Tag Archives: civilisation

Is the dissolution of the Afrikaner tribe a century away? Part 6: The preparedness of Afrikaners to deal with the threats and challenges of the new South Africa

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

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com


Ensovoort volume 37(2017), number 11:2





Alliance, apartheid, Black danger, civilisation, conflict, destiny, destitute, discrimination, dissolution, doctrine, intention, miscegenation, network, opportunistic, preparedness, racism, regime, Uhuru






Then, in 1974, at the stroke of a pen, the Portuguese relinquish control of the colonies of Angola and Mozambique. For years, the Portuguese army, the one into which you were conscripted as a young man, had been fighting Frelimo in the bush. In just a few days, Frelimo is going to take over the government! Images of Mau Mau in Kenya, the slaughter of civilians, even nuns in the Congo, let alone what you saw as a soldier, rush to mind. You look at your wife and two daughters, and your beautiful home, and know what you have to do: get out. You have no foreign currency, no passports, and it is too late to try and get them. So you pack all the valuables you can into your car. You squeeze in granny and the rest of the family and, along with what looks the entire white Portuguese population of Mozambique, make your way to the South African border at Komatipoort. Overnight, you are a refugee.


Where do you all go? Bez Valley (Johannesburg, RSA)! And why to Bez Valley? Because suddenly you need the tribe. You need the extended Portuguese family to survive. For here, in this strange country, your Portuguese escudos (Mozambique pre-independence currency) mean nothing; you are unable to even speak the language. It doesn’t matter that in Lourenço Marques you were landowner and a successful businessman. Here you have nothing. In order to survive, first the extended family and then the tribe draws together. Your uncle speaks a little English and helps you find a job. In crises you group together and find ways of helping each other because you all experience the same treat. Ethnicity is high.


With time, the community is educated in the local culture. You learn to speak English and you progress quickly in business terms. Over the years, you once again become a well-to-do, successful businessman. Your children are at good local schools, but when they finish high school you decide to move. You no longer live in Bez Valley, although you still have friends there. Now you live in Sandton, Randburg or Mondeor”(Boon1, p. 62).


With above description Boon1, p.62 sensitively, but thoroughly profiles what can happen when established political systems suddenly collapse and disintegrate. The Portuguese who had become indigenous to Mozambique, were not only left destitute, but also became permanently detached from their trusted leadership and the motherland they served loyally and unquestioningly for many years. This was primarily the direct outcome of political entities that not only suddenly lost all power, but consequently also failed to offer their previously core group of supporters and followers any protection or support whatsoever. This political group were in a certain sense cold-blooded in that they did not take the trouble to negotiate any kind of guarantee with Frelimo for the safety of Portuguese citizens. All the traditional guarantees, written or unwritten, said or unsaid, that had safeguarded the Mozambican Portuguese’s unique lifestyle and their personal safety fell away. Suddenly these Mozambican Portuguese were alone and they were forced to make dramatic life-changes, totally foreign to them. The Portuguese master they served with loyalty and even their lives for many years, became more concern with the interests of Frelimo than their interests.


1.1 The De Klerk pen-stroke


History repeats itself, especially in terms of what happens to groups of people. In South Africa, Uhuru also lifted its head to slowly demolish the nationalist Afrikaners’ empire. In 1994, also with the stroke of a pen, the Afrikaners relinquished control of South Africa. Rather, the De Klerk regime did it on their behalf. He was mandated by a half-baked referendum. The country as a whole went to the African National Congress (ANC), which the Afrikaners fought for years in the bush, on the borders and in the country. For years the NP-AB leadership impressed on people that this group is an enemy, murderers, communists, terrorists and unacceptable citizens. Suddenly they received the blessing of the same NP-AB leaders to become the masters of the Afrikaners, precisely as Frelimo became the masters of the Portuguese in Mozambique with the blessing of the Portuguese authorities twenty years earlier.1,2


The following comparison between the Afrikaners and the Mozambican Portuguese serves to facilitate an understanding of the position of the Afrikaners since 1994 and their reaction to the threat that is the ANC government.


Both of these groups descend from European groups and over time had become indigenous African groups. Both groups had lost contact with their motherlands, but were at all times seen and treated as superiors (based on White supremacy) by the local indigenous people. Both were supported by oppressive security forces that protected their personal safety and their rule over the Blacks populations. Both had access to wealth, opportunities and favours not always available to Blacks. The Portuguese had an established extended family network outside Mozambique (supported further by unrelated Portuguese in South Africa based on ethnicity). The Mozambican Portuguese’s Roman Catholic religious groups were far more communally oriented in offering support to its members than the selfish capitalistic Protestant religious groups of the Afrikaners that were the bedrock of the NP-AB political alliance. Both groups practiced racial discrimination: the Afrikaners in an extreme form (varying from planned brutal suppression, impoverishment and manipulating of Blacks up to the Immorality Act), while the Portuguese engaged in a form of racial miscegenation. The Portuguese not only lost their Mozambican citizen’s rights, but all their material belongings immediately after Uhuru. They had to restart and rehabilitate their personal, social and economic lives. Their lives became endangered on the very first day of entering Mozambican independence. The Portuguese were suddenly refugees, forced to find a new homeland. They had to learn a new language and accept a new culture. The Mozambican Uhuru at once cut off the Portuguese from their Mozambican hinterland.1


The Afrikaners were not forced out of South Africa after 1994. Nor were they forced to accept a new culture. They did not lose their South African citizenship or their material possessions. Their lives were not endangered. But still, the South African Uhuru brought immense changes for the Afrikaners and these changes are still intensifying in 2017. Although the real consequences of Black rule for the Afrikaners only emerged five years and longer after 1994, it seems to be in some ways more negative than in the Mozambique of 1974. It is starting to endanger the lives and material possessions of the Afrikaners. Afrikaners have not had extended family systems in other countries since before the Second Anglo Boer War, nor have they had the sympathy of other countries. It was effectively replaced by a NP-AB Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) network that supported and rewarded those who were loyal to the NP-AB-DRC cause. The benefits, favours, rights and privileges, written, unwritten, said or unsaid, that were generated by the apartheid dispensation were central to this network.1,3


