Is the dissolution of the Afrikaner tribe only a century away? Part 3: Present and past determinants and role players in the establishment and continuation of perceptions of injustice in the mindsets of Afrikaners

Gabriel Louw

 

Research Associate, Focus Area Transformation, Faculty of Arts,

Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

 

                                                                     RESEARCH

 

Corresponding Author:

Prof Dr GP Louw

Focus Area Social Transformation

Faculty of Arts

Potchefstroom Campus

North-West University

South Africa

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com

 

Ensovoort volume 37(2017), number 10:1

 

                                                                    ABSTRACT

 

Keywords:

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.

Background

Schlemmer relates the following incident that aptly captures the problem addressed in this article1, p. 7: “At a press conference held in Dakar, Senegal during the July 1987 visit by a number of South Africans to meet the ANC (African National Congress) representatives, a senior ANC member took exception to a remark by a South African academic that ‘apartheid’ had developed over centuries of South African history. Whether this was true or not, the ANC member retorted, one should not let the apartheid government ‘off the hook’ ”.

The Schlemmer1 quotation illustrates two things, namely who the culprits were that created apartheid and the fact that there was a history that resulted in apartheid. First, no-one in South Africa, not even the ‘culprits’ who created apartheid, the Afrikaners, deny that the Whites in South Africa for many years dominated and discriminated against the Blacks: politically, economically, socially and culturally. Apartheid at its height was sustained by a certain class of Afrikaners and the connections they had among them. Its structure was upheld by political, economical, social and cultural institutions and bureaucracies that were controlled and run by Afrikaner men and women from this social class. Even during apartheid, not all Afrikaners dominated and discriminated against Blacks to them same extent, although they were all complicit. Vilakazi explains this poignantly when he says2, p. 43: “Some Afrikaners exercise domination directly and harshly; other exercise it still directly, 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 backgrounds of the Whites concerned, and the institutions within which they make their living within the huge edifice of racial domination. The distinctions later give rise to differences in political orientations – to conservatives, liberals, radicals, etc.”

It is clear from the above that apartheid was practice by all “social classes” in the Afrikaner grouping, with the emphasis on the leadership and the ordinary citizens who identified as nationalist Afrikaners as represented by their membership of the National Party (NP), the Afrikaner Broederbond (AB) and the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC).3-8

The last part of the 1987 comment of the ANC senior member, as quoted by Schlemmer, namely that1, p. 7: “one should not let the apartheid government ‘off the hook’”, is completely justified. This remark should have added “one should not let the apartheid government, and all the ordinary nationalist Afrikaners and members of the NP-AB-DRC off the hook.” All the various social groups within the larger Afrikaner grouping are guilty of the practice of apartheid, as Vilakatzi2 also argues. They all benefited, either directly or indirectly, and they were all role players in this system, however much some try to hide behind an array of excuses. This collective responsibility is a fact and is accepted by the majority of Afrikaners today. It is within this broad context of collective responsibility that Blacks today tend to label all Afrikaners as participants in apartheid and as the people at whom they direct their revenge for apartheid since 1994 (successfully one might add). This outcome of “collective guilt” shared by all Afrikaners has been used since 1994 to drive the ANC regime’s unspoken policy of revenge on Afrikaners for apartheid specifically and for all the ANC’s own governmental failures in general. This revenge has an immense impact on the way Afrikaners think about the Blacks’ political behaviour, views and intentions. It only serves to strengthen their entrenched feelings about injustices done to them through racial and ethnic discrimination and domination in the past. There are now new added experiences of injustices done to them by the Blacks.1,2,9,10

The dynamic described above re-activates a set of behaviours that was instilled and entrenched in proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners over many years, namely discrimination against Blacks based on colour. [Part 2 of this series discusses how this negative racial behaviour was instilled in Afrikaners and strengthening as “appropriate” and “correct” due to negative examples and experiences]. The immediate question at this stage is: what motivates and drives this sort of behaviour? In this context it seems that the cause of this learned and internalized behaviour is the perception of injustices done to him. This idea can stay passive and can be ignored, but it leads to counter-actions to revenge or defence in the form of various forms and levels of discriminative racial behaviour. The intention of this study is to research and describe the determinants and role players in the establishment and continuation of a perception of injustice in the mindset of the Afrikaner.

The second important point to note in Schlemmer’s1 quote is the reference to the history of Apartheid. Was the South African academic correct to remark at the Dakar meeting of 1987 that “‘apartheid’ had developed over centuries of South African history,” 1, p. 7 or is this a myth without any facts to prove it? In the post-1994 political rhetoric, very little attention is given to this controversy and to the possible negative impact of long-term exposure to undesirable behaviour and experiences on the development of the Afrikaner’s propensity to discriminate. Schlemmer makes the following comment1, p. 8: “Archetypal apartheid was developed to its epitome in the period under Verwoerd. It represented a brutal, massive but almost heroic attempt on the part of the then ethnically solidary National Party of the time to secure a correspondence between nation and territory for whites by imposing an order much more incisive than race segregation,” Such statements have led to a denial of an earlier history. Schlemmer’s1 focuses exclusively on 1960 to 1994. Discussions like this completely ignore the immense negative impact of the history before apartheid on the racist behaviours of the, sometimes unwilling, proto-Afrikaner and later Afrikaner as participants in the system. This point of view is used selectively by some subjective researchers and poorly informed politicians to justify the new South Africa’s over-emphasis on political correctness. It has led to superficial arguments and myths that apartheid is a recent phenomenon created only by nationalist Afrikaners. It also brings to the foreground allegations that the Afrikaners’ racial attitudes are pathological and set, ignoring the effect of external influences on behaviour learning and the reinforcement of problematic behaviour. Research that denies a history that culminated in apartheid fits well with the post-1994 political and emotional rhetoric, especially since any consideration or discussion of history by Black politicians seem to be fixated on the period of Grand Apartheid (1960–1994) for obvious political gain. This “conscious” amnesia is understandable and is also reflected in the “selective” amnesia of Black politicians about their catastrophic and barbarous “Black apartheid” and “Black genocide” between 1810 and 1840 in South Africa.1,2,10,11

