial discrimination, despite its devastating negative psychological and financial consequences for the Brown- Afrikaners and the Blacks, was extreme practiced by its already well racial doctrine DRC-members. This comprehensive church-state affiliation between the DRC and the NP (together with its intimate political and social management partner, the AB), in all areas of the South African society from 1948 to 1994, is confirmed by the entry of several DRC-theologians into active NP-politics. One of them, Dr DF Malan, even became prime minister of the Union and had thoroughly ensured that legalized apartheid was introduced in 1948. The exclusive and super-powerful AB’s direct influence and control in DRC’s decision-making are also strongly confirmed by the great support and membership of DRC -ministers and DRC-members of it. 3,5,44


Racial discrimination was and is still indisputable intensively indoctrinated and internalized into the mindsets of DRC-members for almost one and a half century, starting in 1857. These established value- ​​and belief systems of nationalism-Christianity were not dispelled by the DRC in 1994 with the incoming of new South Africa. Today it is still conveyed subtly to DRC-members and inculcated by its hierarchy, just well enough disguised to can operate within the provisions of the South African Constitution and the Human Rights Commission.


Since 1994, the DRC -members’ (especially the elderly) negative racial values were unfortunately, by a multitude of destructive events in the country, strengthened rather than mitigated: examples of these events are the lost of their “Afrikaner-state,” the post-1994 political, social, and economic chaos that was created by the ANC-government, White poverty, unprecedented violence, crime, corruption, and murder. The worst was most certainly the miserable way their long-time partner and patron, the NP, left them lurched, and alone. The AB also starts to fade as an emotional and political guider These events left them totally disillusioned and politically more radical, with just one notable Afrikaner-fortress left that still seek to protect their church-, personal -and cultural-rights, namely the DRC in its current, rigid racial form.3-5,44,48


The fact that DRC-members (especially its youth) left the church in droves the last decade for the less racial rigid charismatic churches (an outflow that will increase dramatically in the next decade), together with a lack of inflow of active, young members, as well as the rise in death of its elderly members, predicts that the DRC, as a significant church-group and a driver to internalize and to strengthen in future racial discrimination in the mindsets of its members, will disappear in the near future. This will mean a further decrease in political empowerment and support for the already belittled Afrikaner in his racial prejudice. But to think at this stage that racial discrimination will disappear from the DRC is wishful thinking – their elder members were for to long indoctrinate about the racial differences between Whites and non-Whites and the right of Afrikaners to can discriminate against non-Whites. This negative cognitive contamination will stay with the DRC till it disbands or all its elderly members has passed away.



  • Discussion



Psychological and emotional malfunctioning of individuals forms most times the bases of serious social, even criminal, behaviour. A psychopathic foundation, making the individual insensitive, exploiting, and cold-bloodedly to others, is many times detected in these cases. In practice the presence of official psychopathic malfunctioning in the greater society as a whole in terms of the traditional mental classifications, is minimal. On the other side is it from studies on the behaviour of people from old times till modern-day clear that the mass behaviour of the greater society can reflect behaviour bordering to or can be associated as psychopathic. The stories from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible describing in-depth the Jews outright and totally murdering of innocent non-Jews communities that they conquered in their entrance into Israel from Egypt, instigated, and instructed mostly by their religious leaders in the name of the “God of the Jewry”. The Nazis leadership’s successfully mesmerizing of Germans to commit the genocide of Jews as well as other non-Germans confirms this internalising of doctrine further. Basic to the outcomes of these behaviours stand mass discrimination; In the Jewish and Germanic cases more ethnic orientated against people of the same race as the Afrikaners’ discrimination against people of another race. To be coerced into such mal-behaviour requires a tendency and latent disposition in the mindset of culprits to be acceptable for these doctrines of misbehave and to commit it. To argue subjective that these culprits also as nations were permanent evil or psychologically genetically malfunctioning, is wrong, and inapplicable. The fact that the Jews during their stay in Egypt were not involved in this type of behaviour against the Egyptians, and the Germans before the arriving of Hitler and his Nazis also were free from genocide against Jews, contradicted these kinds of assumption and generalization on mal-behaviour. Other activating and contaminating powers are also involved to activate and upkeep mal-behaviour in the mindsets of ordinary people and nations as a whole. 11,15,102-105

It is clear that a manifold of negative external influences, examples, circumstances, and environments, happening over a short period or coming over centuries, can be used by cunning, manipulated and mentally malfunctioning leaders as drivers and powers to establish deviated doctrine and ideologies in the mindsets of large groups and to activate and internalize mal-behaviour like the practice of discrimination. In the case of the Jews as well as the Germans these external causes were seemingly manifold, making common people acceptable of leaders to “lead and defend on their behalf their rights, property, cultural and religious lifestyles and nationhood” against any non-Jew or non-German by discrimination, even murder. On the one side had specific mal-behaviours, in up keeping this discrimination, became internationalized via constant and supported learning as a mental disposition in the mindsets of Jews and Germans as normal and acceptable behaviour; not only as a planned and well-thought through method of survival in the start-up of it, but at the end to obtain and safeguard extraordinary rights, richness, and land for the discriminating Jews and Germans at the cost and suffering of non-Jews and non-Germans. On the other side can mal-behaviour not be activated in the individual’s mind without his cognitive reasoning and permission, understanding, acceptance, and a free-willingness to participate in it. This indicates the presence of a latent cognition in his mindset, waiting and ready to be activated by external stimuli, ending in various forms of abnormal behaviour. It seems as if the Jews and Germans (and the Afrikaners in their apartheid-dogma) fall prey to this faulty cognition.11,15,102-105


In the case of the creation and practice of the Afrikaner’s Apartheid there seems, as with the Jews, and the Germans, also to be clear and specific historical causes which had led over centuries to the learning and internalizing of discrimination against non-Whites particular in the Afrikaners mindset as a mental disposition that is correct, acceptable, and normal. This learning and internalizing dimension does not acquits the Afrikaners as individuals or as a group from mental malfunctioning in their racial discrimination (as this article is also not try to do), but the aim of the study was primary focused to give insight to what extent negative external influences can contribute to mal-behaviour inside or outside mental malfunctioning. (In this concern it must be noted the fact that the majority of ordinary nationalist Afrikaners gave through the ballot-box freely and unquestioning an absolute mandate to their leader-corps to can act on their behalf and on their own discretion to drive and manage apartheid, knowing well that this had included the cold-blooded murder of political opponents and dissidents and never tried through elections to make a turn-around, make them party to these crimes and bring their cognitive judgement and thus general mental health under suspicion).11,75,76,102,103,106-109


The “Afrikaner-problem of Apartheid” is to complex to simplify it solely in terms of a “mental mal-functioning syndrome” founded on an internal congenital-inborn or racial cause only. Many other, unrelated negative external determinants and role players are also primarily involved and must be study and be enlightened to can offer a total view on apartheid. This article traces, describes and analyses specific the impact of various negative external causes on the mindsets of Afrikaners activating them to commit and upheld extreme racial discrimination over many years.11,75,76,102,103,106-109

Social- and class-discrimination at the Cape began to take root after 1671 due to several unfavourable predisposing factors associated with the non-Whites. This differentiation and discrimination were indeed initially economically and culturally and not ethnic and racial factors. These determinants – like social and economical differences and unique lifestyles that created unfair discrimination as well as other political discriminative rulings by the European authorities – were mostly totally outside the non-Whites own wrong-doings, wishes, and choice. Discrimination was forced down with negative consequences specific on the non-Whites of the Cape, exclusively because they were as a group defenceless and extreme vulnerable to the over-powering Whites discriminative actions. Inclusive ethnic, economically, and social differences, also reflected by some Whites at the early Cape and thus totally unrelated to race-exclusiveness, was with time faulty identified with specific races, namely the non-Whites. The basis for and the formal start-up of racial discrimination between Whites and non-Whites were laid, with the non-Whites as the unwilling and harmed victim. These distorted-thinking and belief-set-up about non-Whites, solely on the basis of colour, eventually becomes internalized in the mindsets of the early Dutch and other European settlers (and the later proto-Afrikaners and today’s Afrikaners). This race inclination and the later accompanying hyper-nationalism in the mindset of the Afrikaner were later both promoted, strengthened, and rewarded, especially by various nationalist Afrikaner institutions, like the NP, the AB, and the three main Afrikaner churches.5,18,23,44,48


Black-on-Black violence and genocide of the past had penetrated the mindset of the Afrikaner to become negative and fixed cognitions about the Blacks as unsuitable equal citizens in a peaceful country, strengthening the Afrikaner’s racial discrimination. For the present-day Afrikaner the earlier-day Black-behaviours and governmental-scenarios, together with the present-day political instability and openly hostility by certain Black-sectors against Whites on the other side, are clear warnings of happenings that can again awaits him in new South Africa and which can play dominant and clear roles in his dissolution. The fact is that live conditions for the Afrikaner can be good and even improve further in South Africa, but it can also change, sometimes gradually or very fast, from good to bad and from bad to worse. These negative observations only serve to strengthen the already negative dispositions of the Afrikaner’s mindset on racial discrimination.14,17,18,45


The history of proto-Afrikaners and the later Afrikaners shows that the Afrikaners were not strangers to incidents of genocide. Afrikaners know the tragic consequences of genocide and racial discrimination and exploitation very well. They learned about the Black-on-Black violence and genocide in South Africa from 1810 to 1840 through folk stories and later experienced genocide at the hands of the British between 1899 and 1902. They observed the Greater European genocide of 1938 to 1948 from a distance. As in many cases of abuse and maltreatment, the personal, emotional, psychological, political and financial ill treatment of Afrikaners desensitized them psychologically and emotional so that they had no regard for the well-being of any political, racial or ethnic competitor. The result, as with Hitler’s German nationalism later on, was the activation of the hyper-Afrikaner nationalism and outright racial discrimination that culminated in the grand apartheid of 1948–1994.2,5,18,44,50


Afrikaner institutions like the NP, AB and DRC genuinely did initially serve Afrikaner interests, like with the “Problem of Poor Whites” (Armblanke Vraagstuk). However, these institutions had ability to keep the nationalist Afrikaners united by means of manipulation, indoctrination and corrupt and nepotistic benefits for loyalists. After a contingent of “Super Afrikaners” essentially high jacked these organizations, they started to use these bodies solely to serve and to promote their own personal, economical and racial-political orientations and ambitions. The NP-AB-DRC alliance started to instil in nationalist Afrikaners the idea that there is a need “to fight the Black danger” and that Afrikaners have “God-given rights” over and above other races, effectively inspiring thoughts of “untouchable White supremacy.” The Afrikaners who belonged to the AB, numbering more or less 20 000 “super-Afrikaners,” successfully misused and misled more or less 3 million ordinary Afrikaners for their selfish aim to strengthen the doctrine of apartheid among nationalist Afrikaners, solely for the AB members’ own political, social, economical and juridical benefits.4,5,18,23,44,47,48


The changes in the South African political scene from the 1980s onwards quickly spelled the end of the doctrine of racial discrimination and White supremacy of the NP and the AB. It ultimately resulted in the end of the NP and the attenuation of the AB. But to assume that the NP and the ABs promotion, maintenance and strengthening of the nationalist Afrikaner’s racial discrimination stopped completely in 1994 is wrong. Their influences are still there: their inputs are just indirect and hidden. However, the AB and the DRC are losing their credibility with the younger generation of Afrikaners, making them ineffective role players in any continuation of a mindset of racial discrimination in the Afrikaners.4,5,18,23,44,47,48


Behavioural psychology shows that traditions, habits, customs, values and beliefs that have been established over generations (in the case of DRC members over nearly two centuries and six generations and in the case of the AB and NP more than one century and three generations) become part of the group members’ characters and personalities. These elements are unchangeable as long as the group survives as a unit. It also shows that such cultural, religious and political thinking gain a momentum of their own and persist long after the initial creator and purpose disappeared [like for instance the former NP and the AB and the DRC, each with its own apartheid doctrines and objectives].11,102,103



  • Conclusion



The proto-Afrikaners and the Afrikaners learned that certain actions and behaviours are crucial for survival as individuals and as a group. They learned this from their own hardships, unhappiness and political experiences, and from broader negative South African events. They also had governments who set a bad example. As a result they embraced negative behaviours despite the injustice it does to other persons outside the Afrikaner group. Over the years they came to see these behaviours as essential to their survival (especially during the era of the nationalist Afrikaners after 1948). Discrimination and ethnic domination of persons from mixed races, Blacks, and even Whites from other ethnic groups, however inhuman and morally wrong, became a learned survival strategy. As result of the successes, satisfaction and compensation it brought, it became entrenched as the most applicable and correct approach to other groups. The outcome for the Afrikaner has been and is to a certain extent still that there is only a single golden rule for their political, economical, social and personal lives: “you are ruling” versus “you are being ruled” and “if you are the minority you must be the ruler as long as possible, notwithstanding the consequences.” For the nationalist Afrikaners meant that to safe-guard their future, they must stay in power at all times, even if this entails domination and discrimination against the other races in South Africa. They saw the full-blown discrimination of grand apartheid as the only choice and ultimate solution for the nationalist Afrikaners. It became a normal lifestyle for the Afrikaners.