1.2 Neo-Calvinism and Afrikaner nationalism of 1910 as a political-religious system▼


This political-religious system, started in Potchefstroom by the “Doppers” in the North and by DF Malan in the South in the 1910s under the umbrella of Neo-Calvinism and extreme Afrikaner nationalism (strongly influenced after the 1930s by the racism of the Nazis), later had roots in every sphere of the Afrikaner life – social, economic, personal, religious, cultural. The main targets were the vulnerable poor, lower and middle class Afrikaner voters. They won government in 1948, after which the dogma of White supremacy and racial discrimination were established and practiced to the extreme. The ordinary nationalist Afrikaner citizen benefitted financial, politically and socially. In exchange for these comprehensive benefits and safeguards, nationalist Afrikaner citizens and followers of the NP-AB-DRC alliance were required to accept the NP-AB-DRC leadership’s dogma of White supremacy unquestioningly. It was the task of the Afrikaners to Christianize and “save” the Blacks. All this required the promotion of Afrikaner unity and solidarity over and against individualism, the value ascribed to White racial purity and the obstruction and rejection of all cultural and racial foreignness, etc. The ordinary nationalist Afrikaner citizens in the process surrendered their citizen’s rights to the NP-AB-DRC top management, who came to speak, think and act on behalf of the ordinary nationalist Afrikaners. From the late 1940s, the entire Afrikaner social structure was based on this mandate. The NP-AB-DRC benefits and safeguards (written, unwritten, said and unsaid, justified or unjustified, legal or illegal), safeguarding the Afrikaners from physical, political, social, economical and personal onslaughts from the Blacks, were kept alive by the ordinary voters themselves via general and local elections. This idea of the leaders as “saviours” became entrenched in ordinary Afrikaners: all decisions, planning, solutions, future planning and thinking on Afrikaner interests became centralized as a mandate to be executed exclusively by the NP-AB-DRC top management, with the ordinary Afrikaners in a subordinate position.3,4


It never crossed the minds of the general Afrikaner populace that the NP-AB-DRC leadership could falter or double-cross them (especially after 46 years of benefitting and being favoured), so they accepted in good will the De Klerk regime’s unwritten guarantees of an ongoing Afrikaner utopia after 1994. It was in this context of long-lasting security and political benefit that the ordinary Afrikaners blindly accepted the resolutions of the Referendum and sanctioned the ANC via their NP-AB-DRC leadership as the new regime in 1994.


Cross-references: see Part 4, subdivision


The general aim of this study is to determine if the guarantees that NP-AB-DRC put forward of the continuation of a strong future White South Africa, promised in so many election manifestos of the NP over the years, kicked in after 1994 and if they still exist today. The further aim is to examine how the ordinary Afrikaners handled post-1994 South Africa treats and challenges. The new role players and organizations that promote Afrikaner interests are also evaluated. Central to this research focus is the doctrine of Afrikaner and White supremacy that dominated from 1948–1994 and the right of Afrikaners to dominate Blacks in all areas of life. It is important that the processes and the various role players in the establishment of this doctrine are understood.


The primary aim of this study is to determine the preparedness of Afrikaners to deal with the threats and challenges of the new South Africa.


  • This article is the sixth in a series of seven. The seven articles represent the following research topics: 1) Who is the Afrikaner? 2) The historical determinants and role players in the establishment and reinforcement of racial and ethnic discrimination in the mindsets of Afrikaners; 3) Present and past negative determinants and role players in the establishment and reinforcement of injustices in the mindsets of Afrikaners; 4) The Afrikaners’ failure to understand, accept and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa; 5) The vicious cycle of revenge and counter-revenge around apartheid; 6) The preparedness of Afrikaners to deal with the treats and the challenges of the 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 aims build a viewpoint as the evidence appears during the course of the research. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established library, like on the topic of the Afrikaner’s present and future position in South Africa. The databases used were EBSCOHost and Sabinet online. Sources included articles from 2015 to 2017, books for the period 1944 to 2016 and new papers covering the period 2016 to 2017 to reflect on the Afrikaners and to put thinking trends, views and opinions on the Afrikaners in perspective.5-7


The research findings are presented in narrative format.



  • Results



3.1 The “Black danger” and NP-AB leadership’s unwritten guarantees of political rights for ordinary Afrikaners


It became clear that the NP-regime was already a government in crisis with regard to the Black problem by the late 1980s. It was the most serious South African statutory problem for the various White regimes since 1910. The Black problem, centring on the incorporation of Black South Africans into the country’s political environment and awarding full voting rights equal to those of the Whites, created enormous conflict in the White society since the founding of the Union of South Africa. This problem, dubbed the Black danger in the 1920s by the rising nationalist Afrikaners to gain voters’ support for their dream of an independent Afrikaner republic outside British domination, became the political vehicle through which DF Malan slowly began to rally the poor lower and middle classes of Afrikaners behind his dogma of Afrikaner nationalism since 1913. Afrikaner status, Afrikaans as an exclusive own Afrikaner language, Afrikaner radical economic transformation, Afrikaner state capture, the racial purity of the Afrikaner, race separation, the limitation of Black politics, Afrikaner social and economical empowerment, Afrikaner nation identification, Afrikaner group identity above individuality etc., became the dominant propaganda of the Malan era.3,4,8


For the Afrikaners, especially the bruised and vulnerable Northern Afrikaners still battling with their psychological and financial scars after the Second Anglo Boer War, this Afrikaner messiah and his message were like manna from heaven. Extreme apartheid was born, driven daily by a growing authoritarian Afrikaner leadership who gradually broke down individual thinking, planning and decision making of the ordinary Afrikaner in exchange for the establishment of an exclusive Whiteman’s utopia. The ordinary Afrikaners’ dependence on their NP-AB-DRC leaders to meet all their needs as citizens in time became internalized in most of the post-1910 Afrikaners and the following three generations up to 1994. It not only led to grand apartheid to manage the ever-growing and ever-present “Black danger,” but also contributed to the rigid and ruthless reinforcement of apartheid for nearly five decades to follow.3,4,8