The fact is that White racial domination and discrimination against Blacks have a long history, dating from the early Cape Colonists up to the proto-Afrikaners and culminating in the modern-day Afrikaner’s history. Historically, social-cum-racial class differentiation already took shape in 1671 at the Cape Settlement. Whites were favoured and the other races were subjected to discrimination. This differentiation and resulting discrimination continued throughout the centuries, creating a generally unfavourable position for all darker races in the broader society. It started in 1671 and sometimes had the same devastating consequences for non-Whites, if not more, than grand apartheid. However, apartheid can comfortably be criticized in the modern idiom of human rights violations and it is very easily pinpointed as the root of all evil in South Africa. The proto-Afrikaners were and the Afrikaners are still part of this ongoing history of apartheid that started in 1671. A focused study is needed to understand the ordinary Afrikaner’s ideas on race and the reasons why they supported, subscribed to, and practiced apartheid for so many years. Such a study should steer clear of the current political and emotional rhetoric. Such a study will also open the door for insight into and an evaluation of the Afrikaner’s perception that many kinds of injustices have been and are being committed against him (and this leads to their inclination to racial discrimination). 3-8

Although this article does not delve into the history of apartheid, specific and direct historical causes are noted. (The history was already fully described in Part 2 of the series: Historical determinants and role players in the establishment and maintenance of racial discrimination in the mindsets of Afrikaners. Its subdivision 3.1.1: Negative ethnic and racial influences of the Early Cape authorities, is relevant to this article). From this history it is clear that apartheid has a long historical development in which the proto-Afrikaner, and even to a certain extent also the Afrikaner, were not initially volunteers, but victims themselves. They too were subjected to a bad and inappropriate socio-political system that was forced on them involuntary. The proto-Afrikaner and Afrikaner were not only exposed to bad racial examples that became entrenched in Afrikaners over time, but that they also experienced immensely negative consequences as a direct outcome of infringements perpetrated against them. These negative experiences became entrenched as an obsession with the injustices they suffered. Not only did these ideas lead to racist behaviours, but they also reinforced established racism and behaviours of revenge. Part 2 concludes that Afrikaners hold the specific belief that injustices were not only done to them in the past, but are being done to them today. It is therefore important to know how this perception of injustices took root in the mindset of Afrikaners.3-8, 12

The intention of this article is to study and analyse the present and past negative determinants and role players in the establishment and reinforcement of a perception of injustices in the mindsets of Afrikaners.

  • This article is the third 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  determinant and role players in the establishment and continuation of perceptions of injustices in the mindsets of Afrikaners; 4) The Afrikaners’ failure to understand, accept and become intertwined in the indigenous realities of South Africa; 5) The vicious cycle of revenge and counter-revenge around apartheid; 6) Preparedness and comprehensiveness of post-1994 rescue actions; 7) 2017 is the year for thinking, planning and action.
  • The overarching aim of the 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 aims to build a viewpoint based on evidence as the evidence becomes clearer throughout the research. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established library, as is the case with the topic of the Afrikaner’s current and future position in South Africa. The databases used were EBSCOHost, Sabinet Online. Sources included articles from 2016 to 2017, books for the period 1944 to 2017, and newspapers for the period 2016 to 2017. These sources were used to reflect on the Afrikaners and to put thought trends, views and opinions on the Afrikaners in perspective.13-15

The research findings are presented in narrative format.

  1. Results and discussion

3.1 General perspective

Many Afrikaners argue that their living standard is deteriorating in the new South Africa due to job discrimination and unemployment resulting from Affirmative Action (AA), Employment Equity (EE) and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). Afrikaners are experiencing more general poverty. There are frequent murders, especially of farmers. This comes in addition to various other social, economical and political discriminations. Political rhetoric, public objections and court cases to protect Afrikaner interests are common. This discriminative Black behaviour has two decisive effects on the Afrikaners’ racial attitudes and inclinations: the reinforcement of established racism and the development of new negative racial attitudes. Fundamental to both these developments is the belief that an injustice is being done to them at present, as was the case in the past. They are experiencing hostile and hurtful behaviour that they believe is undeserved and inappropriate. The perception of injustice is in turn founded on a belief that revenge is an appropriate action.16-24

What is shocking about the post-1994 Afrikaner thought pattern is the lack of insight into the enormous social, economical, political and personal backlash for the Afrikaner in the new South Africa. The anti-Afrikaner attitudes of the ANC regime is nothing else than Black apartheid. It is to be expected when considering history. This reaction by Blacks must be understood in terms of the cruel legacy of White apartheid. Blacks had to endure an extremely negative political environment and lifestyle, not for decades, but for centuries. It was an inhumane setup that Schlemmer1, p. 8describes as a “brutal, massive order much more incisive than race segregation.” The pseudo-peace and the seemingly normal continuation of life immediately after 1994 faded fast with the NP and AB losing power and the increasingly aggressive ANC government. A significant sector of Blacks feels that the dispensation that started in 1994 did not punish the Afrikaners adequately for their mistakes.  Initially the retreating leadership of the NP and AB promised a new and happy South Africa forever. This was an effort to appease the Afrikaners for the moment. Enormous changes awaited the Afrikaners, unbeknownst to them. For many years the NP-AB-DRC leaders concealed the fact that Afrikaners will face an unfriendly environment where they are stripped of their previous White apartheid empowerments and benefits. Some Afrikaners miss the fact that they are now dependent on themselves and on forming small groups. The formal guiding patrons have all disappeared. They are in this “alone” and they are in a hostile environment where they are subjected to “Black Discrimination,” more and more, making any appeal on their rights very difficult. The new and serious injustices against them seem to be gathering momentum.