The practice of discrimination as means of survival, fully justified in the eyes of the Afrikaners and rationalized as correct, is an entrenched flaw in Afrikaner thinking. It grew out of the indoctrination by the NP-AB-DRC leadership. It did not matter how selfish and morally wrong it was, possibly even bordering on psycho-pathology. It was continuously driven and strengthened by the unstable political, economical and social milieu of South Africa and the Afrikaner’s constant experience of and exposure to this in their struggle to survive. On the formal termination of apartheid in 1994, the Afrikaner tragically became a victim of himself of his own history. 2-5,18,44,75,76,110,111


Negative thought patterns like racial discrimination, forged by years of exposure, examples and compensation, will not easily be erased from the thinking of most Afrikaners, especially if they are not rational. The lost privileges, rights, benefits and empowerments are seldom reclaimable. Most Afrikaners find themselves in an unbearable dilemma today.2-5,18,44,75,76,110,111


“Man creates his own future, but not under conditions of his choice, nor with the consequences he intends,” writes Giddens.112To many Afrikaners, apartheid was their first choice, but the current backlash of Black hostilities and revenge against Afrikaners were consequences they did not foresee. They naively thought that it could not happen because Blacks lack the ability to rule. They never thought that the Blacks would act precisely as the Afrikaners themselves acted in the heyday of apartheid. This reminds one of Karl Marx’s words of warning: History repeats itself.



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Not commissioned. Externally peer-reviewed.



The author declares that he has no competing interest.



The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Arts, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.



Is the dissolution of the Afrikaner-tribe only a century away? Part 1: Who is the Afrikaner?

Gabriel Louw

Research Associate, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Arts,
Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

Corresponding Author:
Prof Dr GP Louw
Focus Area Social Transformation
Faculty of Arts
Potchefstroom Campus
North-West University
South Africa

Ensovoort volume 37(2017), number 9:1

1. Background

“The world on September 11, 1901, was not a bad place for a healthy white man with a decent education and some money in the bank when the class to which he belonged had enjoyed ‘at a low cost and with the least trouble, conveniences, comforts, and amenities beyond the compass of the richest and most powerful monarchs of other ages’”, writes Niall Ferguson.1, p.3 What was most important, added Ferguson1, p. 4, was that this White man of 1901 saw “this state of affairs as normal, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement, and any deviation from it as aberrant, scandalous, and avoidable”.

This world of 1901 was the oyster of the White man, but for the critical observer, like the economist John Maynard Keynes, it was not without toxic impurities that could devour the White man and the false and superficial utopia over time. Indeed, two cruel and devastating World Wars, various other regional wars, two world-wide financial depressions, internationally ethnic and racial reprisals by the suppressed non-Whites, worldwide radical regime changes and many other calamities ensued from 1901 to 1950. This unexpectedly, unasked and unavoidably changed the White man’s belief in his unshakable “permanent and normal privileged lifestyle,” concludes Ferguson.1, p. 4

For nationalist Afrikaners, especially those living between 1948 and the late 1980s, South Africa was not a bad place to live in either; an oyster of Apartheid-privileged lifestyle that Afrikaners undoubtedly believed was normal and permanent and that could only be improved with time. However, the post-1994 democratic dispensation arrived virtually overnight: unexpected, unasked, unwelcome and unthinkable, and most of all, unavoidable for Afrikaners if they wanted a future existence in South Africa and on the African continent. This socio-economical, political and humanitarian correction of the economical, psychological, political and social wrongs created by the nationalist Afrikaners with their racial discrimination against non-Whites, brought tremendous aberrant and unforeseen negative changes to their good lifestyles, psychological functioning, religious, social-economical and political powers, individual and human rights, even citizen privileges. It also terminated the nationalist Afrikaner’s self-belief with one stroke of the pen. This self-belief was inculcated in Afrikaners since 1652 and it held that the Afrikaners have an “inherited ability” as Europeans to rule forever the indigenous peoples of South Africa.1,2,3

The favourable socio-economical political set-up described above was statutorily erased in 1994 as the political tide turned on the Afrikaner. As the fortune of Ferguson’s (2007) White man of 1901 changed dramatically during the first 50 years of the century, so did the Afrikaner’s fortune change dramatically, but in just 23 years. The Afrikaner is now inextricably linked to the birth pains of political, economical, social and personal modernization in the new South Africa. The Afrikaner brought this on himself during the 1970s without realising the consequences. The future life of the Afrikaner seems to be a totally different one from the one that he and his ancestors experienced or envisioned. When 1994 arrived, the Afrikaner was not only isolated from his fellow South Africans, there was no one left in the world to help him with this fate. 1, 4-10

In light of the above historical overview, the general question is thus prominent: Who is the Afrikaner?
Answering this question has become unavoidable. In 2017 this question needs immediate attention to ensure the Afrikaner’s present-day and future psychological, political, social, financial, emotional and physical well-being.

The lack of an in-depth self-investigation and analysis of who he is has undoubtedly led to a situation where the nationalist Afrikaner and every individual inside the so-called greater Afrikaner grouping carries many unsolved psychological and political traumas and other dispositions with him over many years. This troubles the Afrikaner’s adjustment to the new, greater multi-racial society of South Africa. Many parts of Afrikaner history can possibly be traced back to the Afrikaner’s insufficient knowledge and lack of insight into his history. This includes the political malfunctioning of proto-Afrikaners in the Boer republics after 1902; the transformation of various proto-Afrikaner groups into Afrikaners and later to nationalist Afrikaners and super Afrikaners in the Union and in the Republic of South Africa. The history of the Afrikaner has contributed greatly to the robustness and roughness that Afrikaners display in their daily behaviour and their thinking on racism and ethnicity. It is time for the Afrikaner to confront the good and the bad in their history, but this necessitates an honest and a comprehensive valuation of Afrikaner history and who the Afrikaner is. Only then can the identity of the present-day Afrikaner be understood and the group’s possible future been mapped. Only through such a true and objective re-evaluation of history can the Afrikaner’s real identity and place in the new and future South Africa be revealed; his dark fate as a result of the ill-treatment of non-Whites be made bearable; and the tragic meaning of his possible dissolution become understandable.11-16

Once the Afrikaner knows his own history and who he is, he will much more easily evaluate the role of cognitive thinking and life experiences in the past racial and ethnic domination and discrimination, and he would be able to decide how to handle the present-day environment in an effort to outlive dissolution.

The aim of this article is to research and to reflect on who the Afrikaner is.

The focus is on the Afrikaners’ European heritage, their identification as ‘Afrikaner’, their present-day population numbers, the assumed uniqueness of the Afrikaans language and Afrikaner culture, as well as their position inside the Afrikaanses group and their assumed ‘European blood-purity’.

This article is the first in a series of seven. The seven articles represent the following research topics: 1) Who is the Afrikaner?; 2) Historical determinants and role players in the establishment and maintenance of racial discrimination in the mindsets of Afrikaners; 3) Present and past negative determinants and role players in the establishment and upkeep of injustices in the mindsets of Afrikaners; 4) The Afrikaner’s failure to understand, accept and integrate the indigenous realities of South Africa; 5) The vicious cycle of revenge and contra-revenge around apartheid; 6) The preparedness of and comprehensiveness with which Afrikaners deal with the treats and challenges of the new South Africa; 7) 2017 is the time for thinking, planning and action.

The overarching intention of the total study is determine the future position of the Afrikaner in the year 2117.

2. Method

The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is used in modern-day historical research where there is a lack of an established body of research, like the Afrikaner’s present-day and future position in South Africa. The databases used were EBSCOHost and Sabinet online, and sources included articles from 2007 to 2017, books for the period 1944 to 2017, government documents covering the period 1955 and newspapers for the period 2016 to 2017. These sources were consulted to reflect on the Afrikaners and to the put thought, views and opinions on the Afrikaners in perspective. 17-19

The research findings are presented in narrative format.

3. Results

3.1 Role of ethnicity and race in discrimination

Most of the social domination and discrimination that has ravaged societies over the centuries was primary activated by ethnicity and race. Ethnicity is the combination of the language, habits, customs, and rituals practiced in the house, the school and the religious life of a person or group. Ethnic differences do not necessary include racial differences. Indeed, one single determinant, like language, is sometimes enough to distinguish two ethnic groups within the same racial group. Such a small difference can start discrimination, violence and even genocide. Race, hereto, is seen as inherited physical characteristics, transmitted from parents to children in their DNA. Racism is a doctrine of innate or biological superiority, which, in its classical form, leads to discrimination that deprives members of victimized groups of equal protection under the laws and of a proper lifestyle. Race per se is one of the most devastating determinants in racial discrimination and genocide worldwide, especially from the middle-1800s to the middle-1900s. Although race and ethnicity are mostly seen and discussed as two separate entities, they are seldom active separately. Usually they form a sole determinant in genocide together, or even in the common discriminations of daily life.1,20-22

In contrast to above outcomes in the thinking and the behaviour of men on race and ethnic differences, the science of modern genetics reveals that human beings are remarkably alike and that all humans belong to one species in terms of DNA. The origin of this one species can be traced back to Africa between 100 000 and 200 000 years ago. This species only started to spread to the new continents as late as 60 000 years ago. Also, it must be noted that the differences used to denote racial identities in South Africa, like for instance an Afrikaner or a Zulu, are superficial. The distinctions were and are still the basis of racial and ethnic discrimination. The darker pigmentation in the melanocytes of peoples whose ancestors lived close to the equator, and the physiognomy which makes eyes narrower and noses shorter at the eastern end of the great Eurasian landmass, as well as hair types, are of secondary importance. Geographical dispersion led to humans forming groups that became physically quite distinct over time, but below the skin, peoples are quite similar. Furthermore, despite outward differences; great distances between groups and mutual incomprehension, these so-called “unique races” of the earth have intermingled.1

Notwithstanding the above biological similarity many people, including the Afrikaner specifically, have thought and acted as if the so-called physically distinctive races were separate species, especially during the 20th century. Specific individuals and groups who are different were classified as somehow ‘subhuman’. 1,21-23

It seems in this context as if humans, notwithstanding our intelligence and cognitive insight, and thus a logical awareness that genetic racial differences may indeed be insignificant; have to a certain extent, been driven by an inherent psych-biological disposition that is designed to attach importance to racial differences . These differences have led to intense discrimination and even the murder of people based on their race and class.1

The inclination to discriminate against other racial groups and against people of the same race simply on cultural, religious and political grounds is not unique to the Afrikaner, even though it is a behaviour that is sometimes be seen by psychologists as a psycho-pathology.3,24-26

Various situations, like the Nazi genocide of the Jews and the ongoing modern-day human tragedies in Israel and Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and less prominent racial and ethnic conflicts in modern-day USA and Europe, illustrate this world-wide inclination. 1,4,27-30

Research shows that most of the Y-chromosomes found in Jewish males are the same as those found in other Middle Eastern men, meaning that notwithstanding their bitter hate and pathological murdering of each other, Israelis and Palestinians are genetically very close. Their inter-racial discrimination orientation is therefore rather based on an ethnic life style: religious differences, socio-economical classes and social behaviours. These differences play the dominant role, rather than pure racial content.1

As another example, it seems as racial and ethnic prejudices (based on physical and cultural differences) are practiced in combination in the USA to create and maintain White-on-Black discrimination. Although an American study shows that between 20% and 25% of the DNA of most African Americans can be traced back to Europe, they are still treated as “European-different” by the so-called White Americans based on the physical differences. In addition, a lower social class and income classification is associated with Blacks in the USA, supporting and strengthening further racial discrimination.1,31,32

This illustrates the fact that visible physical features, like skin colour, hair type and facial features are undoubtedly still powerfully drivers in discrimination, regardless of the actual genetic closeness of the groups in question. Such external features can be much stronger role players than cultural determinants.

When racial and ethnic discrimination functions in combination, the outcome can have serious consequences for the victim. This negative outcome seems to be in line with the Afrikaners’ discriminatory attitude towards people of different colour and class. 33-35

In South Africa, the White Afrikaner discriminated against Blacks and mixed races for centuries by means of ethnic and racial domination of the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Domination was structured, managed and executed primarily by means of class. Vilakazi36, p.43 aptly describes the machine-like precision with which the Afrikaner elite managed Apartheid discrimination when he writes:

The structure of racial domination is kept up by pillars of political, economic, social and cultural institutions, above all, bureaucracies, controlled and run by men and women from specific social classes. We should also keep in mind the crucial fact that, in our age of elections for State offices, particular parties and politicians find support and favour from, and arise out of, particular social classes; these parties and politicians may therefore champion the causes and pander to the prejudices of particular social classes, no matter what the racial group may be.

In day-to-day, practical terms, Whites, therefore, do not all dominate Blacks alike. Some exercise the domination directly and harshly; others exercise it still indirectly, but more ‘pleasantly’ and ‘kindly’; some exercise it indirectly, but still harshly; while still others exercise it indirectly, with sophistication and even ‘friendship’ for Blacks. All this depends on the class background of the Whites concerned, and the institutions within which they make their living within the huge edifice of racial domination.

In this context, Vilakazi36, p. 44 furthermore writes:

Blacks also do not experience racial domination in exactly similar ways, for there are growing class differentiations within the Black population. For the vast majority, however, domination is still direct, harsh and sharp-edged: this is true for farm workers, peasants and the working classes in industries, cities and White homes.

In addition to the clear class distinction between Whites and non-Whites, the Apartheid regime grouped all Blacks together as one ethnic group to fit the political domination and institutionalised discrimination.