Schlemmer8 discusses the interrelation between the “Black danger” and archetypical apartheid and the process around its maintenance, including favouring the Afrikaners. He writes that it was developed to its epitome in the Verwoerdian period. Schlemmer describes apartheid as follows8, pp. 8-9:


It represented a brutal, massive but almost heroic attempt on the part of the then ethnically solidary NP of the time to secure a correspondence between nation and territory for Whites by imposing an order much more incisive than race segregation. It was the period of the grand experiment: dividing South Africa into homelands, called national states, by using a full barrage of legislative, economic and administrative strategies. It might have succeeded at that stage of Black politicization and international sympathy had it not been for other major elements in the tradition of government: paternalism; a disregard of the interests and aspirations of the subjugated peoples and the all-pervasive conviction that the most developed nation deserved the lion’s share of resources.


It must be noted that the NP introduced a number of policy reforms and adaptations (from September 1978) that departed from the rigid “traditional” apartheid policy. Radical territorial separation and separation in the political and social lives of the races and the idea of an exclusive and autonomous nation for Whites in the central area (87%) of South Africa was to a great extent abandoned. In these “reforms,” the concept of the White nation made place for the concept of the autonomy of White communities within a multi-racial nation.8 This “new liberal” thinking was reflected by senior NP-leaders like Pik Botha8, p.25 (foreign affairs minister) who argued on 7 February 1986 that as long as suitable constitutional means of protecting minority rights [referring to Afrikaner rights] could be identified, the impact of racial categories should be removed. This “liberal” remark is in line with two earlier remarks by cabinet minister Chris Heunis. On 8 May 1985 he said8, p.38: “Many things have occurred in the past for which some of us must now ask forgiveness,” and, “A White power monopoly has become intolerable…”. PW Botha (President) added to this rhetoric on 21 April 1986 by saying8, p. 38: “We made a mistake,” while earlier on 27 March 1986  FW De Klerk said8, p. 38: “Any system aimed at keeping some of its participants in a subordinate position through clever or devious means is doomed to failure. It must be visible and honestly just and equitable towards everybody” [undoubtedly Blacks]. There was an enormous decline in the numbers of Afrikaner farmers (most adhering to the extreme racist thinking of DF Malan) and they were growing poorer. As such the farmers became unsupportive of the NP and became less important as voters (they declined from 116 000 in 1950 to more or less 65 000 in 1986). By 1985-1986 the NP turned their attention to urban (industrial/business) Afrikaner votes. There was for the first time an open negativity from the side of the NP-AB leaders towards certain sectors of their voter corps and doubt about the continuation of the NP-AB alliance as the guardian and extended family of some Afrikaners.8 A NP member of Parliament made this clear in 1985 when he said8, p. 23: “We have been afraid of White farmers far too long – we must be prepared to lose votes.”


Was the above tactful rhetoric of 1985–1986 on the side of the NP leaders the masked introduction of Black rule? Were they giving notice of the end of the existing mandate of the NP-AB leadership (from as early as 1913) that so gradually eroded the individual thinking, planning and decision making of the Afrikaner? Was the Mozambican–Portuguese syndrome of 1974 arriving in South Africa? The answer is a decisive “yes” in terms of above rhetoric. FW De Klerk’s dramatic turn-around in political thinking confirms it.8 On 5 February 1986 he said publically that8, p. 38: “voluntary group association would lead to chaos and confusion,” reflecting clearly his hidden racism and his support for the traditional NP-AB race policy from the days of DF Malan. Only a month later, he expresses a contradicting view when on 27 March 1986 he says8, p.38: “Any system aimed at keeping some of its participants [undoubtedly Blacks] in a subordinate position through clever or devious means is doomed to failure. It must be visible and honestly just and equitable towards everybody [undoubtedly Blacks].” These leaders were not only warning Afrikaners that the mandate of the NP-AB leaders had come to an end, but also that they can no longer guarantee the political, social, personal, as well as the economical and civil rights to which the Afrikaners were accustomed too.


Although it is argued that the 6 May 1987 general election gave the NP a mandate to work towards the central representation of Blacks outside the politically and economically marginalised homelands, it was clear that the interests of Whites had to be guaranteed by the NP-AB leaders for them to stay in power. The inroads of the Conservative Party (CP), founded on 20 March 1982, into Afrikaner politics in the May 1987 general election slowed down the “new liberal thinking” of the NP-leaders on South African politics. The CP warned about the NP-AB-DRC leadership surrendering the rights of the Afrikaners in the name justice and equality to Blacks. In this election 610 516 voters (29.62%) voted anti-NP (conservative right), representing a 25% swing away from the NP’s 1981 electoral support. The CP obtained 22 seats to become the official opposition on its first attempt and only five years after establishment. This outcome gave the NP a taste of what could be expected if dramatic pro-Black reforms and “liberal” political changes followed. (It reminded of the unexpected fall of the Hertzog regime in the general election of 1943 to JC Smuts. Smuts reduced the nationalist Afrikaners to only 43 seats against his 110 seats in a house of 160).3,9 PW Botha put the brakes on, reassuring the Afrikaners of the NP’s good intentions.9


In 12 June 1986 the State of Emergency called in 1985 was widened to include the whole country, whereas the 1985-proclamation was only applicable to one third of South Africa’s 133 magisterial districts. This caused a reconsideration of the “emergence” of “liberal” political thinking within the NP. Politicians reassured Afrikaners of the NP-AB guarantees for their protection in the future. Many ordinary citizens saw the implications of the 1986 state of emergency as a “restarting” of apartheid by the NP-AB leadership by means of suppression tactics.8