The Afrikaners at present simply do not have the political power to stand up to the more dominant ANC at any level to ensure their future. The general attitude of the Black society is becoming more hostile. First, the current Afrikaner population of less than 3 million and the negative annual growth of approximately -0.1% from 1960 to 2011 shows that they are indeed a much less influential racial, ethnic and political pressure group than they would admit, especially compared to a Black population of more than 55 million and an approximate annual growth of +1.5% for 2009 to 2014. The decline in the is becoming more rapid, so much so that experts, supported by statistics, predict that the Afrikaners can disappear from the South African scene in 30 to 60 years. The disproportionate racial distribution and accompanying lack of political power largely explain the growing disrespect and discriminatory attitude of the ANC and their followers towards the Afrikaners since 1994. This is an attitude that can intensify in the future, bringing more injustice to the door of the Afrikaners.23,25-29

Second, it would be incorrect to see the attitude and behaviour of the ANC and the Blacks in general towards the Afrikaners as based only on the Afrikaners’ diminished political position as a White minority, which makes them an easy target. It goes much deeper: an age-old hatred has been activated after extreme suffering due to racial discrimination and apartheid. Blacks and other racial groups in South Africa suffered psychologically, politically and economically at the hand of proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners. The negative reactions to and behaviours towards the Afrikaners from the side of the ANC and the other racial groups in South Africa originate from the Herodotus Rules that guide good governance. Afrikaners as rulers blindly and arrogantly ignored these rules in the heyday of apartheid.6,19,30,31

An understanding of these rules will aid in an understanding of today’s “Black Apartheid,” as practiced by the ANC through policies such as AA, EE and BEE [knowing in the USA as Minority Procurement, which in South African implies Majority Procurement or Majority Affirmative Action] and through other racial discriminations against the Afrikaners. It will also provide Afrikaners with some insight into how counter-productive and fatal it is to see these Black discriminative actions against them as justifying counter racial discrimination and actions to balance out the injustices.

Modern Afrikaners only became victims of “Black apartheid” after 1994. They are exposed to experiences that make them feel as if injustices are being committed against them. In actual fact, they got off scot-free after the Black discrimination between 1948 and 1994. However, it is important to note that the proto-Afrikaners from the early 1700s up to 1902 and the Afrikaners from 1902 up to 1948 experienced numerous forms of domination and discrimination against them. This instilled a mentality of being subject to injustice. These current and past experiences of injustices are and were strong determinants in inspiring new and reinforcing old negative racial attitudes amongst Afrikaners, leading to further racial discrimination in the new South Africa.3-8

3.1.1 The Herodotus Rules for good governance and respect

More than 2 500 years ago, the ancient historian Herodotus formulated six rules for good governance. In his view, these rules guarantee a revenge-free country of peace for current and future generations. These six rules provide an excellent explanation of the attitudes of the ANC towards the Afrikaners since 1994.30,31

Herodotus reasoned that any ruler should adhere to six rules to stay in power, to lead a long and happy life as a ruler and to prevent reprisals and retaliation against him and his descendants and followers from aggrieved subordinates or conquered groups and their descendants. The six rules that a ruler should underwrites, practices and respect are31:

  1. Always act with fairness and wisdom towards one’s subjects;
  2. Empower each individual politically, legally, socially, and economically;
  3. Do not favour or put certain individuals or oneself above others;
  4. Act with self-control at all times;
  5. Do not be self-enriching at the expense of one’s subjects, and
  6. Given the power of a ruler, avoid and be free of power mismanagement and emotional and physical exploitation, abuse and misuse of one’s subjects.

In practice, these six rules come down to the following: 1). history repeats itself; and 2). that the contraventions of these rules create hatred that spells tragedy for culprits, even after many centuries had passed.31

The Herodotus Rules acknowledges that the innocent are sometimes punished for the failures and shortcomings of their ancestors (much in line with the Mafia of Sicily’s habit to take revenge on families even after many generations have passed, whether the new generation is guilty or not). A poignant example is the genocide of the Jews in Europe during WW2 because their ancestors were falsely identified as financial and political exploiters by the local citizens of the countries to which they had migrated. In reality, these locals merely failed to be competitive, trained and skilled so that they could be successful in their businesses and professional lives.31,33

The various Afrikaner regimes since 1910, especially those between 1948 and 1994, transgressed all six the Herodotus rules. The current inaccessibility and hostility of the ANC and the Blacks are predictable political, psychological and pathological responses within the framework of the Herodotus philosophy of 1) misrule by the ruler and 2) undeserved punishment for the innocent victim, 3) injustice done to the victim and 4) revenge by the victim for the misruling of the ruler and injustice done.31 The Afrikaner has in the minds of the Blacks been sentenced to long-term political and personal, social and economical “imprisonment” in South Africa for contravening the Herodotus rules, whether the individual Afrikaner is guilty or not. This is the result of the proto-Afrikaner and Afrikaner’s political, socio-economical and inhumane misconduct as a ruler over many years. 31