The Afrikaner unfortunately wears the same “stained cloak” of serious racial and ethnic discriminations as the German, Jew, Palestinian, Briton, the American and many other nationalities and races worldwide, guilty or not guilty. This “dark past” of the Afrikaner must therefore be addressed in a study on the future of the Afrikaner as an individual, group or tribe. This includes addressing who he is, how he was formed and where he comes from. This is a historical issue with an immense impact on today’s Afrikaners and their psychological experience of the new South Africa. The issue has thus far deliberately been avoided by the Afrikaner himself. However, avoiding the past out of a sense of shame is unnecessary. The Afrikaner’s history is no more shocking and tragical than that of the Zulu or the Xhosa tribes or the Scots or Ukrainians, and it must be thoroughly understood to understand the present day and future inclinations and intentions of this group of people.

An understanding of the Afrikaners’ history will hopefully shed light on why they practiced racial discrimination to such an extreme and for so long. The unavoidable questions are: Were these discriminatory beliefs driven by a need to keep their assumed pure European bloodline, which makes them “better” than non-Whites, pure at all times? Was it driven by a psycho-pathological mindset on race and White supremacy? Was it shaped by unhappy life experiences during their development that became learned and internalised ideas that drove their thinking and actions? Was it driven by inborn psychopathic inclinations in their psyche, making them selfish and conscienceless so that they put their interests first at the cost of others’ interests and lives?

3.2 The concepts Afrikaner nation, Afrikaans language, Afrikaanses, Afrikaner naming, Afrikaners in numbers, Afrikaner culture and the Afrikaners’ European blood purity

It is of utmost importance to understand the above concepts related to Afrikaner history to determine and to describe the role of race and ethnicity in the discriminatory inclinations of the Afrikaner. The following questions are prominent in this regard:

Do Afrikaners as Whites from the Afrikaner ethnic group and the Blacks in South Africa truly differ so much that these differences could have led to the Afrikaner’s negative attitudes towards other races and to the resulting discrimination?

Are the seemingly unique features of the Afrikaner, like their status as a people, their exclusive Afrikaans language, the name “Afrikaner”, their significance in terms of numbers, the Afrikaner culture and their “pure” White bloodline true reflections of who Afrikaners are?

These features are described and evaluated in the following sub-divisions.

3.2.1 The Afrikaner people

Over the years, a vast body of literature on the proto-Afrikaners and later the nationalist Afrikaners has come to reflect them as members of the exclusive Afrikaner people. This group identity was foregrounded after 1948 with the Malan-Strydom-Verwoerd doctrine of the Afrikaners as a unique European-race that developed over many years in the Cape and who is permanently established in Africa. This idea of the Afrikaner resulted from the political and social domination of civil society by the National Party (NP), the Afrikaner Broederbond (AB) and various Dutch Calvinist Protestant churches, especially the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC). These forces undoubtedly influenced people to internalise this Afrikaner mindset and lifestyle.3,37-39

For many reasons this trend could not be successfully challenged before the early 1990s. There was great political force behind this mindset. Many dissident Afrikaners, English-speaking Whites and of course all the Blacks endured it in silence. The power behind this indoctrination started to lose steam after 1994 with the constant decline of the Afrikaner numbers and their political disempowerment. The Black majority also embraced the new politically free and democratic environment and started to look at the Afrikaners critically. They regarded the Afrikaner as a group that lacks any direct association with or support from Europe. They are merely a minority group of South Africa. This threw suspicion on the status of the Afrikaner as a people. During the Apartheid regime, most Blacks groups were restricted to certain territories and areas and classified in terms of tribes. In the new South Africa, all the tribes were collected to form the total population of South Africa and a new South African nation. In a certain sense, this diminished the status of the Afrikaner as the South African people to one of many tribes that together constitute a nation. 7,36,40

With reference to the concept Afrikaner nation, the Anglo Boer War veteran and later South African nationalist politician, JBM Hertzog, reflected that the founding of the Union of South Africa in 1910 seemingly created a new White nation in the minds of White liberals. This new nation was a South African nation, styled according to the thinking and doctrines of the British Empire. This nation was set to replace ideas of an Afrikaner identity and nation as it existed before 1910. Hertzog rejected any such ideas and nipped them in the bud. He acknowledged only the Afrikaner nation when he stated that the Afrikaner developed in South Africa, complete with the language of Afrikaans, as a new nation that had incorporated Dutch, French and German cultural and biological elements. Hertzog hailed the existence of an Afrikaner nation as early as the 1910s.3

At the same time, Hertzog admitted that to be called a nation, a strong nationalism is needed. This necessitated a comprehensive unity that required more than the existence of a shared religious, own language, culture, shared life values and racial nationalism. According to Hertzog, the Afrikaans people still lacked in this area by the 1910s. Indeed, the Afrikaner nation, later presented as a fact by the South African nationalist Afrikaner prime-ministers DF Malan and JG Strydom, also failed with regard to these requirements. The mono-ethnic NP and their leader Verwoerd’s efforts to establish a territory for Afrikaners and other Whites by means of Apartheid failed the test of time after the decline in the power base of the Afrikaners.37

What was seen at the time and is still constantly propagated today as an Afrikaner nation, was nothing more than and emotional and political rhetoric to motivate a subgroup of nationalist Afrikaners to support the Apartheid ideologies of leaders such as Malan, Strydom and Verwoerd (three persons seen by the opposition of Apartheid as Nazi-orientated). This subgroup stands separate from the total Afrikaner population. Many members of this group of nationalist Afrikaners who belonged to the NP, AB and the DRC (and whom Giliomee41, p. 11describes as NP-Broederbonder-Afrikaners) remains caught in this way of thinking and doing. They stuck to this notion of the Afrikaner nation after the founding of the Verwoerd republic in 1961 and its collapse and they stick to it even today. The NP-AB-DRC-classification of people who upheld the concepts Afrikaner nation and Afrikaner identity, is distinct from the so-called “SAP-Afrikaners”, followers of the Smuts group, with their less comprehensive Afrikaner identification and nation status3,39,41,42 . This conclusion is in line with various other historical and political researchers.7,37,43

Giliomee7 reflects that Afrikaner nationalism has dominated South Africa for so long that it has come to look like a fixed feature in the history. In this context of contradictions, his states that in the 1890s there was no conscious Afrikaner nationalism or movement. In fact, there was no recognisable Afrikaner or Afrikaner nation, no agreement about the term Afrikaner, while the Afrikaans language was a despised “kitchen” or “Hottentot” language. Giliomee7, p. 7 writes:

Contemporary observers in the 1870s and 1880s identified a distinct ethnic segment within the White population of southern Africa. They were people from Dutch, German or French descent, with a considerable sprinkling of Black ancestors who had merged into a group in the course of the eighteenth century. With few exceptions, members married inside the group, belonged to the one of the three Reformed Churches, spoke Dutch or Afrikaans at home, and had a largely shared history”.

It is important to note that the issues around nation status and nationalism are much more complicated and comprehensive than the propagandists of an Afrikaner nation or an Afrikaner identity seem to understand. While the Afrikaners pride themselves in the fact that they originate from age-old nations like the Dutch, Germans and French, it seems that these nations themselves are not that old. Giliomee7 shows in this regard that studies of ethnic movements in Eastern Europe and the Third World indicate that the ethnic and national identity that forms a nation is not natural, but artificial inventions driven by political, economic and social alliances of distinct classes to empower them to face the everyday and long-term challenges of life. As such, many nations are not as old as generally believed and accepted. Sometimes a situation requires a group to have more than a vague idea about the race of groups, their culture and history. They are forced to invent a national identity and to become a political nation for the sake of empowerment. This development path, as with that of many European nations and thus the Afrikaners’ European fore-bearers, repeated itself with the development of the Afrikaner identity and nation concept, although it seems to be less successful than the creations of their fore-bearers.

The Afrikaner only became prominent in South African history as a so-called nation because of their early political and military power and dominance of other groups in the Cape, not because they were by any means sacred. The South African Coloureds show the same dynamics and uniqueness as the Afrikaners, but they were stigmatised and side-lined from the start simply because they are not “pure Europeans” and because they lacked social, economic, political and military power from 1652 onwards to position themselves as a significant racial group. The same is goes for the Griquas. This group formed before permanent settlement at the Cape from contact between Portuguese sailors visiting the Cape and Khoi women. Later, after 1652, this new ethnic group was strengthened by further miscegenation between White colonists at the Cape and Khoi women. Adam Kok (born circa 1710) grouped them together as a people in the 18th century. Initially known as “Basters” (Bastards), their name was changed to Griqua in 1813 under influence of a London missionary because of the stigma surrounding the word “bastard” in Europe. They became, just like the pro-Afrikaners, established as a “nation”, although much fewer in numbers than the Cape Coloureds. They settled on Kok’s farm Klaarwater, later to be known as Griekwastad in the region known as Griekwaland-Wes. The same political, economic and military disempowerment that the Coloureds experienced from early on became their fate. They were side-lined from the social, economic and political mainstream and were denied a prominent role as a “nation” equal to the Afrikaners.41,44,45

Within the ranks of the NP leadership, it was only in 1981 that a minister in a NP cabinet, Dr PGJ Koornhof, showed the courage to admit that the Afrikaners are only one population group among 14 other groups in South Africa.42 This opinion was later supported by president PW Botha in 1986 when he said that the peoples of South Africa form one nation. This served as a clear indication of how the various minority and majority groups inside the borders of the country were encircling Afrikaners, and the Afrikaner was only one of the groups in the country. Although this statement was part of the opportunistic neo-Apartheid (liberal) thinking that entered the mindset of the leadership of the NP during the 1980s, it was a clear admission that there is and has never been an Afrikaner nation.40 Koornhof and Botha’s viewpoints, although a century later, do not differ from what Paul Kruger said in 188346, p. 356: “Evenzo zal ik steeds mijn hartelike ondersteuning schenken aan elke poging ener nauwere verbinding tussen de staten en kolonieën van Zuid-Afrika ter kweking van een Zuid-Afrikaanse natie…”. In Kruger’s view, there was no Afrikaner nation in the 1880s or in view future at the time.

It is doubtful that one could say that the Afrikaner was a true nation in the 1910s or in 2017. The opportunistic and misleading political rhetoric common from the 1940s to the early 1980s, is seldom heard in public or reflected in literature these days.

3.2.2 Afrikaans language

The Afrikaans language has been and is still one of the prominent reasons why Afrikaners aim to maintain exclusively Afrikaans public universities, schools and business entities and to identify villages, townships and cities that date from before 1994 with Afrikaner names. Discrimination against Afrikaans in social life and the formally phasing out of the language at public institutions has led to various court cases and other formal protests. Indeed, its conservation, together with the Afrikaner identity and name, is one of the main reasons why some aspire to an independent Afrikaner state in South Africa. For the majority of Afrikaners, Afrikaans is undoubtedly a personal heirloom, a unique ethno-language, covered in their believed ethnic and racial heretage.47-59

The present official and unofficial attitude of the ANC government towards Afrikaans is most negative, discriminatory and driven by the single intention to demolish Afrikaans as a commonly used public language, basically because it is still seen as the language of the oppressor. These discriminative actions are reflected more and more in the judicial system, at universities and schools and public services of South Africa. This is also seen as a focused and planned effort to diminish the Afrikaners legal, political, economic, personal and civil rights and positions. Afrikaners have reactions to these official and unofficial conducts. The reactions are becoming more and more aggressive and negative towards the government, with fierce court cases, public publications and comments, and various other agitations.60-69

Is this idea that the Afrikaans language belongs solely to the present-day Afrikaners correct?

It is important to study the history of and the development of the language Afrikaans to find an answer to this question.