The doubts and distrust in the NP-AB leadership which had started to emerge in 1985 to 1986, was quickly laid to rest with various anti-Black actions. The NP-AB reconfirmed their commitment to safeguard in future the political, social, personal, economical and civil rights of the Afrikaners.8,9


Notwithstanding all the talk during 1985–1986 within the NP’s top management of some form of “incorporation” of Blacks into South African politics, the NP rhetoric still contained the old unifying emphasis on the concept of a European standard and way of life, mythical or otherwise, which must be upheld at all times, reports Schlemmer.8, p.27 The NP was still concerned about an entire subset of Whites whose rights, as was done since 1948, had to be safeguarded and guaranteed by the NP-AB leaders in its mandate to Afrikaners if they wanted to stay in power. The NP member of Parliament, Albert Nothnagel, describes these interests of Afrikaners inside the NP-AB leadership’s mandate as follows8, p. 27: “…a combination of lifestyle, a sense of origin and identity, the psychological satisfaction of an in-group community life, standards of public order, behaviour and respectability and sufficient control over the allocation of resources and the maintenance of security to ensure the continuation of these benefits”.


Another senior NP member of Parliament summed up the major interests of nationalist Afrikaners in 1985-1986 as being8, p.27: “…security and standards – there is a great fear (among whites) that a third world situation will arise in their areas.” A senior NP-MP reflected that some in the inner circles of the NP wanted the old rigid apartheid guidelines to be included in future guarantees on Afrikaner rights8, p. 27: “National Party thinking gave the central concern a more ethnic flavour but also stressed the composite character of its ideology by listing Western values, Christian values, life views, community cohesion, material security, a familiar and recognisable environment, a strong economy, property rights, an objective legal system and the protection of established institutions in general. These everyday or popular interests would be taken for granted in any typical Western society. In South Africa, however, they are clearly much more consciously experienced as constituting a first world sub-society within a third world continent”.


Extreme apartheid, driven daily by an authoritarian nationalist Afrikaner leadership, remained undisturbed up to the 1990 Referendum and the 1994 transfer of political power to the ANC. PW Botha supported it in his address to Parliament after winning the 6th May 1987 general election.8 Schlemmer refers to the following keywords in Botha’s speech8pp.13-14: “…It is not possible in a multicultural country like the Republic of South Africa to talk about the protection of individual rights unless one talk about the protection of minority rights at the same time…it is (also) impossible to talk about the protection of minority rights unless one talks about the protection of minority groups at the same time and the prevention of the domination unless groups enjoy statutory recognition and the relationship among them is regulated constitutionally…Constitutional development cannot take place in isolation, but has to be preceded and accompanied by economic and social processes to create the conditions in which renewal may be continued on the basis of security…our challenge lies in narrowing the gap between the first world and the third world without lowering standards in South Africa…At the same time the government will ensure that safety and security will the highest priority because without them development and progress are not possible…”.


It is clear from the above that the NP-AB leadership tried to guarantee the Afrikaners’ political and other rights in the future during the late 1980s. It was included in their political planning, whether by legation or by brute force. This outcome placed the Afrikaners in a much more favourable position than the Mozambican Portuguese, who had to leave Mozambique empty-handed and without any guarantee of their Mozambican political position and status in the future.


The doctrine of racism and its constant impression on nationalist Afrikaners by the NP-AB-DRC alliance’s leadership led to a successful Afrikaner ethnic and racial despotism within half a century in South Africa. The NP-AB-DRC used methods such as ostracising and punishing dissident Afrikaners for political deviating and anti-Afrikaner behaviour and compensating people for approved pro-Afrikaner behaviours. This situation was never challenged or questioned by grassroots nationalist Afrikaners and was inculcated in the new generations of nationalist Afrikaners. Greed played a part in the start and continuation of conformity to racism.4,10-12


Most Afrikaners grew up in this undemocratic political context. They obliged themselves to a lifestyle manipulated by the arrogant leaders of the NP-AB-DRC alliance. By means of parliamentary mandating, they indirectly took away the ordinary Afrikaners’ basic right to decide for themselves on their behaviour, thinking and planning. These are common rights in a democracy.13 Ordinary Afrikaners were trapped within a doctrine where discrimination against non-Whites and negative attitudes against other ethnic groups were regarded as appropriate, correct and morally justified. They adhered to the opinions, advice, viewpoints and integrity of the leaders of the NP-AB-DRC alliance unquestioningly, even if their own logical thinking contradicted it.4,13,14


For most nationalist Afrikaners, the political rights, privileges, benefits and favours they gained by supporting and practicing apartheid became similar to what Ferguson14, p.3 writes of the rich, imperial and arrogant British in the 1900s: “…a 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”. However, there is always an expensive price attached to such behaviour in the future, especially where greed is the motivator. For the greedy British it came in two devastating World Wars and the loss of their Empire; for the nationalist Afrikaners it arrived in 1994, stripping them of apartheid’s rights, privileges, benefits and favours.4,13,14


3.2 The intertwining of the NP and the AB in creating and guaranteeing Afrikaner rights▼


It is important to reflect in short on the Afrikaner leadership who gradually subdued the independent thinking, planning and decision making of the ordinary Afrikaner in exchange for favour in an exclusive “Whiteman’s Utopia.”