The Afrikaner should blame themselves and the failed Afrikaner leadership that they elected to act on their behalf for this penalty. The tragedy is that this “sentence” is a logical and expected historically outcome the Afrikaner seems not to understand, to have expected, or to know how to counter. The retaliation according to the Herodotus rules affects all modern Afrikaners and its youth, even though many of them were not part of the practice of apartheid. Many Blacks feel that they may take revenge for apartheid, regardless of the guilt or innocence of the current generation. This, in terms of the Herodotus rules, starts a new cycle where Afrikaners experience their society as unjust, triggering further negative attitudes towards Blacks.3-8

3.2 Current injustices committed against Afrikaners

3.2.1 The long-term punitive intentions of the ANC and the continuation of injustices

The ANC’s revenge clearly entails more than just a short-term punishment of the Afrikaners for apartheid in terms of the Herodotus Rules. It is aimed at the total expulsion, psychologically and physically, of the Afrikaner (although hidden and mostly denied publically) from the country as an ethnic racial group or at totally isolating them from the educational, economic and cultural mainstream. (This is a properly orchestrated exercise and reminds one of the Afrikaner’s own expulsion of Blacks from central South Africa to various Bantu homelands under the Malan/Strydom/Verwoerd regimes. These actions show the negative effect of the Herodotus Rules in justified revenge). 3-8,31

Several factors favour the ANC in its adventure of a long-term punishment for the Afrikaner. These negative factors include the negative population growth of the Afrikaner, the Afrikaner’s fear of residential and farm murders, increasing White poverty and job discrimination, fear of radical economical transformation and White capital and land capture, the closing down of Afrikaner institutions like schools and universities, disrespect for Afrikaans as a national language, political confusion and a loss of sovereignty that is casting many Afrikaners out of the governing system. This ongoing racial and ethnic victimization and discrimination against the Afrikaners, especially as a “colonial” minority group, influence many to eventually leave their birth and/or adopted homeland. This is evident from the fact that nearly 1.2 million (30%) Afrikaners left South Africa in the last 20 years since 1995, while a further 35% (1.35 million) also wish to emigrate in the near future.25-27

The punitive intentions of the ANC regime was and is exacerbated by the fact that most Afrikaners decided to radically oppose the ANC after 1994, openly showing their distrust, hostility and aggression against Black rule and a Black majority government. This negativism was not only exhibited towards the ANC as a political party, but frequently towards the Black majority in general. In retrospect this decision seems to have been a fatal error in terms of planning their future, as was the introduction of apartheid. It seems as if the proto-Afrikaners and the Afrikaners are inclined to saddle the “wrong political horses” over and over. This fatal decision in 1994 terminated all possible sympathy and support for the Afrikaners by the Black majority and any hope of a future intimate partnership with and support of the ANC or one of the other Black political parties. The fear of and reaction against Blacks and Black rule, entrenched in Afrikaners over many centuries, and the actions to counter-act any endangerment of their interests, only strengthened the resolve of the ANC and the Blacks. They are themselves driven by the injustices done to them by the Afrikaners. They want to apply the Rules of Herodotus to the Afrikaners.30,31

The ancient historical work of John Moschos34 (The Spiritual Meadow) and the modern historical works of William Dalrymple30 (A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium), Ryszard Kapuściński31(Travel with Herodotus) and that of Niall Ferguson33(The World at War), illustrate how these counter-discriminations as revenge for injustices and wrong-doings (and much in line with the current revenges of the ANC on the Afrikaners) take the form of expulsions and deadly annihilations globally from ancient times to modern times.

Good examples of such expulsions and annihilations are those of the Christian Armenians and Suniani in Islamic Turkey and the Christian Greeks in Islamic Egypt between 1900 and today. It is also echoed in the destruction of 210 Armenian monasteries, 700 convents and churches and 1 639 parish churches from 1914 in Eastern Turkey (total: 2 549 buildings). Sixty years later, in 1974, only 449 (18%) of the buildings were still in use by active members. The Suniani tribe in Eastern Turkey decreased from nearly 200 000 in the 1900s, to 70 000 in 1920, 4 000 in 1990 and only 900 in 1998. The expulsion also happened to the Greeks in Egypt. In the 1900s they were 200 000, in 1988 they were 5 000 and in 1998, only 500.30,31

The eradication of the Armenian identity started in Turkey with the replacement of the names of their towns and streets with Turkish names. This was followed by the destruction of Armenian cemeteries, even tombstones, and the conversion of their churches into mosques. The Armenians who did not move house, were forced to adopt Turkish and Islam names for survival.30,31

The Afrikaners have also experienced 1994 similar punitive actions against them. They are losing traditional work opportunities in the civil services, at tertiary institutions and business enterprises. The policies of AA, BEE and EE are intensified almost on a daily basis, while their educational institutions are being “Africanised”. The boundaries of their personal, political, economical and social environments are deliberately transgressed. They are threatened with the capture of capital and land without compensation. There is a growing rhetoric to take arms against Whites who resist the radical transformation, the names of traditional Afrikaner villages, towns and cities have been replaced with Black names. The same is happening with the names of streets and public buildings with Afrikaner names. They are also targeted in terms of criminality in their daily lives.21,22,35,36

The above injustices to Afrikaners are growing, putting them in conflict with the ANC and the Black population more and more. However, their political and military empowerment is zero, making it impossible for them to do anything constructive. These threats (and powerlessness of Afrikaners) create a vicious circle of constant experiences of abuses and maltreatments in many different areas of their lives. Afrikaners experience these actions as injustices. An important development that Afrikaners seem to deny is the reality that the intensity and number of assumed injustices will increase fast from 2017. The other point that Afrikaners seem to miss is that these injustices they are experiencing at the hand of the ANC are equal to the injustices that they measured out indiscriminately to Blacks over many years. This leaves the question if they can claim that these injustices are wrong and whether they are not “justified” revenge in terms of the Herodotus Rules. Is the Afrikaner not just over-sensitive and selfish about upholding their assumed Afrikaner rights and their false belief in their racial supremacy, thing that do not really fit into a modern democracy? 21,22,35,36