Afrikaans, currently the third most widely spoken home language in South Africa, evolved from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland. It was initially spoken as a Dutch dialect (with some varieties) by the proto-Afrikaner settlers on the Cape frontier during the eighteenth century. These people were socially and culturally isolated and less educated than the Cape Dutch living in Cape Town and its immediate environment. In this isolation and in the muddle of various races and classes living and working together – Europeans, Hottentots, the Khoi-San, Negro and Indian-Malaysian slaves – and the dialect already different from the original Dutch, it became a way of daily communication between the groups. From there the early reference to it as the “taal” (language), but something of doubtful quality and inferior status. It can with right be said that various racial groups – the French, German, British, Portuguese, the European free burghers, as well as slaves from Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Madagascar and native Africans, Khoikhoi and people of mixed descent – all contributed to this emerging language (initially described as “Kitchen” or “Hottentot” Afrikaans) by adding some of their own vocabulary and cultural practices.7,71-73

From the late 17th century onwards, the Dutch spoken at the Cape started to develop differences from the original Dutch with respect to morphology, pronunciation, accent, and to a certain extent, also in syntax and vocabulary. The language spoken in the Cape start to assimilate influences from the already established new dialect often described with names such as “Cape Dutch”, “African Dutch”, “Kitchen (Kombuis) Dutch”, “Hottentot Dutch” and “Taal” (meaning: language). This proto-Afrikaans only started to develop into a separate language by the 19th century.7,74

Afrikaans initially developed slowly. The first print of proto-Afrikaans only appeared during the early 19th century. Much of the work to develop Afrikaans into a separate language was initially done by the “Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners”.7,39

Pure Dutch remained the official language at the Cape for a long time. This formal use of Dutch continued even after the establishment of the Union of South Africa. In fact, much objection was raised against efforts to legalise Afrikaans as a new language until the 1900s, mostly from Afrikaners themselves. One reason for the official pleas to recognise Afrikaans was the fact that it was already the language used at universities, courts and schools from as early as 1915. It was only in 1925 that Afrikaans was given equal status to Dutch by an act passed by parliament. It became one of the two official languages (with English the second) of the Union of South Africa. As a legal entity, Afrikaans is not yet a century old in 2017. In the new South Africa, Afrikaans has lost its early primary status and is recognised today as one of the eleven official languages and as an African language. Notwithstanding this “African uniqueness” and its remaining independent status as a language, the South African Dutch dialect, known today as Afrikaans, and the Dutch spoken in The Netherlands are still very similar, so much that it is mutually intelligible. This makes it less of an exclusive and independent language than what Afrikaners many times argue.39,48,58,68,74

Second, regarding the initial creators and speakers of Afrikaans at the Cape, there is, as already indicated, no doubt that the early Dutch-speaking White settlers were the main creators of Afrikaans and that they initially guided its development. As also already indicated, other ethnic and racial groups, especially those who were living in the countryside, also contributed to the formation of Afrikaans with vocabulary from their mother tongues. These inputs were limited to contributions to the Dutch dialect. However, newcomers to the colony such as German and French settlers, Cape slaves and non-White groups, usually reverted to the use of Dutch and the later to the various dialects of Dutch and proto-Afrikaans. They used proto-Afrikaans in their communication with their owners, other slaves and non-Whites. In this way, the language was maintained and expanded by the non-Whites as well. Indeed, the inclusive labelling of the “Taal” as “Kombuis” and “Hottentot” Afrikaans aptly illustrates the impact and involvement of household workers (slaves) and other free workers and other indigenous peoples in the forming of the language. It is not the “elite” of the Cape Dutch (Whites) who should be honoured as the sole fathers of Afrikaans. The prefixes “kombuis” and “Hottentot” indicates an early stigma associated with the language because it was widely used by the lower socio-economical classes and lower level working classes (which included mostly non-Whites and slaves) in their mutual communication away from the more complicated Dutch language that was used by the educated Whites at the Cape.39,48,49,75-77

The influence of slaves and non-Whites on Afrikaans was greatly affected by the fact that by 1754 there were only 6 000 Whites in the Cape, but they already far outnumbered by the imported slaves. This means that in comparison with the proto-Afrikaners (Whites), an equal, if not larger proportion of these non-Whites was already speaking “Kombuis” and “Hottentot” Afrikaans by the late-1700s. In 1806, the proto-Afrikaners numbered 26 720 or 36% of the colony’s population, meaning that there were already 74 222 other people (mostly non-Afrikaners or non-Whites) at the Cape, of whom most spoke a kind of proto-Afrikaans or a Dutch dialect. “Kombuis” or “Hottentot” Afrikaans” was most probably forced on workers, but it was nurtured by the non-Whites as their only medium of communication with the proto-Afrikaners.7,39,78

Afrikaans is indeed a multicultural and multiracial language, developed and established to a certain extent by the various races of South Africa, starting in 1652. Ownership of the language rests with all South Africa people. Its survival as an official language is strongly steered and guarded by the so-called Bruin (Brown) Afrikaners or Coloureds. This group is starting to claim more and more ownership of the language and its various dialects. It seems as if they regard the use of Afrikaans as their main communication medium in schools, universities, at work, and in their personal and social lives as absolutely essential and not a matter open for discussion or negotiation for the future. The fact that this group represents more than 3.6 million people and that they are constantly growing in numbers, makes them a factor that the ANC should take into account in its discrimination against Afrikaans. The ANC think of the Brown population as grouped with the Blacks who they freed from oppression, from the Afrikaner. It seems that this group, together with Black Afrikaans speakers (making up a group of more or less 6 million persons in total) will be the rescuers of the language, and not the Afrikaner.41,48,49,75,77,79-81

3.2. Afrikaanses

The term “Afrikaanses” is a new group name that sprouted by the late 2000s. It is used by some nationalist Afrikaners in their efforts to include other racial and ethnic Afrikaans speakers into the Afrikaner-grouping, like the Cape Coloureds, solely to strengthen the Afrikaners’ fading political empowerment and to obtain numbers in an effort to avoid the dissolution awaiting the Afrikaner in a century’s time. Nationalist Afrikaners are now also making an effort to involve other Afrikaans speakers of non-White status to assure the existence of the name Afrikaner, its identity as a group and the conservation of the Afrikaans language in the near future by their offering to “redefine” the name and entity “Afrikaner”. It is a very vague and an undefined offer on the one hand, and a very opportunistic offer on the other. It is too little too late, and totally inappropriate and irrelevant within the political context of modern-day South Africa. “Afrikaanses” have been existing for a long time apart from the Afrikaners and they are not as a group in need of mercy and incorporation to be saved or to be helped as a group. This effort to redefine the name Afrikaner and to make it more comprehensive so that it includes other ethnicities and races, seems to be nothing more than a masked wish to depart from the name “Afrikaner” to get away from the exclusivity of the nationalist Afrikaners who were mostly members and supporters of the NP, AB and DRC. This implies that the proponents of the redefinition of the name “Afrikaner” do not really themselves understand the concept and entity that is the Afrikaner tribe, its position in relation to the other South African tribes and its future in the new South Africa. In 2017, nationalist Afrikaners find themselves in doubt about the Afrikaner’s identity and the Afrikaans language, asking: “whereto from now for us?”. The Afrikaanses, on the other hand, can answer with confidence “we are here and ready for the future”.13,50,59,82

As already indicated, the name “Afrikaanse” is not a new front name or a new front entity or group that has been fabricated to suit the Afrikaner’s frame of reference or to give him an escape route. To the contrary, this group (even tribe) has been in existence from 1652 (as evidenced in their contribution to the development of the Dutch dialect “Kombuis” and “Hottentot” Afrikaans), although mostly as an unspecified background role player up to the late 1990s and the end of Apartheid. They are now, in terms of the present-day political, social and economical empowerment, free and strong enough to move out of the shadow of the nationalist Afrikaners and their Apartheid dominance. Indeed, the Afrikaanses are more than ready to incorporate and to steer the growing number of aimless Afrikaners as individuals, but stripped from their stigmatised past. There is no need for the Afrikaanses to join the Afrikaners, as some nationalist Afrikaners shamelessly try to do. As said, it is just the opposite: the Afrikaanses have become the present-day parents and safe house for the Afrikaners in a future South Africa.48-50,59,77,83

There have been various developing stages after the early Cape Settlement and the later Cape Colony. The identity of the “Afrikaner” grew from “Dutch” to “Cape Dutch” to “proto-Afrikaner” to “Afrikaner”. This Afrikaner identity is now in an end stage. A new entity is now starting to awake, the “Afrikaanse” of today and tomorrow.75,76,83

Who are the Afrikaanses?

All South Africans who speak Afrikaans at home can be defined as “Afrikaanses”. Ethnic features, like religious beliefs and practices, schooling and political orientation and racial features are not role players in inclusion at all. These characteristics take second place. Members are identified by only one thing: they are “Bruin” or Coloured Afrikaanses, Afrikaner Afrikaanses, Black Afrikaanses, etc. There are surely great similarities between some “Afrikaanses”, like adhering to Christianity, but this feature is also contradicted by the inclusion of some Islam “Afrikaanses”. The groups includes different political orientations or membership of different political groupings and it includes members from the Black, White, Coloured and Indian communities and various other mixed races.49,75,80,83-86

The “Afrikaanses” is an open non-racial and non-ethnic social group defined as a group by only a single linguistic factor, Afrikaans as mother tongue. As with all developing cultural groups, uniformity in political, religious and other behaviours can follow in time, but it will surely be free from the comprehensive and extreme Afrikaner dogma, developed and nurtured by the nationalist Afrikaners for over a century and more.

The first foundations for public approval for the classification “Afrikaanses” was laid by the AB in 1998 when this nationalist Afrikaner group tried in vain to grow their dwindling numbers by declaring that all those who show a broad inclination towards the nationalistic Afrikaner values and lifestyle should be accepted as Afrikaners.82

When one looks at the number of non-Afrikaners who qualify as Afrikaanses based on the criterion of using Afrikaans in their daily lives, the numbers are strong. It is important to note in this regard that in 2011, many of the 13.5% of the total South African population who spoke Afrikaans at home were Blacks, Coloureds and Indians and not Whites. The ration of non-Afrikaners to Afrikaanses who speak Afrikaans at home is 60:40. To be more precise, of the approximately 7.5 million South Africans whose mother tongue is Afrikaans, only more or less 2.7 million were White, compared to the 3.6 million Coloureds and 1.2 million other non-White Afrikaans speakers at home. The Coloured population shows a constant growth as the majority Afrikaans speakers. In total is it estimated that 20 million South Africans speak Afrikaans every day in some form during their communication at work or in their social life, a number that completely overshadows the present-day Afrikaners’ input.74,75,80,86-88

There is also evidence that the number of non-Whites whose mother tongue is Afrikaans is increasing: in 2001 they were 5.98 million, compared to 6.9 million in 2011, representing a rise of nearly one million in ten years. The Northern Cape (53.8%) and the Western Cape (49.7%) have the highest percentages of Afrikaans speakers of all the South African provinces. These numbers include a strong non-Whites element, already making regional establishments or enclaves of Afrikaanses possible.74,75,80,86

It is clear that the “Afrikaanses” has become an important non-racial- and non-ethnic cluster that can play a dynamic role in the new South Africa. The group is borderless in terms of culture, ethnicity and race, seasoned and schooled in assimilation and miscegenation over more than three centuries. They have lived both inside and outside the restrictions and stigmas of Apartheid, their unbounded interrelationships offer them the opportunity to eradicate the racial and ethnic discrimination so inherent to the nationalist Afrikaners and which led them to the immense disrespect for Afrikaans as the language of the oppressor. The Afrikaanses, it seems, have the ability to secure a better future citizen’s place for themselves and their descendants in new South Africa. This differs from the insecure Afrikaners. Only one determinant plays a role in their minds, to differentiate them from the rest of the South African population with their adaptable and politics-free Afrikaans language.13,59,89,90

The question left at this stage is: can every Afrikaner become an Afrikaanse? To a certain extent, the Afrikaner’s transformation to new political affiliations from die-hard NP-Broederbonders already started after 1994 after the collapsed of the NP. Many repositioned to the DA and smaller Afrikaner-orientated parties, a small group even joined the ANC. But, for most of these Afrikaners the political focus was on finding a political organisation that they believe can serve their needs as the NP did. The Afrikaanses, on the other hand, stand cultural and politically apart from the interests of the nationalist Afrikaner identity. There are two big obstacles that the nationalist Afrikaner has to overcome to become an “Afrikaanse”. First, he would have change as an individual to a person without the collective baggage of the nationalist Afrikaner culture that he supported for many years and was born into. Secondly, he would have to denounce in all honesty all the racial and ethnic attitudes so inherently part of the nationalist Afrikaner regime before 1994. This change seems to be a small step for a suppressed slave or an individual used to discrimination for his whole life, but a giant and difficult step for a rigid nationalist Afrikaner.

3.2.4 The name of the Afrikaner

The naming and positioning of the “Afrikaner” within the South African society and in the international context as a specific entity followed the same path that his main ancestors, the Dutch, Germans and the French, embarked on centuries ago. Groups identify themselves by fronting a specific identifying name, a clear racial and ethnic orientation and entity, a unique language ability and preference, a well-defined and comprehensive economical system, a geographic region and specific cultural habits, customs and traditions. This includes unique folklore, religious and political beliefs, education and principles. This complex is jealously guarded, and any negative influences or intruders that can endanger its continuation, are fearlessly attacked, either verbally or physically in the form of wars. In addition, its growth and spread other non-related groups and subordinates are scrumptiously promoted and sometimes shamelessly forced to subordinate them and sometimes incorporate them into the group. In South Africa this was done through Apartheid and its strict discriminative laws imposed by the nationalist Afrikaners.21,22,27,36,38,39,42,91

In South Africa the early White political dispensation starting in 1652 and especially the later Afrikaner political dispensation starting in 1902, strictly adhered to the above methods. Here, the name “Afrikaner”, as if truly stretching from 1652, the perceived uniqueness of the language “Afrikaans” as something developed by and belonging solely to the Afrikaner from the beginning, and the exclusiveness of the Afrikaner’s race orientation, labelled as “pure” White, European and Caucasian, became prominent determinants and drivers in the Afrikaner’s racial and ethnic thinking and planning. But did these assumed successes and achievements of the Afrikaner really meet the criteria of fact and truth?3,26,38,39,92

It seems that the name “Afrikaner” is clouded by controversy and contradictions. It is clear that the Whites at the Cape saw themselves as a part of Europe and as citizens of their various European homelands during the early colonial period, even up to the late 1800s, instead of a new race or ethnic population or citizen at the Cape. The fact is that the name “Afrikaner” did not denote a group identity for many years after 1652. The early Cape ancestors of the today’s Afrikaners were simply described as “Christians”, “colonists”, “emigrants”, “inhabitants” or “ingezeetenens”, “free citizens” or “vrijburgers” and “burghers” for a long time. Even the name “Boer” is a late-comer on the scene.26,39,92-94
The Cape Colony resident, Hendrik Biebouw’s reference to himself as an “Afrikaander” (“Africander”) in 1707 can not been seen as irrefutable evidence that the “Afrikaner” was already a specific name of an identifiable White group at the Cape. To the contrary, Biebouw’s “Afrikaander” identity or classification seems more applicable to the numerous half-castes, Coloureds and other mixed groups at the Cape at that time. These mixed groups often had the same White and non-White ancestors as today’s Afrikaners, but even at that point they had already begun to develop biologically and culturally away from the Whites as an early branch of the existing Cape Coloured people.95,96