The NP and AB in time developed into independent and comprehensive safe havens for and guardians of nationalist Afrikaners’ political and cultural interests. The NP-AB leadership’s political and military power as part of the Afrikaner government for the period 1948 up to 1994, made them, in terms of opinion-forming on and implementation of political, racial and cultural matters, unchallengeable and mighty political machines. This position offered them the opportunity to force their racist political opinions and plans, formed over many years of discussion, evaluation and testing, to promote only Afrikaner interests. This was driven by a small group of super-nationalist Afrikaners. This NP-AB power gradually led to corruptive and nepotistic result where more or less 20 000 members of the AB, supported further by as many of its “Junior ABs”, called the “Ruiterwagte” and “Rapportryers”, enjoyed many work and financial opportunities and various other rights and privileges that other Afrikaners outside the circle of the AB and NP, were denied. There was even a clear discrimination between members with dual membership of the NP and AB and members with only NP membership. There was open and total discrimination against any dissident Afrikaner. These Afrikaners were in the same position as the suppressed Blacks politically, socially and economically.2,11,15,16


Afrikaner dissidents and non-conformists were often labelled as communists. This followed on widespread propaganda and stigmatization of anyone who challenged the broader racist and supremacist belief system on politics and culture. There is sound reason for “liberal” Afrikaners of that time to say that they have only known discrimination their whole lives. They grew up mostly in the politically liberal southern part of the country, studied at various Afrikaner universities and worked in the northern or southern parts of South Africa. They experienced it first under the NP-AB alliance from 1948 to 1994 in terms of White-on-White discrimination and then from 1994 under the ANC-regime and its partners in terms of Black-on-White discrimination. This tendency to discriminate contributed too many English-speaking Whites, liberal Afrikaners and of course other races to slowly turn away from the Afrikaner nationalist establishment after 1948. From the 1930s onwards there was a strong Nazi influence in the NP-AB’s general vision and political views and doctrines. Their indoctrination and manipulation was so effective that the arguments and opinions of political opponents of the NP-AB alliance never really made any impact on the general Afrikaner population. Many Black and White opponents were scandalously silenced with jail sentences, exile and murder by the NP regime’s secret agents. Suppression and even murder became approved and sanctioned behaviours for the nationalist Afrikaner followers as a result of the political doctrines and false information fed to them by the NP-regime’s leadership.2,8,11,15-19


The NP-AB alliance was already established by the 1930s and together they indoctrinated common Afrikaners, especially the various poor segments of the lower and middle classes. This alliance’s profoundly negative impact on the broader social society and the internalization of their political contamination among the highly receptive and uninformed ordinary nationalist Afrikaners evident from the growth in member numbers of the NP from 1948 to the late 1970s. The top management of the NP-AB alliance quickly became the sole thinkers, decision makers and spokespersons for the common nationalist Afrikaner. They instilled in the Afrikaner that racism was appropriate and correct. The Afrikaner youth became their main target.2,4,10-12,17,20-22


In March 1992 the ordinary Afrikaners, still guided and driven daily by an authoritarian Afrikaner-leadership which had minimised their self-thinking,-planning and-decision-making in exchanged for their exclusive living rights and protection in a Whiteman’s Utopia created by Verwoerd in 1961 with his First Republic of South Africa, agreed to F W De Klerk’s plea to vote in a referendum endorsing only the negotiation process on the possibility of a new type of Black-White mutual-government.2,4,22


On “total Black-rule” was F W De Klerk dumb in the referendum: indeed he promised a second referendum on the matter of change of ruler-ship or handing over to Black-rule, but it seems his volte face-experience (changing from right-wing to left-wing in the NP), starting suddenly on 2 February 1990, made him seemingly short in memory about his future political responsibilities and promises as far it concerns the future interests of Afrikaners. F W De Klerk’s volte face– or Damascus-experience of 1990 is still today “undeclared behaviour”. What is clear is that De Klerk contributed extensively to the haste-up of the dissimilation of the Afrikaners.2,4,22


It must be note further that the De Klerk–regime was facing more and more a right-wing backlash inside the NP: In the February 1992 election they saw a serious decline in votes at the traditional NP-AB-Dopper Parliament-seat of Potchefstroom. This was a clear decline starting in 1990 under leadership of the political-inexperienced F W De Klerk’s and after the reconstructed NP becoming a multi-racial party. It was a demoralized NP that was ruling and for the NP-caucus it was clear that the Conservative Party (CP) can be the new White-rulers in the future. Indeed, it became also clear that very few of NP-members would be re-voted to Parliament in a post-Apartheid RSA. November 1993 statistics showed an estimated NP support of between a mere 15% to 18% in general, while with Whites it declined to less than 34% and Blacks basically zero. From Afrikaners side it was thus already obvious for many NP-members in 1993 that the NP under F W De Klerk and his right-hand man, Roelf Meyer, were not a match for the ANC’s negotiation-team and that the NP would not come to power again in the future, either in a Black- or White political system. The NP-leadership’s capitulation to the ANC, even before the 1992-Referendum, became fact, as the then minister Dawie De Villiers bemoaned it to the De Klerk-cabinet. De Klerk and his cadres failed already at that time to guarantee the NP-members and other White-voters who had voted for them naively in the Referendum, in future the coverage of power, protection and patronage previously offered by the NP to them: an outcome proofed to be totally correct in 2017. The NP was a lame duck from 1990 under the leadership of F W De Klerk as far as first-order Afrikaner-interests concern. The first so called democratic elections of 27 April 1993 was well-masked by the De Klerk-regime in the handing over of power to Black-ruling. Looking back today on this development, it was nothing less than a well-planned bloodless coup d’ état, executed successfully by a small band of dissipated Afrikaner nationalist on the unsuspected Afrikanerdom, changing their political milieu for ever. Indeed, it was the officially start-up of straightforward majority Black-rule and the end of the “traditional” rights, privileges, favours, etc., exclusively enjoyed (justified or unjustified) by the Whites during Apartheid up to 1994.2,4,22