Ignoring the possible merits of revenge as a point of discussion, it is clear that these assumed maltreatments by the ANC government and politicians have an immensely negative impact on Afrikaners, specifically on their perception of the integrity and trustworthiness of Blacks as a race and the feeling that it is impossible to live side by side in a civilized manner in South Africa. The direct outcome is that the Afrikaners entrenched ideas of racial discrimination and injustices are strengthened, instead of fading away. The foundation is being laid for new negative racial cognitions and new injustices in the mindsets of Afrikaners.10,21,22,35,36

3.2.2 The future dilemmas of the Afrikaner in South Africa in terms of citizenship

In South Africa, apart from the shocking farm murders, extreme radical and massive ethnic and racial aggressions and unrests have thankfully been avoided thus far. If the increasing xenophobic behaviour against foreign fellow-Africans, the recent unrests at Coligny and Lichtenburg against Afrikaners’ property and lives, the increasingly radical speeches of the ANC regime and other Black political leaders and political parties and the open disregard for the Constitution and the judicial authority and system are taken into account, the Afrikaners can expect radical aggression in the near future. The official calls by the ANC and other Black role players for radical economical transformation and the capture of White capital, land and property especially sound warning bells. The consequences can be massive injustices to the Afrikaners in the near future, leading to an escalation in negative racial attitudes and reactive behaviour by the Afrikaners to counter the growing injustices against them. This can even end in physical conflict, an outcome that will spell genocide for the disempowered Afrikaners. What is clear at this stage is that the Afrikaners are certainly not exempt from more emotional and physical aggression in the future, a fact that they must seriously consider.16,18,22,36-41

The growing need for basic resources and the intense competition for it to counter dire poverty among South African Blacks is being ignored by politicians. It is a possible stimulus for conflict with and the maltreatment of the Afrikaners and could result in further negative experiences that they can see as injustices to them. Up to 1994 the Blacks, as competitors of the Afrikaners, were comprehensively nullified on all levels by the rules of the apartheid. The immense poverty of Blacks and their dire life circumstances was psycho-pathologically ignored by the Afrikaner regime. With specific racially discriminative planning, it was even intentionally aggravated. After 1994, the Afrikaners, stripped of their many privileges and economical manipulation, became equal competitors with the impoverish masses of Blacks. In the new South Africa the ANC’s AA, EE and BEE did not at all help the approximately 70% of the total Black population out of their tragic poverty. This situation is making the competition for sources and support systems extraordinary intense, especially when the race factor comes into play. 16,18,22,36-41

The dire state of need in which many Blacks in South Africa still live can possibly lead to further disempowerment of Afrikaners in an effort to eliminate the competition. The continuous poverty of the mass of Black can at the same time lead to physical aggression and genocide of the Afrikaners. This kind of scapegoat behaviour had tragic consequences for the Jews in Europe in the 1930s and the Belgium population in the Congo in the 1960s, basically because of the large-scale poverty of the indigenous people and their inability to escape from it immediately. On the other hand the mob oratories and instigations by German and Belgium Black politicians and leaders respectively to act against Jews and Congolese Whites to rectify alleged injustices of the past through the capture of Jewish and White capital and property undoubtedly drove the impoverished Germans and Africans of Belgium to murder and genocide. A critical perspective shows that the impoverished position of South African Blacks do not differ much from the Germans of the 1930s or the Belgium Blacks of 1960 in the Congo.33,42,43

The current estimated 350 000 to 400 000 poor Whites in South Africa and up to 150 000 Afrikaners struggling for survival (when evaluated in terms of the present value of the South Africa rand and the immense constant increases in the prices of foodstuffs and living costs in 2016, this can even be an underestimation), is of secondary importance in conflict activation. It is no comparison to the masses of non-Whites living below the poverty line. The extreme poverty of non-White groups in South Africa can stimulate direct conflict between Blacks and Whites to such a degree that it can result genocide. In this regard it is estimated (which is an underestimation) that as many as 29 236 632 Blacks (73.0%), 2 175 417 Coloureds (48.1%) and 150 409 (11.8%) Indians live in poverty. The official statistics, which reflects that only 26.6% of the population is unemployed, is misleading when one considers that only 42.8% of the total population is employed in some way and that the youth unemployment is 53.7%, of whom most are Blacks (this means that 57.2% of the total South African population are not in employment and as much as only 46.3% of the youths are employed). To expect that only 6 million middle class Blacks and their new-found wealth would counter future revolt and anarchy is wishful thinking. Any strategist who specializes in political and social conflict, revolution and genocide would confirm that these statics describe a huge time bomb waiting to explode. It is a recipe for human disaster that would overshadow all the current moans of injustice against the Afrikaners.3,4,42,44-48

A prominent question at this stage for the less than 3 million Afrikaners who are struggling at present to get political, social, economical and ethnic recognition and to maintain their unique culture and ways of living, is what will happen 100 years from now in 2117 to a very insignificant minority group of Afrikaners under an authoritarian ANC or other Black regime or an otherwise overwhelming, totally impoverished Black majority in South Africa?