Above finding is in line with that of Giliomee7, p. 8 when he states:

In the eighteenth century the term Africander (Afrikaner) was used primarily for the offspring of slaves born in Africa, usually out of liaisons with ex-slaves, Khoisan or Whites. This usage continued until little more than a century ago [more or less 1890]. An official list of Cape Town prostitutes, taken in 1868, was headed by ‘Africanders’, referring to people of mixed descent. By 1880 the designation Afrikaner was also claimed by some Africans in the Eastern Cape. After a branch of the Afrikaner Bond was established in Cradock an African organisation, the Imbubwe, was formed. Its members claimed that their organisation was the true Afrikaner Bond while the White organisation was merely the Boeren Bond.▼

A community of approximately 100 families, descendants of the freed slaves who accompanied the Voortrekkers to Transvaal in the middle 1800s and settled in 1886 at Onverwacht near the town Cullinan after receiving land from Paul Kruger. They also identify themselves as “Afrikaners” and proudly called themselves “Boer” to this day. They speak Afrikaans as first language and follow Afrikaner traditions, making the exclusive name “Afrikaner” more complex, undefined and multi-racial. This non-White group identification, together with the claims of the Eastern Cape Blacks that they are Afrikaners, foregrounds Biebouw’s remark in 1707 on being an “Afrikaner/Afrikaander/Africander” and that of the Cape prostitutes of mixed descent who called themselves “Afrikaner/Africander” as early as 1890. It was clearly a more non-White than White group in the beginning.97,98

History resulted in three kinds of divisions among the early Dutch-Afrikaner grouping: urban/rural, regional and a class division, each with clear cultural overtones. The urban/rural division was particular salient – those considered the better-educated and more civilised Cape Dutch of the Western Cape or interior towns versus those considered to be ignorant, illiterate and backward Boers living on farms beyond the Western Cape. Regional differences brought a division between the Western Cape Afrikaners and the later Transvaal Boer Afrikaners, especially based on their economical differences. The class differences contained a further difference within the rural Dutch-Afrikaner Boer society with the wealthy land-holding farmers versus the marginalised, poor farmers, many of them bywoners without any land. Many of these poor Dutch-Afrikaners were abused by the rich Boer (Dutch)-Afrikaners and they were not financially and physically supported by the governments of the Boer republics. They were forced out of work on farms where cheaper Black tenants provided the rich Boers with cheaper labour, leading to further unemployment, illiteracy and poverty. During the Anglo Boer War these Boer bywoners formed the bulk of the ‘joiners’ who sided with the British, not only splitting a uniform Afrikaner nation and Afrikaner identity even further, but also delaying the establishment of the culture for many years to come.7

It is therefore clear that by the early 1800s two distinct White groups had developed under the umbrella of the proto-Afrikaner in the Cape Colony, namely the “Cape Dutch” and the “Boers”. These two broad groups in time not only became culturally and economically different from each other, but to a certain extent stood at opposite ends of the continuum of political and socio-religious thinking and doing. The Cape Dutch group, living in and around Cape Town, was generally comprised of a better educated and socially developed society, compared to the Boers who were living in isolation in the country-side with a total lack of educational and cultural facilities. Most of the Cape Dutch (who only adopted and promoted the name “Afrikaner” after the 1900s) of the Cape Colony were pro-British and initially sided with the DRC against the Great Trek of approximate 10 000 Boers [the “Voortrekkers” (First Movers or Pioneers)] who migrated to what became Natal, the Transvaal, Orange Free State and Northern Cape in 1830 to 1840. These cultural and other differences between the Cape Dutch and the Boers and their separate development as two different proto-Afrikaner peoples, are reflected in the Cape Dutch hostility towards the Boers. Some of the Cape Dutch even fought on the side of the British against the Boers. This intimate Cape Dutch-Briton association found expression the many marriages and social and business relations between the Cape Dutch and the British in the early Cape. Many of today’s well-known Afrikaner families supplied the British with food stock for their fighting soldiers in Transvaal and the Free State and were strong British-orientated Cape politicians in line with Cecil John Rhodes’ thinking.3,26,38,39,92,99

The name “Boer” was initially used to refer to the occupation of the “Trek Boers” (travelling farmers) on the Eastern Cape frontier of the Colony around the early 1700s. This group gradually moved northwards to form the “Grens Boers” (border farmers). They later became the vast majority of the “Voortrekkers”. In this way “Boer” became a name for most of the proto-Afrikaners who permanently lived north of the Cape’s eastern border and later north of the Orange River. This group was openly anti-British and anti-colonialist and they had clear ethnic and racial discriminatory tendencies based on their religion. Their lifestyle grew out of their pioneer circumstances and their exposure to a pre-modern environment. These “Boers” were mostly involved in agriculture, living in isolation and lacking basic facilities like schools and career training facilities, hospitals, religious institutions, civil services and the government structures that the Cape Dutch enjoyed and promoted. The Boers’ homes, travelling facilities and amenities seemed to be of a much lower quality and standard as that of the Cape Dutch. Their more rugged lifestyle was necessitated by the undeveloped and rough regions where they farmed. It contrasted their ancestors from Europe and the Cape Dutch in Cape Town and the Cape Colony’s way of living. Eventually this lifestyle spread gradually over the whole eastern border area. This more elementary culture was transferred to the first generation of Boers [now also named “burgers” (burghers)] of the Transvaal and the Free State by the “Voortrekkers”.38,39,82,93,94,100,101

The two groups of proto-Afrikaners, namely the Cape Dutch and the Boers, also differed in their use of the proto-Afrikaans dialect up to the late 1800s all over the Cape. The cultural and socio-economic differences became rooted in the name Boer, and this group started using the name Boer instead of Cape Dutch to identify them as a specific group. These differences later became political and socio-cultural characteristics with the founding of the two anti-British and outright racially discriminative Boer Republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The differences that highlighted the Boer and Burgher identification as distinct from Cape Dutch, were further strengthening by the two Anglo Boer Wars that followed. It left many of the Boers hostile and embittered towards the British and the Cape Dutch.39,82,101

The literature preceding the establishment of the Union of South Africa referred to the Transvaal and Free State Afrikaans-speaking citizens as “Boers” and not “Afrikaners.” People like general Smuts, who was initially from the Cape Colony, referred to himself as an “Afrikaner,” but this was at a much later stage during and after the establishment of the Union where new political opportunism played a role. His earlier references to himself, just after the Second Anglo Boer War was to an “old Cape colonialist” (“Kaapkolonialer”) and an old Capetonian (“Kapenaar”), simply meaning a citizen of the Cape Colony.92

It is important to note that three Afrikaner organisations were formed from the 1870s onwards to promote proto-Afrikaans and the Dutch Afrikaners’ interests in terms of an informal nationalism, which undoubtedly included the name “Afrikaner.” The first was the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners, followed by the establishment of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Boere Beschermingsvereniging (BBV) by Jan Hofmeyr in 1878 (representing capitalist farmers and businessmen, the pro-British capitalist Afrikaner nationalism). This was followed by the establishment of the Afrikaner Broederbond in 1879 by the reverend SJ du Toit (for a while it was called the Cape South African Party, but it changed back to Afrikaner Broederbond), representing a radical Afrikaner nationalism away from British domination. These three organisations all aimed to take care of the poor Afrikaans-speaking people’s interests in the Cape.3,7,26

This split into nationalism and a pro-British attitude strengthened a deep Afrikaner class divide and the divide into various opposing and competing sub-groups based on precise economic, social, educational and cultural lines in the Dutch-Afrikaner community. This kind of divide (a negative characteristic of the Afrikaners’ lifestyle and thinking) created conflict in Afrikaner ranks. They split their interests, which interfered with the development of a uniform Afrikaner nationalism. This conflict was further intensified when Hofmeyr captured control of the AB, steering it towards liberal politics and interests, away from the less educated and poor Afrikaners’ immediate politics and interests.7, 102

In the Orange Free State and Transvaal early Afrikaner nationalism was mainly fuelled by the Boer community’s input. It was driven by their hostility and hate of British imperialism and the British aggression against them during the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902). It stood in direct opposition to the pro-British nationalism of the Cape Dutch. A uniformed Afrikaner identity and nationalism was impossible in the Cape in the 1880s and after the outcome of the Anglo Boer War in Transvaal and Orange Free State after 1902. This made unity with the Cape Dutch immediately after 1910 impossible, slowing the development of the Afrikaner as a unified group. This development only continued with the political actions of DF Malan and the NP after 1913 and after 1910 with the intervention of Louis Botha and Jan Smuts to bring about Afrikaner–English reconciliation and reconciliation between the Southern Afrikaners with the Northern Afrikaners. This slowly brought about the unification of subgroups of Afrikaners towards the founding of an Afrikaner entity.7

It took the early Afrikaner architects of Afrikaner nationalism (later hijacked by the NP-AB-DRC Afrikaner nationalists) over a century, starting in 1880s, to establish the term Afrikaner and the Afrikaner “nation”, a dogma based on the “idea of an indigenous people occupying a common territory, having a common language, vigorous culture and proud history, identified by a common name and sharing consciousness of kind”, writes Giliomee.7, p. 13 Central to this is the deliberate transformation of proto-Afrikaans from a “kitchen” or “Hottentot” language to a language in its own right. It ultimately became a modern language with a proper body of literature, spoken by a specific group, namely the Afrikaner.7

Giliomee7, p. 12 writes:

They projected it as White man’s language which set the Afrikaners off from White English-speakers and Brown Afrikaans-speakers. The ethnic project also included the rewriting of history along nationalist lines. Prominent in this were the accounts of Afrikaner heroism and suffering, in particular the Great Trek and the Anglo-Boer War, and the efforts of the Afrikaners to maintain themselves as a distinct people among ‘savage’ and ‘heathen’ nations. A new nationalist ideology was also constructed. Derived ideas of more abstract nature were grafted upon long-standing beliefs about the need to maintain White supremacy and reject racial intercourse. Prominent among the derived ideas was Calvinism which was strongly propagated by Malan and his followers in the South and the Doppers of Potchefstroom in the North. This Calvinism, or rather neo-Calvinism, argued that God had ordained separate nations, each with a unique destiny, which charged the Afrikaners to maintain themselves in separate cultural, religious and political institutions”.

The main intention, said Giliomee7, was to give meaning to the rather amorphous concept of “Afrikaner,” yet a degree of ambivalence remained around the name for a long time, and it is still there today. The dictionary description of “Afrikander” in the in 1910s was still that it is a person ‘born of White parents in South Africa,” far removed from the political claim of some Cape Dutch as their exclusive name.7

The evidence shows that the name “Afrikaner” was possibly used in a rather non-descriptive way by the middle to late 1800s in the Cape Colony, especially around Cape Town, but not as an exclusive, identifiable and uniform name as it is used by today’s Afrikaners. The name “Afrikaner” to describe a uniform group only took hold after the Second Anglo Boer War when the “Boers” (also commonly identified and referred to as “Transvaal Burgers” or “Transvaal Boers” and “Vrystaat Burgers” or “Vrystaat Boers” respectively) of the two old Republics were left financially devastated and destitute as a result of their War efforts and many were forced to move to the cities for work and a living. In this new and alien environment, they were forced as individuals to adapt to a totally new social and political lifestyle and thinking. This political and economic new dawn, activated by the liberal Cape Dutch and the British authorities governing Southern Africa, affected the mindset of the Burghers of the old Transvaal and Free State. The masked Anglicisation efforts of the authorities promoted the new identity and name “Afrikaner,” which was at the time used to start the political reconciliation between the Cape Colony and the two old Republics. This name was also in line with the blanket name “Southern African” to activate the new South African citizenship created by the Union. In supporting this new “Afrikaner” identity and name, many of the old political leaders of the Transvaal and Free State who joined the new post-1902 South African political dispensation, started to echo more and more Afrikaner nationalism, and from there the use of the name “Afrikaner” for political opportunism.3,26,39,92,95,96,103

In addition, the political climate surrounding the formation of the Union of South Africa did not leave space for the incorporation of the name “Boer” into the new political context and process. This was especially sensitive for the Cape-based Cape Dutch Afrikaners. Leaders promoted the general term “Afrikaner” that was until then mostly associated with the Cape Dutch Afrikaner.3,26,39,82,103-105

It is clear that the name “Afrikaner” to describe the Afrikaners as a specific ethno-cultural group – so frequently used today in public and political literature – slowly emerged all over South Africa only after 1902 with the collapse of the two Boer republics. In 1902 the English author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, also referred to the Boers who moved eastwards from the Cape Colony in the middle 1800s as “Africanders.” It is unknown if this reference was affected by the new “status” of the Boers after 1902, or if it was a name already in use in the Cape, although not widely in the late 1800s. In retrospect, it seems to have been the new, uniformed and politically promoted name in use from 1902 onwards that influenced Doyle to refer to the trekkers in this way in his writing. It was a referral to these trekkers as early proto-Afrikaners. Even references to the name Afrikaner in public by prominent leaders like General Hertzog after 1902, do not confirmed the existence of an official and uniform group of “Afrikaners” before 1900. People like Hertzog and others offer no confirmation that the name “Afrikaner” was commonly used in the five political and governmental regions of South Africa before 1902 and thus automatically transferred to the Union. It must instead be seen also as a retro-perspective used by Hertzog and other old Boer leaders to describe the new South African scenario. Also, the new common use of the name Afrikaner and the popular descriptions of the history of the Afrikaner nation, offered political power to politicians after 1910 as they could mobilise political support and unity for their own future careers.3,7,26

A good example of this kind of political rhetoric is specifically revealed by Hertzog himself in 1911 when he defined the concepts of “Afrikaner” and “Afrikaner nation” as follows3, p. 301: “In die laaste tyd het mense hulle baie druk gemaak oor die benaming Afrikaner. Hulle het self so ver gegaan om ‘n ander term te soek om daarvoor in die plek te stel. Natuurlik te vergeefs. Dit word gedoen has uitsluitelik omrede van jaloesie. Die Hollandssprekendes was die eerste Afrikaner. Hy kon dit nie help nie. Reeds 150 jaar voor die oordrag van die Kaap aan die Britse Regering was hy hier gehuisves vir goed…Die so geminagtigte Afrikaner het die baanbreker geword van die Suid-Afrikaanse beskawing”.