In 1992 the general Afrikaner population, still guided by an authoritarian Afrikaner leadership, agreed to vote in a referendum on Black rule. The outcome was a “yes.” The naive Afrikaners trusted the various unwritten promises of the NP-AB-DRC leadership that nothing radical will follow after 1994 because of checks and balances in the government of national unity. (In large F W De Klerk owed his 1992-Referendum “victory” to his so called “guarantees” in the constitutional proposals for which he sought a mandate. This should have had included permanent power sharing in a federal system in which power was to be devolved to the maximum possible extent to regions, a free market economy and guarantees for the status of Afrikaans, etc.). Initially the Afrikaners’ reality and rights seemed untouched. All initially went well in the “reconciliation government” until the NP was basically ousted by the Mandela-government (an expected normal development in political evolution and revolution) and De Klerk chose an escape route. The trust of the Afrikaners quickly changed into distrust with the unmasking of the De Klerk-regime’s true political colours. With the entry of Marthinus van Schalkwyk as the new leader of the NP, its total collapse arrived quickly. Suddenly the Afrikaners had not only been double-crossed and betrayed by their trusted NP-AB leadership, but they were also left without any of the many guarantees or back-ups assured by the NP-AB leadership to steer their political future. With the collapse of the NP as a political and military power and a safe haven for the ordinary Afrikaner nationalists, Afrikaners were “homeless.” Many Afrikaners see themselves as a group without a “destiny;” strangers in their previous own territory, stripped from their immense political power and favour, while they seem more and more unwelcome in the ANC-regime.2,4,22


What the unprepared and naive broader population of Afrikaners failed to understand, even as late as in the 2000s, is that the De Klerk-regime was not in a position to guarantee them any of the rights that they enjoyed in such abundance under grand apartheid. These guarantees were worthless political promises, emotional rhetoric, utterances used by opportunistic politicians to promote only their own interests and to manipulate. Many senior NP-negotiators realized this well, but stay silent on the fact that the NP could not secure a constitutional blueprint that contained all of its proposals build on the Referendum-promises in virtually unchanged form. It can be read already in the 1990 to 1994 failed management of F W De Klerk and his regime to control at that stage already violence and to assure good government themselves, forget in a Black-regime.22 Spence22, p. 40writes: “Coupled with political violence has been sharply increasing criminal violence, including numerous cases of the brutal slaying of elderly whites on isolated farms. This, too, has rubbed off on de Klerk by strengthening the perception that his administration has been unable to protect communities and has ‘lost control’”. De Klerk’s “lost of control”, starting in 1990 and that had stayed with him through the rest of his official political career, is undoubtedly still with the Afrikaners in 2017.


It is doubtful if the De Klerk-regime really would have wanted to guarantee these rights, even if they could. After 1994 the NP-AB leaders had a new master to serve and to please and new gains to make for themselves again. Afrikaners misunderstood what De Klerk meant on 27 March 1986 when he said8, p.38: “Any system aimed at keeping some of its participants in a subordinate position through clever or devious means is doomed to failure. It must be visible and honestly just and equitable towards everybody”. After 1994 he extended his so-called ‘justice’ and ‘equitability’ to everybody in South Africa – remember: there was a new master to serve and to please! Also they missed out on his volte face or “Damascus experience” of 2 February 1990, seemingly changing his spiritual visions on politics dramatically.


Afrikaners did not even realize how well planned the NP-AB rejection was. These leaders quickly sought ways to ensure that they would not be prosecuted for apartheid crimes and to make new gains for themselves. Mamphela Ramphele describes these hidden intentions and mechanisms of self-enrichment and personal gain that characterized the NP-ANC talks on a new political dispensation instead of a spirit of keeping promises of political rights for ordinary Afrikaners after 1994 when she writes23, p. 20:


It is significant that those who led the charge on the NP side in the negotiation of our political settlement were Afrikaners elite redeployed from business and academia.


Their brief was to protect the foundations of capital accumulation and obstruct any redistributive policy framework designed to address the extreme poverty and inequality affecting the majority of people.


Key business people worked patiently to shift the mindsets of the less-experienced ANC leaders to get them to adopt market-friendly liberal economic policy frameworks.


The elite comprise underpinning our 1994 political settlement pressured the ANC, in the interest of political power, to sacrifice redistribution and concomitant socio-economic upliftment of the citizens, while the NP exchanged political power for continuing White economic power.


Politicians’ hidden agendas and conscienceless abuse and betrayal of their people are possibly best described by Palkhivala when he says24, p. 81: “…it is beyond hope that the correct guidance can ever come from politicians. They are self-centred and have their minds glued on their own personal prospects and those of their party; and shamelessly look upon people as vote banks and not as human beings entitled to disinterested guidance from their so-called political leaders”.


With the political bankruptcy of the NP and its loss of power, the AB, once the NP’s think tank and brain trust and used over the years as a powerful political machine to ensure the capture, command and control of South Africa for the exclusive benefit of the Afrikaners, came also the lost its political and military power.23 Only a remnant is left today, just enough for a museum piece. (If the ANC-regime should ever consider an Afrikaner institute and its members for prosecution for crimes against humanity, the AB would be the most appropriate one).


It is clear that the ordinary Afrikaner’s position is ultimately in some aspects the same as that of the Mozambican Portuguese who were forced to flee in 1974. Both were suddenly, after the coming of Uhuru, on their own after being betrayed by their long-trusted leaders who they served with utmost loyalty, support and submissiveness. Both found themselves in an extremely hostile political setup. Both were forced to find their own solutions to function. Both were to a great extent to blame them selves because of their own greed, self-positioning, arrogance and White supremacy that closed their eyes to the indigenous realities of Southern Africa.


Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivision 3.1.5 and Part 4, subdivision 3.2.


3.3 The phantom of the DRC is still lurking in some Afrikaners’ mindsets▼


Today all that is left of the Afrikaner’s previous bullying institutions to guide, support and indoctrinate him with inappropriate Afrikaner ideologies and dogmas in his present personal and political disorientation and insecurity are the three main Afrikaner churches. Here the DRC is still the dominant role player.


The historical role of the DRC in the establishment and continuation of racial discrimination is apparent from the outset. Today, after the collapse of the NP and the paralysing of the AB, it is the strongest conditioner and booster of the Afrikaner’s racial attitudes, although most of the nationalist Afrikaners have publically moved from hyper- to hypo-nationalism.