If the expulsions of the Greeks and Suniani from their adopted homelands over 100 years are taken as guidelines, there will only between 10 000 and 20 000 “pure” Afrikaners left in South Africa in 2117, as opposed to an estimated 100 plus million Black people with their own political, economic and cultural attitudes and lifestyles. If the constant population decline among Afrikaners is used as another guideline, the chance is good that there will be between 300 000 and 1 million Afrikaners left in 2047 and fewer than 10 000 “pure” Afrikaners in South Africa in 2117.30,49

Afrikaners should realize that the injustices – true or false, justified or unjustified – done by the ANC government and its Black partners, will increase and become more complex and directed. To revenge or to rectify these injustices through direct military, public or private actions, will be impossible for the declining Afrikaners. The end result can be terrorist actions, a path followed by minority groups worldwide, like in Northern Ireland, Syria and Turkey, sometimes with tragic outcomes.

3.3 Past injustices to the Afrikaner▼

To see the 1994 dispensation and its current negative outcomes as the second “Slagtersnek” in Afrikaner history and as a doomsday in their lives, is wrong. The proto-Afrikaners and the later Afrikaners went through at least two other “Slagternek” incidents before, challenging their future as a population in South Africa. Over many years they have became very familiar with the abuse of power by hostile authorities and what it means to stay upright in such a constant struggle where injustices becomes absolutely overwhelming. They know the enormous psychological and financial efforts and dedication needed to outlive such an ordeal.6, 8-10, 19

Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivision 3.1.3.

3.3.1 Fifty years of British Rule: 1806 to 1854

Although all the stages of the proto-Afrikaner development were characterized by conflicts and constant onslaughts on his existence since 1652, it seems to be the British Rule of 1806 to 1854 that first brought him in open revolt, culminating in the Great Trek to escape many unsolved injustices. One clear fact that stands out here was the British intent to apply British enculturation to the proto-Afrikaners to suppress their political and personal identity. In 1811 there was the “Black Circuit” (Swarte Ommegang), a period during which court cases were opened against 50 farmers and their families based on various allegations of serious crimes, including murder. The allegations were brought by the Hottentotte and other non-Whites. Although the cases were mostly found to be false, the intentions of the British authority and of the missionaries creating these allegations, brought bitterness into the minds of the proto-Afrikaners. The existing racism and ethnocentrism in the Afrikaners were not only strengthened, but broadened to include the British and the other racial groups. The Afrikaners experienced vivid emotions of injustice and transgression. It was also the start of public resistance by small sectors of proto-Afrikaners, like the Frederik Bezuidenhout revolt and conflict, which not only led to death, but also to the hanging of four Boers at Slagtersnek, Graaff-Reinet in 1815.6, 8-10, 19,32,50

This extraordinary abuse of judicial and political power by the British authorities created negative memories that made reconciliation with the British impossible as early as 1815. The British wanted to issue a warning and make an example so that the proto-Afrikaners would behave in the British system, without allowing them to have a say or to make an impact on the political system of the Cape. It created strong fears of injustices in their belief system, especially around their personal identity and safety. It cemented in the mindsets of Afrikaners the growing perception of wide-spread, intense and focused injustices done to them: injustices that they were not empowered to rectify with direct action against the British, but that they rectified indirectly with the Great Trek. The Voortrekkers carried this negative attitude of hate and the perception of injustices directed at the British and the non-Whites, who were directly responsible for their unhappy and unstable lives at the Cape, into Natal, Transvaal, and the Free State. The Slagtersnek incident stands out even today as a the first sign of the later crimes against humanity to be committed in the Second Anglo-Boer War by the British Empire in Transvaal and the Free State against the Boers and their families. These were injustices that brought great division between the Northern and the Southern Afrikaners.6, 8-10, 19,32,50

The many other autocratic and anti-Boer actions of the British authority at the Cape between 1806 and 1836 were aimed at subduing the proto-Afrikaners. They especially wanted to phase out all Dutch influences. They wanted to Anglicized the proto-Afrikaners, starting in 1813 with the civil services, the introduction English into the Afrikaner churches in 1826 by forcing them to accept Scottish Presbyterian ministers, forcing them to accept English-speaking teachers and the establishment of free English Schools in 1822. In 1825, English became the court language, while in 1827 a legal charter was published to replace the Dutch legal system that was in use since 1652 at the Cape. A further act to minimize the Afrikaner cultural and their numbers was the 1820 migration of British Settlers to South Africa.7,10, 19,32

In 1816 the British started with a process to emancipate the slaves, first by formally registering them and then by regulating workdays by 1823. This was followed by the appointment of a Slave Protector and an assistant to oversee that the proto-Afrikaners behaved towards their slaves. In 1836 slavery was ended. The outcome of the emancipation of the slaves financially ruined many farmers, especially those in the country side. The proto-Afrikaners was at this time already split into subgroups like the Grensboers and the Trekboers, showing clear ethno-cultural and racial differences with the more British-orientated and liberal Cape Dutch. For the rural proto-Afrikaners the consequences were immense: not only was the rural proto-Afrikaners financially ruined by the little compensation for their freed slaves by the British, but they were also suddenly a White minority in a region populated by a majority of non-Whites outside their control and equal in status. Their opportunities to prosper in this environment and to establish their identity was blocked. Most of all, their clear differentiation of Christian versus heathen, as well as White versus Coloured, were suddenly shattered. Large numbers of unemployed and landless freed slaves started roaming the country side, make rural areas dangerous. 7,9,10, 19,32