Hertzog often contradicted himself when speaking about the identification of the Afrikaner. Even by 1921 Hertzog still used names like “Dutch/Afrikaans” versus “English-speaking Afrikaners” and “white and black Afrikander”. Politicians like Hertzog used the more inclusive variant when it suited their political purpose, rather than to be guided by true historical facts. John Vorster also used this kind of political rhetoric in the 1960s with the same short-sighted claim that the NP created the entity Afrikaner and the Afrikaans language.7

As can been seen, most of the political and emotional rhetoric used by Hertzog and later Vorster, failed to offer sound evidence to confirm their claims about the Afrikaner. At most, these terms serve as superficial retro-perspectives on the historical development of the Afrikaner.

Even now after a century, there is some evidence of resistance to the name “Afrikaner” and its broad ethnic and racial classification and stigma. This resistance comes from a small minority of White Boers. Some descendants of the “Boers” in certain geographical parts of South Africa still see themselves as a unique cultural minority that is separate from the larger “Afrikaner”-group, its culture and the name. They do not want to be associated with Afrikaner nationalism. Sub-group and regional names, like “kolonianer” “Boesmanlander”, “Bokveller”, “Bolander”, “Namakwalander”, “Kapenaar”, “Transvaler”, “Vrystater”, “Dopper-Afrikaner” and “Karoo-boer”, etc., are still used by remnants of these minorities to introduce and to identify themselves. In most of these cases, their status as South Africans takes second place, while they ignore the Afrikaner identity. Even the epithets of “joiner”, “hendsopper”, “traitor” and “National Scout” stuck in the minds of certain Afrikaner groups as more important identifications than the broad name “Afrikaner”. The strong “Boer” mentality still, after many years, lingers just below the surface. This is reflected in the use of the term by non-Whites as a name to identify abusive and racially prejudiced Afrikaans-speaking Whites.11,50,75,80,82,87,93,94,100,105-108

The inclination to differentiate between different sub-groups of Afrikaners and to split into factions can gain momentum in the future as the forced and to a certain extent artificial unity of the Afrikaners during the 1900s, starts to disintegrate. The empowerment of the Afrikaanses can disintegrate it further, if not totally over time.3,7,26,39,78,101,109,110

3.2.5 Afrikaners in numbers

Identifying the “true” Afrikaners as a specific group by looking at numbers is a very complex and controversial issue. The traditional classification of Afrikaners as all Whites who speak Afrikaans at home is also controversial and could have led to an over-estimation of their numbers for many years, offering them power as a political pressure group. The inclusion of Coloureds who go through as Whites in statistical research can be a confounding factor. Afrikaners who live outside South Africa permanently but still reflect as South African citizens can also lead to an enormous over-estimation. If the traditional classification is used, the numbers of the Afrikaners have declined dramatically since 1960 compared to the total population of South Africa. In 1960 they made up 10%, compared to only 5.7% of the total population in 2001, reflecting a 0.1% annual decline over 40 years. In 2011, this percentage dropped to 5.2%, reflecting a 0.05% annual decline over 10 years. This placed them below the Coloureds, whose numbers were 4 615 401 in 2011. The total number of Afrikaners living in South Africa in 2001 was estimated at 2 576 184, compared to 2 710 461 in 2011 (an estimated total of between 3.3 to 3.5 million when the Afrikaners living outside the borders are included). It is estimated that between 1994 and 2004, between 1 and 1.5 million Afrikaners left South Africa permanently. This emigration number was conservatively estimated for 2006 to 2011 at 112 046 and for 2011 to 2015 at 95 158.95,96,111-115

It seems that it is specifically the number of Afrikaners in the age group 15 to 34 years that is declining: in 2009 their number was 1 245 000, compared to 1 193 000 in 2014 (a decline of 52 000). For 2009 to 2014, the decline in the number of Afrikaners in the age group 15 to 24 years was 5.2% and for the age group 25 to 34 it was 3%.75,80,87,95,96,111,115

The White segment of the population, of which the Afrikaners formed approximately 58% in 2011, declined with 4.2% between 2009 and 2014, while the Black population increased with 7.3%. The statistics for 2011 to 2016 confirmed the declining trend in the White segment numbers: the age group 0 to 4 years declined from 268 267 to 253 035; the age group 20 to 24 declined from 313 616 to 303 257; the age group 25 to 29 declined from 336 355 to 287 792; the age group 30 to 34 declined from 318 329 to 279 475; and the age group 35 to 39 declined from 342 316 to 278 789. The White segment’s decline in total for the period 2011 to 2016 was from 4 586 838 to 4 516 691 (a decline of 70 147 or -1.5% in five years). 75,80,87,95,96,111,115

What is shocking about the 2017 findings of Statistics South Africa (SSA) is the dramatic aging of the White population over the past 20 years. This is the result of the emigration of younger people, the decline in White births and the fact that people are living longer. Where the ratio of people 16 years and older to children younger than 16 years is 20 above 16 years per 100 children for Blacks, it has become 130 above 16 years per 100 children for Whites. If this trend continues, only a small pocket of Whites will be left in South Africa in years to come. Brand-Jonker 117 estimates the total South African White population at only 3% (compared to the present 8%) in 60 years. Cronje is even more pessimistic and he thinks that the White population can decline to between 1% and 3% in less than 40 years. This negative population profile of Whites is fully applicable to the Afrikaners.109,117,118

The Afrikaner doctrine of the NP-AB-DRC leadership that they have a “chosen role as a nation in Africa by God” and as “the bearers of the European culture in South Africa,” made them blind to the dramatic changes in their status in Africa, “with or without God’s will”. This hard reality has now arrived in 2017.37,119,120

Afrikaners have never taken a hard look at themselves in the mirror. They have a shocking lack of insight into the country’s present and future political and racial environment. They therefore pay no individual attention to their dwindling numbers and diminishing political and military power base, which could be devastating in long run for their existence. This lack of basic insight to read population warnings is illustrated well by Ginsberg121, p. 21 when he writes: “Back in 1989 there was one black child born every 28 seconds, and one white child born every 12 minutes”. Nearly 30 years ago Afrikaners knew what was awaiting them, but they failed to act constructively.

It is clear that it is not only the Afrikaner numbers that are declining, but the broader White segment as well. This implies a decline in political empowerment, not only for the Afrikaners, but for all Whites.75,80,87,95,96,111,115

3.2.6 Afrikaner culture

The Afrikaners’ unique ethno-cultural identity has always been intricately linked to the name “Afrikaner” and their numbers as a tribe. Of the main components of the Afrikaner culture are the Afrikaans language, religion, cultural heritage, education, family life, employment, sports and recreation, and folklore. This unique Afrikaner culture was nurtured and maintained in isolation by means of a system of separate development in which the non-White cultures, especially that of the Blacks, were seen as inferior to that of the Afrikaner. It was even sometimes regarded as non-Christian.37-39,119

This early unique Afrikaner culture and the strict isolation from the rest of South African cultures in an effort to conserve it, circled out to all spheres of South African social life. This resulted in separate sport and recreation activities, residential areas and health, school and training facilities; as well as legal prohibitions on miscegenation. The foundation was Christian nationalism. The basic intention was not only to preserve the Afrikaner identity, but to maintain the fundamentals of Afrikaner culture and to limit it to the Afrikaner-milieu alone. In terms of the doctrine of Afrikaner nationalism, the principle was to promote and to reserve Afrikaner culture at all cost; and to cleanse it from foreign, especially Black cultural influences. Foundational to this doctrine was the belief that the Afrikaner and White civilisations would disappear if it became contaminated by the Black culture. This disappearance of the White and Afrikaner civilisation would automatically result in the disappearance of the Afrikaner as a person.26,37,39,119

Religion was always a strong role player in the Afrikaners’ behaviour and their political thinking and indoctrination, which took the form of a Christian nationalism. Socialism and communism were feared, not because of their implications for the economy, but due to the threat to the Afrikaners’ religion and to their privileges and favoured lifestyles. The Afrikaners’ religious beliefs and traditions were founded on the Protestant practices of the Reformed Church of Holland in the 17th century and were later influenced by English-speaking ministers of the UK. Of all these early role players, it seems that the French Huguenots’ racial-religious influence on the political mindsets of the proto-Afrikaner was immense and has been under-estimated in evaluations of the Afrikaners’ later racism. These French settlers, arriving at the Cape in 1688 at a time when the White population lacked a strong unified political mindset, strongly underwrote the Swiss church reformer John Calvin’s ideas that the church should influence the government and that races should remain pure and separate. This new racial-religious doctrine was quickly incorporated into to Cape’s religious system, which was up until that time influenced by the Goske agreement of 1671. French Calvinism quickly became part of the proto-Afrikaner and the doctrine of the Cape Reformed Church, leading to a unique kind of Calvinistic Protestantism among the proto-Afrikaners and later Afrikaners. By 1985, as many as 92% of Afrikaners were still members of the various Afrikaner Reformed Churches, showing the lasting influence of Calvinist Protestantism on Afrikaners after 300 years.37,38,95,96

The Cape French Huguenots, known for their extreme religious-political views on race, can therefore be regarded as one of the main causes of the later racial discrimination in South Africa. In fact, the Huguenots’ racial attitude was one of the reasons for their persecution and expulsion from France that brought them to the Cape.95,96

The above early blueprint of religious-racial thinking in time led to a specific social-cultural lifestyle among the proto-Afrikaners of the Cape Settlement, Cape Colony and the Boer Republics and later especially the Afrikaners of the Union and the Republic of South Africa. Central to this particular lifestyle and inclination were European, Western and Christian values, standards and life views; community cohesion; a familiar and recognisable environment; a specific way of life; a sense of origin and identity; the psychological satisfaction of an in-group community life; standards of public order, behaviour and respectability; traditions and prescriptions; financial well-being and political-empowerment; and so-called “white culture,” mythical or not. This blueprint became a driver and guideline for their daily doings, decision making, beliefs, customs, traditions and education, even outside the racial and class context. It became so recognisable that literature refers to it as the “unique culture” of the Afrikaners.7,37,38,119

Although this “European Afrikaner culture” of the Afrikaner lacked reference to any European society, Afrikaners believed that they are the bearers of a superior, “African-free” European system that required the imposition of pervasive controls and management of Blacks.37,119

This cultural-religion-political inclination affected all of the Afrikaner’s life to such an extent that major Christian religious holidays like Christmas, Good Friday, Ascension Day were reserved next to political holidays like Founder’s Day, Republic Day, Kruger Day, Day of the Vow. These days became “holy days” that all Afrikaners strictly adhered to and respected. Belonging to one of the Afrikaner Reformed churches was a priority and essential for social mobility. Sunday became a day of rest, reserved for attending church services, with shops, movie theatres and the practice of organised sport being forbidden. This Calvinist Protestantism was intertwined with certain church activities like baptism, catechism and Bible instruction, and specific marriage and burial traditions and customs that reminds one of 17th century Protestant practices.95,96

Afrikaners children were educated within a framework of a strict and punitive Protestant religio-political worldview. Children were required to think, develop and behave within the confines of this conservative mindset. Even a strict clothing protocol was prescribed at Afrikaner schools and churches. In line with their Calvinist Protestantism, children were required to receive a good school training from the age of six to 18 years, and where possible, to attend tertiary institutions.95,96

The Afrikaners’ Calvinist Protestantism rites of passage were inculcated into their folklore, public and personal relationships, family life, dress, traditions, lifestyle rules and prescriptions, sport and recreational activities and employment traditions and styles. Boer music (“Boeremusiek”), folk dance (“Volkspele”), social dancing (“sokkie”) and “Boeresport” (a range of games like tug of war, three-legged races, jukskei and other games) became traditions unique to the Afrikaner.37,95,96