The DRC’s involvement with apartheid is hidden in a church-political foundation where racial differentiation and racial purity were prominent church doctrines from the 1850s. History shows that the DRC’s formal racial diversity began in 1857 when its Cape Synod introduced segregated congregations. It was a policy that was consistent with the already racially discriminatory church policies of the DRC itself and the two other reformed churches that were founded and very active in the Transvaal and Free State republics.3,10-12


The 1857-decision was undoubtedly one of the main precursors to the grand apartheid of 1948 to 1994. It introduced a unique church-political life and way of thinking among most of the DRC members. In time it became entrenched in its members across the country. The DRC’s church culture had become embedded in a contaminating alliance and interaction between the hierarchies of the DRC and nationalist Afrikaner politicians, as well as the leaderships of the NP and that of the AB. After 1948, this interaction became part of the thinking and behaviours of DRC members.3,10,12


After the 1948 NP take-over of the South African government, the DRC gave its unconditional support and approval to the NP’s new policy of apartheid and started to build the DRC’s political authority within this NP-DRC alliance. The DRC used official church literature to advocate and to justify apartheid, which they claimed to be “godlike diversity,” while several influential and leading DRC ministers, academics and writers produced written propaganda to promote and to establish apartheid in general in the church life and to justify apartheid from Scripture in the DRC. Texts from the Bible were reformulated and misrepresented. The sole intention was to instil apartheid in DRC members and in their religious, social and personal lives as something that was Biblically correct.3,10,12


By 1950 the DRC propaganda had been so successful that a joint congress of the three Afrikaner churches and the Dutch Reformed Mission Church [the Coloured DRC at that time, today the United Reformed Church (URC)] in Bloemfontein decided overwhelmingly in favour of total racial separation in their church life. The DRC apartheid’s policy was reaffirmed at several successive General Synods. Socio-economic and political racial discriminations were quickly embraced, internalized and promoted by many opportunistic nationalist Afrikaner DRC members. Apartheid legislation for example led to the expropriation of the land and properties of non-Whites to create White Areas. Afrikaners were enormously benefitted as they could obtain ownership of these properties cheaply. Job reservation also benefited them. Additionally, apartheid seemed to serve as an external force to “protect” DRC members from the temptation to intermix with non-Whites. A Christian dogma of wisdom had made place for a pathological dogma of financial-political greed in many DRC members’ lives3,10,12


Although the DRC’s racial policies evoked criticism from some of its liberal theologians, the impact was minimal and these elements were promptly suppressed by the hierarchy of the DRC. The expulsions of dissident DRC ministers and thinkers demolished criticism against the DRC’s racism. 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 NP-AB hierarchy of the DRC and the managerial boards of the various DRC congregations.3,10,12


The DRC-NP affiliation in time became even more contaminated by extreme racism, which was absolutely entrenched until the fall of the NP in 1994. The NP-AB alliance influenced the DRC as an equal partner. Its stated principle of Afrikaner Christian nationalism changed quickly to Afrikaner Nationalist Christianity with hyper-Afrikaner nationalism in the first place. In this system, racial discrimination, despite its devastating negative psychological and financial consequences for non-Whites, was practiced by its indoctrinated DRC members, which included a strong contingent of NP-politicians and AB-members.3,10,12


Racism is still part of the DRC and present among its members. The established value and belief systems of nationalist Christianity were not dispelled by the DRC in 1994 with the advent of the new South Africa. Today it is still conveyed subtly to DRC-members and inculcated by its hierarchy, just disguised enough to operate within the provisions of the South African Constitution and the Human Rights Commission.


Since 1994 many of the DRC-members’ (especially the elderly) negative racial values were unfortunately strengthened by a multitude of destructive events in the country rather than mitigated: examples of these events are the loss 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 has also started to fade as an emotional and political guide. These events left them disillusioned and politically more radical, with just one notable Afrikaner fortress left that still seeks to protect their church-life, personal and cultural rights, namely the DRC in its current, rigid racial form.2-4,10,12


The fact that DRC-members (especially its youth) have been leaving the church in droves the last decade for the less racially rigid charismatic churches (a phenomenon that will increase dramatically in the next decade), together with the lack of inflow of active, young members, as well as the rise in deaths of its elderly members, predicts that the DRC, as a significant driver to internalize and to strengthen racism among its members, will disappear in the near future. However, to think at this stage that racial discrimination will disappear from the DRC is wishful thinking – their elderly members have been indoctrinated for too long on the racial differences between Whites and non-Whites and the right of Afrikaners to discriminate against non-Whites. This contamination will stay with the DRC until it disbands or all its elderly members have passed away.


Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivision



  • Discussion



4.1      Past and present actions and movements to safeguard the Afrikaner’s future


It is clear that no provision was made by the NP-AB-DRC alliance to accommodate and to steer the ordinary Afrikaners after 1994 in their adaptation to a new South Africa. The changes in their political, social, economic and personal functioning in the post-1994 South Africa were not only unexpected, but often phenomenal. Many negative emotional outcomes have followed. Afrikaner experiences of injustices, bitterness, insecurity and indirectness should surely be addressed urgently. This seems to have attracted the attention of a few “saviours and savers” of the Afrikaners.


Can Afrikaners stand on their own legs after their NP-leadership and the NP-AB guardianship failed them in 1994 like the proto-Afrikaners successfully did in the 1700s? South African politics and human rights have dramatically changed in the last 20 years, making the racial discrimination and racial misbehaviour that the older generation of Afrikaners grew up with criminal offences. Lifestyles, habits, beliefs, socio-economics, thinking about the future, traditions, group values, family life and demographic limitations have all changes dramatically in South Africa. The individual has detached from group conformity so that it is unnecessary for people to be accommodated in close groups or to be guided by “exclusive” leaders and groups to survive in the future. Also, most ordinary Afrikaners have as individuals started to make these changes of modernization. The condemnation of the NP, the side-lining of the AB and the vague role of the DRC in many Afrikaners’ lives, confirm the process of Afrikaners’ departure from these three previously dominant racism contaminated groups. This new self-orientation and individuality makes the chances excellent for the individual Afrikaner to take on the many challenges of New South Africa. Many Afrikaners, especially the young, have successfully crossed over from the exclusivist Afrikaner identity and entity to which many Afrikaners were exposed, to an inclusive South African identity and entity, driven primarily by indigenous realities. On the other hand it seems as if as many ordinary Afrikaners are still caught in the culture of the old South Africa, drifting around without direction or aims and beset with conflict. Many others show a tendency of rationalizing the present in terms of the past, seriously clouding their insight on conflict and adaptation. Many of these persons seem to have fallen prey to opportunistic “helpers of the Afrikaner case.”