This outcome further complicated the government’s failed attempts at managing the “Black- and Hottentot-questions” and to guarantee the future safety to the proto-Afrikaners on their farms. The proto-Afrikaner’s opinions, personal, political and economical interests, safety and future existence as citizens were also totally ignored. The proto-Afrikaner became a stranger in a new British colony, making the fear of a next Slagtersnek and of their dissolution as a population, acute. Life in the country side became very difficult, making the proto-Afrikaners more desperate by the day. The racial confrontations that highlighted the immense cultural and lifestyle differences between the races also laid the foundation for the Grensboers’ and Trekboers’ perception of deliberate injustices against them. This resulted in apartheid later on. The proto-Afrikaners felt that the injustices against them were mounting, and they had no voice or power as long as they were under British authority.7,9,10,19,32

To uphold their identity, culture, language and freedom in the face of the constant growing hostility and insensitive liberal race policy of the British authority, whose sole intention was to subdue the Afrikaners and the growing “black danger”, the proto-Afrikaners needed an escape route. In the end they were left with only one solution: the Great Trek northwards to vast unpopulated areas without an oppressive British government. In this context it is understandable why the new republics of Natal, Transvaal and Free State were established with three clear characteristics: total self-rule and a total distaste for the British Empire and racial integration. The basis for all these outcomes was the Afrikaners’ perception of enormous injustices done to them; injustices that took the backseat for a while in the republics.6-10,32

3.3.2 British government policy in the Transvaal and Free State between 1902 and 1906

The immediate post-1902 period after the Anglo Boer War brought immense hardships for the Boers of the disbanded Republics of Transvaal and the Free State. Suddenly they were forced to be British citizens inside a domain of the British Empire and thus under the Union Jack and a king, namely Eduard VII. This was precisely what they had fled so eagerly from the Cape Colony in the 1830s, but in the end all in vain.6-10, 32

However, a hell of injustices was still waiting for the Boers in the new British Transvaal and Free State. The worst happened after the reconfiguration of the old republics as British Colonies: the heartless and the intolerant Lord Alfred Milner, who was the instigator of the whole war and the main cause of the Boers’ suffering, downfall and disgrace, became the chief leader in charge of rebuilding the old republics. It was clear from day one that only British interests would be served, especially when considering the repatriation and the compensation for the Boers and his negative public views on the Boers. British mine owners were promoted and supported, while the numbers of the Black workers at Johannesburg mines were accelerated, ignoring the impoverished Boers’ views on race and keeping them from work opportunities. Milner had one main focus and interest, namely the total Anglicization of the Boers and the influx of British immigrants to outnumber the Boers and Afrikaners in South Africa as fast as possible.6-10, 32

Milner’s intent to Anglicize the Afrikaners is evident from his correspondents to the British government on 8 November 1901 where he reflects that there were 368 000 English Whites in South Africa compared to 496 000 Afrikaans Whites. His intention was to boost British numbers to 615 000 against 544 000 Afrikaners in five years to obtain a ratio of three British against two Afrikaners to assure a permanent British majority in South Africa. He wanted to do this through immigration from Britain and the placement of British soldiers and others who had fought in the war into the Civil Service, industries and on farms. The situation for the Boers in Transvaal under Milner became such chaos and so unbearable that JC Smuts referred to the period 1902 to 1906 as “the darkest time in the history of Transvaal, much worse than the bloodshed of the War itself”.6,32

It is undoubtedly true that the Boers and their families of the old Republics of Transvaal and Free State were totally devastated after the war, not only financial but also psychologically. Husbands had to start their lives without their wives, mourning their children lost in the concentration camps. Even General Smuts said himself in 1902 that “South Africa was demolished and that he had seen no light for the future.” It was clear to him that very few Afrikaners still believed in law and justice after their ordeal at the hands of the British. Even the Lord Milner, the brain behind the British war effort, confessed when visiting Western Transvaal after the war that the country had “become a total wreck, a heart-broken sight to see.” The treatment that the Boers received from the British after the war on various terrains only served to strengthen their psychological political dislike for the British Empire and for non-Whites. It was an all-out policy of injustice against them, one that drove the Afrikaners’ racial attitudes in an extreme direction, basically up to 1994. For the Boers this became a direct motivation for more and new kinds of racial discriminations as ways to safeguard their future political and social rights in a hostile South Africa.6-10, 32

The disgraced and demolished Afrikaners were by no means uplifted after 1906. They only overcame this third Slagtersnek because of a unique and dynamic Afrikaner leadership with vision and integrity. These leaders took up the plight of the Afrikaners and steered them back to self-respect by means of psychological and financial upliftment. Prominent leaders were Louis Botha, Koos de la Rey, Barry Hertzog, Christiaan de Wet, Jan Smuts, Christiaan Beyers, Schalk Burger, Abraham Fisher and others. However, the early injustices of 1902 to 1906 remained in the psyche of Afrikaners, driving their racial inclinations, attitudes and behaviour for many years to come, ending in grand apartheid.6,10, 32

3.3.3 The 1994 dispensation of unity

While their second Slagtersnek was avoided by the trek out of the Cape Colony and the founding of independent republics and the Boers of Transvaal and the Free State fought and mastered their third 1902-Slagtersnek guided by a wise Afrikaner leadership, the 1994 dispensation was brought on by a total lack of a sound Afrikaner leadership, a degrading morale and a political process that started in the 1970s and reached a climax in the late1980s. Where they had manifested vision, wise thinking, integrity, planning, and honesty in overcoming successfully their second and third Slagtersneks, most of the nationalist Afrikaners entrusted their political and personal future from the 1950s to 1994 to persons not always worthy of being called Afrikaners or Afrikaner leaders at all; persons totally incapable of leading a tribe through a new Slagtersnek, as the Afrikaner’s history after 1994 confirmed very well. No provision was made to accommodate and to steer the manifold new injustices against Afrikaners, as the present bitterness, insecurity and lack of direction of the Afrikaner’s shows.