There have been changes to the Afrikaner’s culture, some recent and swift after 1994, while others have been happening gradually over many years. First, there has been a gradual religious mindshift with regard to Black people in the Afrikaner, but it ultimately resulted in immense changes to and the Afrikaner culture, basically obliterating it. This left many deviating from political and moral prescriptions, making them more pragmatic and materialistic. Although the DRC kept Afrikaners from church integration, the Calvinist Protestantism of the proto-Afrikaner was also taught to the Cape slaves and the Cape Coloureds. The various missionary institutes also transferred Christianity to the Blacks. The effect of the early Christianisation efforts on the lifestyles of non-Whites is well illustrated in research. Christianity in time spread to the rest of the South African population, to such an extent that 87.9% of the Blacks and 90% of the total South African population adhere to Christianity today. This outcome was one of the reasons why the doctrine of separate development from the early 1700s onwards (institutionalised as Apartheid in the 20th century) with its belief that the Blacks were non-Christians or heathens in terms of Grand Apartheid, gradually became obsolete. The religious and cultural uniformity among Afrikaners weakened immensely after the fall of Apartheid. The solidarity and group unity on race and the “Black question”, faded. The improvement of religious ties and increased socialisation between Whites and Blacks bettered personal and work relations between some sectors of the Afrikaners and Blacks. Renewed post-1994 socialisation between Whites and Blacks further weakened the stereotypes held among Afrikaners that Blacks are primitive and that there are true racial differences that make Blacks culturally and psychologically inferior as humans and that keeps them from developing according to the standards of Western civilisation.78,119,122-125

The impact of the new South Africa also influenced the religious and cultural context of the present-day Afrikaner, changing it dramatically since 1994. Afrikaners have moved far away from the Huguenot doctrine of their grandfathers and their fathers. This is reflected in a decline in their adherence to Christianity, where as much as 82% Afrikaners belonged to the Dutch Reformed Churches in 1982, this membership has declined to only 1 450 861 out of a 2 576 184 possible Afrikaner members by 2001, representing 56%. In 2013 it was also reported that just more than 30% of Afrikaners still read the Bible at home, while as much as 62% Afrikaners said in 2015 that they no longer attend church on a weekly base.95,96

This “unofficial” split between the “old” and “present-day” doctrines, habits, customs and traditions of the DRC churches is clearly reflected by their members’ public rejection of firmly established church rituals, practices and even management. The position of women as ministers, gays in church life, etc. and various other controversial issues became burning issues, leading to direct confrontation between members and church leaders. Many members have come to reject the pre-1994 doctrines of the NP and AB. The Afrikaners, especially the younger generation, do not hesitate to take the church to court if they feel that the church has failed them and their new liberal religious perspectives. Subjects like atheism, communist Christianity and homosexuality are now openly discussed and even practiced or underwritten by Afrikaners without the pre-1994 fear of being completely rejected by the Afrikaner community. Religious radicalism and blind trust in the right-wing church culture has drastically declined. This new religious thinking among Afrikaners resulted in a large egression from the traditional Afrikaner churches to charismatic churches. These changes have resulted in the DRC threatening to split into two and it is no longer the church of choice among all Afrikaners.52-54,125-139

The only thing Afrikaner churches can still offer their often-conservative members is a White Christianity that is still guarded from a Brown and Black Christianity. Since 2000, many of the Afrikaners, especially the younger generation, have turned away from extreme religious practices and fundamentalism, lessening the dominance of the Calvinist component over their culture, social and political life.101,129,139

The diminishing role of the DRC in public life is indicative of a slow death in progress, as happened with the NP and AB. As with the NP during its dying years, the DRC fails to offer moral leadership to its members on their future in the new South Africa and to modernise its religious system.129,140

Of course the end of Apartheid contributed to the transformation in the Afrikaner’s religious mindset. This change has been supported by changes to the education system since 1994. This includes the exclusion of religious beliefs from schools, phasing out exclusively White public schools and higher education institutions with Afrikaans as medium of instruction. The newly established academic, work-related and social relationships between the younger Whites and Blacks, both generations born outside of the Apartheid contamination of hate and conflict, has hastened this change.58,141,142

Clearly, the sentiment around the traditional Afrikaner church, its powers and influences, has started to crumble fast, freeing the Afrikaner more and more from religious and cultural isolation, making them independent from a formal church association. This outcome, driven by new democratic and free thinking, has also started to shape the Afrikaner’s unique culture. Afrikaners’ personal and social views on education, childrearing, marriage and racism, including Afrikaner nationalism, have undergone a metamorphosis to something that is quite the opposite of the views that characterised the culture of twenty to thirty years ago. The maintenance of old traditions, views, opinions and values have weakened and seems to be in a process of diminishing. Political and social changes and reforms are gruelling processes, sparing not even that which has been regarded as sacred for many centuries. The Afrikaners culture bears evidence of this gruelling process of the last 20 years, steering more and more into an unblemished South African culture.7,37,119

3.2.7 Afrikaners’ White blood purity

A direct and primary co-determinant that activated and drove the Afrikaner to racial domination and discrimination was his fear that open racial societies would promote miscegenation, leading to a contamination of their Caucasian blood by non-White blood. Sexual contact between different races therefore had to be avoided, during Apartheid by means of legal prohibitions. It is the same fear that led the Nazis to the “Jewry question” and the Holocaust as an end result.1,26,39

Added to this, there was the widely accepted and propagated view that the “Afrikaner” is a unique and “pure” White, European and Caucasian race that had its biological and cultural origins in 1652 at the Cape Settlement. This was far from the truth and an incorrect idea. The proof in literature of a more than 6% non-White component in the bloodline of the earlier White Cape settlers in the immediate period after 1652 through miscegenation, was tactfully avoided by researchers and the nationalist Afrikaner himself from 1902 onwards. This denial became even stronger from the 1940s onwards with the development of Afrikaner nationalism.3,7,39

The estimated 6% blood from other races in the Afrikaner’s bloodline is, in fact, far too low. Some research puts it at 7.2%, while other research reflects a 10.7% Indian influence on the Afrikaners’ matrilineal gene pool from Malaysian and other slave women (up to the early 1800s, 80% of the slaves came from India. It was only from 1730 onwards that the import of slaves from Madagascar was intensified).73,143

There is also an erroneous view that this early intermingling was limited to few and certain White families, and that these 6% to 10.7% mixed Afrikaner descendants were pushed from White society to form the new Coloured population at the Cape. This vertical biological development of a closed and outcast group of mixed people, mostly excluded from the White nucleus that formed modern Afrikaners, is surely true as evidenced by the South African Coloureds and other mixed people of today. The politician and former premier of the Cape Province, Peter Marais, describes this “schizophrenic” split between people of the same bloodline well49, p. 7: “Ons (wit en bruin mense) is een volk. Een pa, maar twee ma’s”. The superficiality of this split is confirmed by historical evidence of an immense horizontal biological impact of “Coloured blood” on Afrikaners’ genes, contradicting the 6% to 10.7% of mixed Afrikaner descendants and of an exclusive separate vertical development of the Coloureds as a separate ethnic group.

The sited numbers (6% to 10.7%) selectively masked the true historical fact of a free social and sexual horizontal biological association between the races in the Cape, especially immediately after the introduction of the free burghers in 1657 up to 1671. The fact is, many of the children born to European fathers between 1650 and the late 1600s had slave mothers. Indeed, three out of four children born to slave mothers during 1650 to 1670 had White fathers (meaning that the direct, first line infusion of “non-White blood” into the White parent stock can even as high as 75%). The fact is that between 1657 1671, these early male “Afrikaner” ancestors took Black, Hottentot and Malay women. They were accepted into the White community, either as concubines or wives. They, together with some White women, became the parent stock of the Whites and the Afrikaners. These non-White women’s children, especially the females, were mostly assimilated into society directly and horizontally to make up for the shortage of women, without any discrimination or stigmatisation.7,38,73

This multiracial component that was incorporated into the White bloodline, a fact that is mostly hushed, had a profound effect on the gene pool of the later Afrikaners, seeing that no remarkable effort was made immediately after 1691 to bring more White colonist families or White women. Between 1657 and 1806, the total number of White women who arrived was 454 compared to 1 590 White male colonists. This comes to one female for every four males. In 1688 the White population consisted of 573 persons: 254 men, 88 women and 231 children, in other words one woman for every three men. The above White population (including the contingent of women from other races incorporated into the White family tree) of the late 1600s became the matrilineal Afrikaner parent stock and gene pool. These women who came to the early Cape married early and had large families. There was a high incidence of inter-family marriages as result of the shortage of females. These earlier proto-Afrikaner-families, founded on various racial and ethnic bloodlines, formed the trunk (nucleus) of the Afrikaner family tree that branched out to today’s Afrikaners.39

The 6% to 10.7% influence of other races on the earlier White colonists spread out horizontally since 1652. Within two generations, these genes formed part of all or most of the matrilineal White families at the Cape. This 6% to 10.7% is therefore misleading. The Afrikaner bloodline is far more inclusive of other races, and this intermingling affected most of the Whites at the Cape by 1754, when the census of Cape governor Ryk Tulbagh showed that White free burghers totalled only about 6 000. They were already outnumbered by more than 6 000 slaves (this was already apparent by 1710). Statistically speaking, the infusion of “blood” from other races to the early matrilineal White society at the Cape could results in a 100% “contamination” of the Afrikaner blood of “old” Afrikaner families by bloodlines from other races. This occurred due to repeated intermarriages between proto-Afrikaner families between 1652 and 1806.. This paints a picture that is totally different from the 6% to 10.7% reflected in literature.38,39,73,143

Literature sites the early horizontal European blood infusion to the matrilineal Afrikaner parent stock as 66.67% Dutch, 16.67% French, 14.29% German and 2.37% Scandinavian, Belgian, Scottish and Irish “bloodlines” at the Cape in the late 1600s and the early 1700s. These estimations change a little bit when the period is taken between 1657 and 1867. The numbers change as follows: 35.5% Dutch, 13.9% French, 34.4% German, 2.6% British, 2.8% Other European, 3.6% Unknown and 7.2% non-European. These numbers bluntly and blindly ignore the fact that the French impact of between 13.9% and 16.67% from 1688 constitutes another non-White horizontal blood contamination of the gene pool of the matrilineal Afrikaner parent stock at the Cape. This is due to the earlier Afro-Arab blood contamination of Europeans like the French, Portuguese and Spanish as a result of the early Moorish occupation of Europe and the miscegenation between the Europeans and the Afro-Arabs for many years. This French blood contamination was further transferred to the English through widespread intermarriages between the English and the French after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the French reign of England until 1366, to such an extent that 25% of the English forefathers are French. This multiracial bloodline was transferred to the proto-Afrikaners from the 1800s through intermarriages with the British at the Cape. The same is true of the blood contamination of proto-Afrikaners through their intermarriages with Portuguese and Spaniards at the Cape.72,73,91,144,145

The slow growth of the Cape White population since 1754 and the shortage of European newcomers, especially women, to contribute to pureness of their European bloodline, is confirmed by the fact that in 1806 (52 years after the Tulbagh census) the Cape’s White population was still very small, only 26 720. This reflected an average annual growth of only 502 White people. This confirms the branching out (downwards) of the multiracial genetic component through the matrilineal White parent stock due to constant and unavoidable inter-family marriages.95,96,143

This horizontal inter-family bloodline among Afrikaners that goes hand-in-hand with a multiracial component is further confirmed by various family illnesses prevalent in Coloured and Afrikaner families over many years and generations. Huntington’s disease is such an example. The South African mixed-race population contracted this illness from their Dutch and British ancestry, which they share with the Afrikaners. These symptomatic illnesses were undoubtedly further aggravated by the later horizontal intermarriages within Afrikaner families, especially in the late 1800s and early 1900s.73,146,147

By the late 1800’s there were more or less 46 000 Whites at the Cape. They were so interconnected through intermarriage that they were a great interrelated family rather than a new polyglot community. In the later stages of the intermarriage effect, non-White mothers formed a nucleus. Since there was a shortage of women up to the early 1800s, this led to further inter-family marriages between first and second nephews and nieces. In this way, a multiracial bloodline spread horizontally too many, if not most, of the branches of the Afrikaner family tree. This phenomenon was indeed much higher than the conservative and traditionally accepted 6% to 10.7% reflected in the general genealogical literature on the Afrikaner. It is not a case that only 6% to 10.7% of the Afrikaners are from other races; a case can rather be made that more than 6% to 10.7% of the initial gene pool of the Afrikaner is multiracial. This means that far more that 6% to 10.7% of today’s Afrikaners are are not purely White.72,73,144

The shortage of women at the Cape resulted in the mixed or Coloured females from the first miscegenation becoming concubines and wives to male newcomers. It was only by the middle 1800s that the gender ratio of 1:4 females to males improved. This highlights the comprehensive pathway of “blood contamination” that follows when the trunk of a family tree is horizontally penetrated by various bloodlines at an early stage and spreads out downwards over centuries to affect many, if not all, of the descendants. The later “whiteness” of these “contaminated” Whites did not come from the “blood purity” of the Whites at the Cape or their later abstinence from miscegenation with other races. It was simply the direct result of the “whitening” of their mixed race offspring with further miscegenation with Whites until they became indistinguishable from the White settlers themselves. However, genetically they are more or less the same as their mixed nephews and nieces.73,146

The argument that an initially “contaminated” White bloodline has been purified through generations of only procreating within the White gene pool, especially by means of the unofficial and official Apartheid policies that excluded other races from the Afrikaner’s society and family life to prevent mixing, carries little weight. Though racial segregation was practiced from the 1850s to the 1990s, this period of abstinence from racial miscegenation was too short to “purify” a large contingent of Afrikaners of mixed-race blood from their non-White ancestors, dating especially from 1652 to 1670 and immediate thereafter. Indeed, their skins became more white but their gene pool is not white to the same extent. No wonder that this inclusion of “black blood” now inspire proponents of the “Afrikaners-are-Africans”-view to declare the Afrikaner as “Black”.70-72,144,146

The present-day Afrikaner can pride himself in being “purely White” in terms of various definitions used worldwide. However, the term “White person” has since 1924 been defined in the State of Virginia, USA as “such a person has no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian or one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American Indian and no other non-Caucasia blood.” If this definition is used, many Afrikaners would not have passed the pure White test. Using the Nazi annulment definition where a single Jew in the family tree meant that a person was a Jew, the outcome would have been catastrophic. The chances of an Afrikaner to survive a Holocaust would have been zero. In South Africa, the Afrikaner has come to understand the dilemma of his mixed bloodline very well. In some cases, there is a sudden manifestation of a Coloured or Black child from White parents. The “White classification” of 1948 was amended in 1966 so that the child of two White parents were classified as “White”, notwithstanding the contrary physical appearances to be Black or mixed of their offspring.1,148,149

The South African human rights activist, Rhoda Kadalie, herself a descendant from White, Malaysian and Coloured fore-fathers, previously married to a White South African and the mother of children born out of this so called “mixed” marriage, rejected the Afrikaner’s insistence on his White blood purity when she said with pride about her family150, p.11: “Ons is ‘n regte basterfamilie”. This can surely also be said by many Afrikaners with the same pride as Kadalie, if they have courage enough and are honest with themselves about their heritage.

It is important to note that the South African Blacks also carry the genes of various races through their miscegenation with other races in South Africa. South African Black tribes are physically the end product of a racial mingling of the Negros of Africa and the Hamite people. South African Blacks can today be classified into four clear and separate Black groups in terms of language and culture. This is notwithstanding the ANC and the Marxist intentions and efforts to declare all South Africans “grey people” and the Blacks a uniform Black group for the sake of political rights. The four groups are the Nguni group, the Sotho-Tswana group, the Venda group and the Shangana-Tsonga group. These four main Black groups can further be divided into ten Black ethnic groups, each with their own culture, life values, language, and customs and characteristics that are conserved. They also inbred with Whites, Coloureds, Asians as well as other smaller groups like the Khoi-Khoi and Hottentot. This multi-racial inbreeding between Afrikaners, Coloureds and Blacks is still active and ongoing today as reflected by many mixed marriages and the birth of “mixed-race” children.42,50,113,142,150,151

One example of this racial intermingling is the marriage of the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, to a White woman.15 This continuation of racial miscegenation that started in 1652 and the resulting new generation of intermixed Blacks and Whites is excellently described by Tambo Dali, a prominent Black South African married to a White South African, when he says142, p. 23: “In my family there are three colours: black, white and my four golden brown children.”

History has the inclination to repeat itself, also regarding natural racial mingling and miscegenation. South Africa is an excellent example where even the Immorality Act of the Apartheid regime could not stop it. Racial intermingling between Blacks and Whites is going to increase in the future, not decrease.

Ultimately, the colour of a person’s skin can contribute very little to the physical classification of a person into a specific South African race group. To call South African Blacks “pure Blacks” is also an error, just as the Afrikaners are not “pure Whites”: South Africans are to a great extent ethnically and racially much more “Creole” than they themselves know or want to know.42,78,113-115

4. Discussion

The view of the Afrikaner as a nation was clearly inapplicable and erroneous. The same can be said about the political and emotionally laden classifications of people as part of the “White nation”, the “Zulu nation”, or the “Xhosa nation”. Today, “nation” refers to the South African nation, including all the races, tribes and peoples inside the borders of the country under one legal definition and classification. The Afrikaners can at most be seen as a South African tribe, more specifically a group among which specific racial features and various cultural similarities are identifiable, based on a predominately mixed European origin.

Arguing that Afrikaans is an old language is wrong. Although it does have roots in the remote past, it is not yet a century old in 2017 as an official language. In addition, to argue that it was exclusively developed by the Afrikaner or that it is a sole Afrikaner possession is also wrong. Afrikaans developed into an independent language from European Dutch as its initial basis. This process was driven by South Africa’s “old” populations, starting in 1652. It was definitely not a language spoken exclusively by the proto-Afrikaners away from the other racial and ethnic groups. To the contrary, it was a mutual language, unsophisticated for a long time, spoken, written and used by the country’s various racial and ethnic groups in their communication with each other. Indeed, one of the first works in written Afrikaans was “Bayaan-ud-djyn”, an Islamic tract written in Arabic script by Abu Bakr in 1845.74,76,83,152-154

There are still various Afrikaans dialects that could be regarded as “Kombuis” Afrikaans. Examples include the varieties spoken in certain parts of the country by the various Afrikaans subgroups, like “Afri-kaaps” of the Cape Flats, “Cape Afrikaans” of Western Cape and the “Orange River Afrikaans” in the Northern-Cape. These dialects can with good reason be seen as public protests against the gold standard of Afrikaans that some academic purists with Afrikaner-nationalist sentiments see as the correct and only Afrikaans, belonging exclusively to the nationalist Afrikaners.73,89,107

This means the Afrikaans language is still in a process of development and it will certainly change considerably as time goes on, especially with the input of the Afrikaanses. The language will not only survive, like the Icelandic and Welsh languages did, it will grow through its use in primary communications between the Afrikaanses as their numbers grow.52-54,67,76,77,152,155-158

It is not wrong to say that Afrikaans also belongs to the “Afrikaanses”, a group that is much more comprehensive in numbers than the Afrikaner grouping, but free from the exclusive contaminated race and ethnicity connection of the Afrikaners. The presence of the Afrikaanses in the South African greater society indeed nullifies the nationalist Afrikaner argument that the Afrikaners are the sole creators or keepers and guardians of the Afrikaans language: there are many more role players. The future of Afrikaans, it seems, is much safer in the hands of the politically uncontaminated “Afrikaanses” than in those of the Afrikaner.7

The name “Afrikaner” in certain circles refers to an exclusive Afrikaner identity that entails political rights and that is regarded as centuries old and endangered by other races and even outsiders from his own White racial group if he allows miscegenation. This identity served as a justification for his discriminatory behaviour against persons from other races. The though construct surrounding this identity was clearly erroneous.

The research shows that the Afrikaners are indeed a very small group in the greater South African population. They are decreasing in number every year, and seeing the controversy around the name “Afrikaner” as an established identity that conserves Afrikaner unity and exclusiveness, the Afrikaner is already en route to dissolution of the group’s coherence as a natural course of events. If the declining numbers (5.2% to 10%) of the Afrikaners from 1960 to 2011 (50 years) are taken as a guideline for future predictions, and the emigration numbers of 1994 to 2017 continue, the Afrikaner as a group would be dissolved by 2117.75,80,87

The belief that the present-day Afrikaner’s Christian religion is unique is also an untruth. The same can be said about the Afrikaner’s culture of today: it has very little in common with the Afrikaner culture of his father and his grandfather. Present Afrikaner culture is much more culturally integrated with the other ethnic groups, like the Coloureds and to some extent even the Blacks. These various cultural changes, some slight while others are significant, are notable in Afrikaner family life, work ethic, the customs and traditions they underwrite and practice, as well as his educational and social preferences. The Afrikaner in general has become an individual, not very different from any other South African.

The idea that the Afrikaner is “lily” white is inaccurate. The strict prohibition of miscegenation between Afrikaners and Blacks because of the Afrikaner’s White blood purity was therefore pointless. The process of intermingling was activated in 1652 and is indeed on-going. The Afrikaner’s discrimination on the basis of “pure blood” reflects a lack of knowledge about his own racial origin. The Afrikaner seems to lack insight and wise reasoning in this regard.

When considering the above information, it is clear that Apartheid was in essence designed by the NP, the AB and the DRC, especially during the period under Verwoerd, in an attempt to secure a correspondence between nation status and territory for Afrikaners. The only principle was refusal to share political power in South Africa. This was done by imposing a political order with creative procrastination and manipulation, much more incisive than just pure racial segregation. It was a period of grand Apartheid with brutal and numerous well thought through legislative, economic, political and administrative policies. It ignored and disregarded the interests and aspirations of the subjugated citizens of South Africa in a blind belief that the Afrikaners, at that stage the most developed of all the South African groups, deserved the lion’s share of all the country’s benefits and rights and that this situation will be permanent. Although there were a number of policy reforms and adaptations by the NP since the late 1970s to uplift Blacks, was it exclusively aimed at keeping the Afrikaner regime in power and to reserve Afrikaner and White rights and benefits.7,37,159

There is no doubt that the masterminds behind Apartheid during the peak of Apartheid were the members of the Afrikaner Broederbond. It consisted of a nucleus of approximately 20 000 nationalist Afrikaners, referred to as the Super Afrikaners. Their powerful cultural, economical, political and military tentacles reached all nationalist Afrikaners, especially the Afrikaners belonging to the NP and the DRC. It form an immense circle and powerful group of approximately three million members, what Giliomee called the NP-Broederbonder-Afrikaners.41, p. 11 Many Afrikaners were not nationalist Afrikaners and experienced discrimination and domination to some extent, like the Blacks. However, they still benefited directly and indirectly from Apartheid and, notwithstanding their distaste for Apartheid, they mostly remained silent on Apartheid’s wrong-doings. Collectively, these side-lined Afrikaners cannot escape responsibility for Apartheid, whatever their arguments and excuses are. They are, with the Super-Afrikaners and nationalist Afrikaners, culprits. Although it is argued that Afrikaners born after 1994 are been freed from this burden they too cannot plead not guilty. They are still benefitting from what their forefathers gained over many years during Apartheid. This outcome makes all of these individuals part of the entity “Afrikaners” to which this article refers.7,36,37,41

5. Conclusion

The aim of this first article in the series of seven was to inform the Afrikaner on who he is and to reflect on the Afrikaner and the Afrikaner’s past roles as citizens of South Africa. The article begs of Afrikaners in-depth introspection. Afrikaners should answer the question whether they had already reached self-actualisation and an optimal personal happiness in the new South Africa. Has the Afrikaner left his worries and fears behind to commit to a good life here, or is he considering other options for happiness in the future.

It is an open question whether the proto-Afrikaner of 1910 on the founding of the Union, would have supported racism, especially the Afrikaner nationalism of the NP-AB-DRC-alliance (Grand Apartheid) from 1948 onwards, had they been thoroughly educated on who they are and where they truly come from. Would the mess the Afrikaners find themselves in today have been their real choice? If Afrikaners knew the facts, would they not perhaps have acted differently? Instead of selecting to obstruct Black voting from 1910 to1948, would they not have had selected not to obstruct one-man-one-vote. Would they not have parted with the “Boer” and “Cape Dutch” identities in 1910 to choose the ANC as his preferred party by the 1960s? Would they not perhaps have become Afrikaanse and Black South Africans because they are Black?3,11,26,92,96,

Was the Afrikaner’s immense psychological fear in 1994 to be rejected as a “traitor”, “joiner” and “hendsopper” (“hand-upper) if he became an ANC supporter or made another radical political change-over stronger than the fear that their culture will dissolve within a century? Are these two fears, now in combination, paralysing today the Afrikaners so that they cannot make sound decisions about their present and future role in the RSA?3,11,26,92,96

Was the cause of Apartheid perhaps the Afrikaner’s dark disposition and inclination to racial and ethnic discrimination? If so, it has resulted in many negative political and life consequences that the Afrikaner must face as they face the personal confusion in the new South Africa.

Two crucial questions emerge from the above:

▼Was the Afrikaner’s racial and ethnic discrimination learned from and embedded as part of their mindset by the bad examples of racist governance and other social, religious, cultural and political institutions and groups into which they were born and grew up? or

▼Do Afrikaners regard their racial behaviours as justified acts of revenge for personal, political, social and economic injustices perpetrated against them by other races and ethnic groups?

Evaluating your own history and wrongdoings of the past is not easy. “We find ourselves living in an indignant world, one intolerant of complexity when viewing our history and eager for simple characterisations of good and bad”, writes the writer Kalim Rajab160, p. 18. He concludes160, p. 18: “…we ultimately need room for greater magnanimity and to allow greater space for graciousness in our understanding of the past”. These words are very much applicable to the Afrikaners when they have to look at themselves: they are caught up in indoctrination that taught that they are a superior race that does only the ethically correct and good, versus the inferior Black subordinates whose doings were infected with unethical and bad behaviour and an inferior disposition. The nationalist Afrikaner regime’s doctrine of Afrikaner supremacy was supported by the idea of a “completeness and perfection” as part of a superior mindset and lifestyle. This started in in 1652 at the Cape of Good Hope. It was internalised by many ordinary Afrikaners: Afrikaners are only good versus Blacks are always bad. Most Afrikaners are too frightened to acknowledge the bad in their past, avoiding consciously and unconsciously their incompleteness, imperfection and failures, which so greatly characterise all humans. This study informed the Afrikaners of their true past, who they are: they are just ordinary humans, indigenous people of the same bloodline as their previous subordinates, characterised by the same incompleteness, imperfections and failures.

The advice of Palkhivala159 is valuable for Afrikaners in their effort to unshackle and cleanse themselves from the dark secrets of their past and to move successfully into the new South Africa with its manifold indigenous realities. He writes159, p. 77: “Every country must learn to live with its past history and to cherish it instead of trying to rewrite it. Chaos would be the only result of trying to undertake ‘correction of history’, or to undo the past, or to seek to remedy past wrongs”. The Afrikaners tried all these wrong venues in the past and failed. They have hopefully at last learned from the past.

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Not commissioned. Externally peer-reviewed.

The author declares that he has no competing interest.

The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Arts, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.