The question is: can the Afrikaner again fight off his fourth Slagtersnek, notwithstanding the failed 1994 and present leadership? In this regard it must be noted that world politics, South African politics and human rights have changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Technology, science, lifestyles, habits, beliefs, socio-economics, future-thinking, traditions, group values, family life and demographic limitations have also changed dramatically; not only freeing the individual from group conformity, but also making it less necessary for people to be accommodated in close groups and to be guided by “sacred” leaders to survive in the future. Thankfully, most individual Afrikaners have started to make these changes of modernization; the collapse of the NP, the diminished role of the AB and the vague role of the DRC in the Afrikaner’s life confirms the process of Afrikaners departing from these three dominant, useless and most of all, aimless and racially contaminated groups. This new self-orientation and individuality increases the chances that the individual Afrikaner would be able to fight off his fourth Slagtersnek in new South Africa successfully. However, history tends to repeat not only the good of the past, but also the bad. Traumatic experiences are not easily erased from the human memory. Wrongdoings and injustices are entrenched over many years of suffering, exploitation, abuse and misuse. It is not only the Blacks who can rightly claim that they suffered discrimination and injustices at the hands of the Afrikaners via Afrikaner apartheid, the Afrikaners can also rightly claim that they suffer discrimination and injustices from the side of the Blacks via Black apartheid and in the past at the hand of the Dutch via Dutch colonial apartheid and by the British via British imperial apartheid. The experiences that Afrikaners had over the course of 300 years and the ideas this perpetuated blindly drove apartheid from 1948 to 1994. Racial injustices, etched into the memories of Afrikaners as well as Blacks, will still drive racism for many generations to come in South Africa. Any doubt? There is the Herodotus Rules to back this postulation.

  1. Conclusion

It is clear that the proto-Afrikaner and later the Afrikaner were both exposed to serious life traumas, sometimes experienced over a short and extremely dramatic period, while other times gradually over the long-term. This has caused negative thought patterns to become established in the Afrikaner. For the Afrikaner these traumatic experiences stretched specifically from 1899 to 1902 through the Second Anglo Boer War and to a certain extent also from 1902 to 1948 again under British Imperialism, while for the proto-Afrikaner from 1671 to 1806 under authoritarian Dutch rule and from 1806 to 1902 under authoritarian British rule. It seems, in terms of a negative psychological impact, as if the discrimination in the period 1806 to 1902 is responsible for the most damage to the Afrikaner’s long-term psychological health. It became the breeding-ground for later extreme racial discrimination. The constant, long-term negative experiences of ethnic and racial discrimination and the lack of political power to defend themselves in this imbalanced set-up, clearly created a perception of being the victim of perpetual injustice in the psyche of the Afrikaner. Their reaction to this situation was to find an effective action to counter these daily and growing injustices and for their enemies’ intentions to annihilate them. There was only one way out, and that was to selfishly place themselves first in their daily behaviour, promoting their own interests and rights at all times, ignoring the consequences that such behaviour can have for other persons outside their group; specifically people from other racial groups and non-Afrikaner Whites. The apartheid to which he was exposed by the early Cape authorities was internalized as “good and acceptable” behaviour, but it also became the “correct” direct strategy to obtain and maintain their rights, integrity and most of all their identity. The Afrikaner’s apartheid was born, and the injustices that were done to them became the motivating power and the justification for the pursuit and maintenance of modern-day apartheid. There is no doubt that any injustice done to Afrikaners up to today is still steering their racial attitudes and behaviours.

The historical and political facts of the proto-Afrikaners and later Afrikaners, read together with the historical indicators focusing on the safekeeping of tribes and nations over many centuries, make it clear that the modern Afrikaners is in a crisis: politically, economically, sociologically, personally and psychologically. The powers of hostility against them are immense, overwhelming and overpowering. There is also, it seems, the unbreakable Herodotus curse on them. It seems as if the Afrikaner tribe is heading for dissolution within a century. The primary need at the moment for the Afrikaners, seen specifically from a psychological and political perspective, is to make their dissolution as painless and trauma-free as possible. For such an outcome, specific personal changes and strategies are needed, which are at present outside the Afrikaners frame of reference.

Be that as it may, one can ask if the Afrikaners could not perhaps, as the proto-Afrikaners successfully did three times before, overcome their 1994 Slagtersnek? Why not? Their emancipation from the NP-AB-DRC alliance and their new-found individuality offers them an escape route to overcome this 1994 trauma. This ideal can only be reached if they can lay to rest their obsession with the injustices done and being done to them. They have to clean their collective psyche of contaminated race attitudes and start anew as independent, freed South Africans.

Reaching the above outcome is not so easy and it would need extraordinary cleansing. As Palkhivala cautions51, p. 40: “Unfortunately, enmity and hatred persist among nations even after the root cause has been relegated to the limbo of forgotten past”. Speaking of the Schleswig-Holstein question of the 19th century and the forgotten reasons for the war around it, Lord Palmerston observed, “Only three people had ever understood it. One was dead. The other was in a lunatic asylum. I am the third and I have forgotten it.”

Although it seems best for individual Afrikaners not to know the real future brought on by their past, they may have no other choice in 2017 than to take a peek into the glass ball of hope in a last effort to prevent their obsession with the many injustices done to them to  gobble up their future. Only in this way can Afrikaners hope to postpone their eminent demise as individuals and as a group. But do they, after so many years of exposure to negative political doctrines and the unlearning of independent thinking, still know how to take a peek?

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PEER REVIEW

Not commissioned. Externally peer-reviewed.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author declares that he has no competing interest.

FUNDING

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