The question is what has happened in general to ordinary Afrikaners in their daily functioning as citizens in South Africa from 1994 up to 2017? How have they managed to deal with the threats and challenges of an unfriendly political environment? The question is also who are the persons and institutions who/which are taking care of them or offer them support services in the absence of the NP and AB?


Before and after 1994 there have been various attempts by new role players “to safeguard the Afrikaners from dissolution.” These role players had varying success. They also offered “guarantees” and visions on how the “dire political, social, economical and cultural situation of Afrikaners” can and will be rectified by these so-called pro-Afrikaner organizations and by a small group of self-appointed new leaders of the Afrikaners. Some of these so-called “saviours” and “rescuers” or “Afrikaner-White helmets” gained the support of a portion of ordinary nationalist Afrikaners who are still anchored in apartheid thinking and the nostalgia of living in grand apartheid (and of course fantasies of re-establishing it in the near future).


Whatever ideas opportunists impress on present-day insecure Afrikaners, the reality is that the Afrikaners can just one day suddenly disappear: dissolute by their own doing, due to natural processes or a hostile environment. These circumstances ask of Afrikaners to look to the future constructively. We can only hope they will think, plan and act more constructively and successfully than their ancestors did thus far. Every Afrikaner must know and understand the indigenous realities of South Africa in order to decide objectively on his or her own fate and future, as well as that of their immediate descendants. Any support and guidance offered either to the Afrikaners as individuals or as a group, must be critically evaluated, otherwise they will be exploited again as the NP-AB leaders did for many years. It is all the more tragic if a people become dissolute of their own doing. Following wrong advice, guidance, trends and solutions spell dissolution by own doing; Afrikaners must note it well.2-4,10,11,14,22,25


The important question at this stage is: What did the Afrikaner himself do to better or to safeguard his position before 1992 and in the post-1994 political dispensation of South Africa? Various options were in available in the past. They are still available, but they will now achieve less than they could have 20 years or more ago.


One option is (or should have been in the 1960s) the Chamberlain-Churchill approach, also known as the “Chamberlain-Churchill reaction of self-assertion”3,14. The Chamberlain element’s intention is to appease the enemy at all time (stemming from the policy of Chamberlain to appease Hitler at all times and not to be aggressive to his neighbouring countries). These actions lack constructive resistance to dangers to the tribe’s existence (the NP-regime’s opportunistic approach since the late-1980s and onwards to Black power was to appease them, while at the same time surrendering power slowly). The Churchill element (representing Churchill’s belief that there was no limits to Hitler’s aggression and that he must be fought and neutralized) means that one takes on the enemy in various forms, representing full resistance and battle without fear of annihilation (an approach strongly inculcated in the armed forces during the offices of Verwoerd and Vorster).3,4


Another approach propagated by some Afrikaner political strategists was and is still to trust the future in terms previous historical outcomes for the Afrikaners and the “sacred” role of the Afrikaner in the South African history (an approach very near the Chamberlain approach of appeasement, but more passive and characterized by a lack of any involvement). This fatalism in the Afrikaner thinking and belief system becomes quite apparent in times of loss and failure as a group or after being abandoned by leaders, as reflected in old Israel. As a result of total disempowerment and their dire situation, the group stops all resistance to the enemy. Even constructive actions stop. Self-isolation and self-pity are prominent. Biblical examples of the Jewish people being rescued from unavoidable dissolution motivate the Afrikaners to believe that a “new life” is waiting and that they will be saved. This thinking seems to find fertile ground among politically, economically and socially suppressed people when they did not implement the Chamberlain-Churchill approach in time.14


Often a belief in the mystical and trust in the supernatural visions of prophets, intertwined with a historical/Biblical context, is used to manipulate people in search for a positive future. In the case of the Afrikaners, a prominent role player in these future visions of Afrikaner salvation is the “prophet” Siener van Rensburg. He prophesied that “Afrikaners will come to power again in South Africa.” In this context, the prophecy of an independent Boer state becomes prominent. This belief seems to be strongly established among the Northern Afrikaners. 26, 27


There are also the various, but mostly false utopias that “Afrikaner-friendly organizations” and self-appointed leaders present to ordinary Afrikaners. These organizations seldom offer free membership and support. They use the motto “we are here for the Afrikaners,” to make money in the short run, knowing very well that their efforts “to better the Afrikaner’s position” locally or globally, is of little significance. The promises, if they are fulfilled, are often not sustainable in the long run.


The above three reactions are discussed more detail in the following sections. These sections discuss the potential to assist Afrikaners to adapt to new threats and challenges in the new South Africa, as well as possibilities to avert their dissolution in a century’s time. On the other hand, the discussion reflects often doubtful business enterprises and dubious characters that can harm Afrikaners interests, especially the poorer and less educated lower classes who are desperate for help, guidelines and new leaders to promote their interests and safeguard them from political dangers.


4.1.1 Chamberlain-Churchill approach


The Chamberlain-Churchill approach, designed in 1939 as a guideline to fight the continuous and constant rise in the aggression of Hitler and his Third Reich, seems to be a good guideline for evaluating what the Afrikaners could have done in the past and what they can still do to protect their interests, although less would be possible at present.14,28


Niall Ferguson describes the Afrikaner’s choice between fight or flight and the consequences that awaited Afrikaners after 1994 (and as far back as 1910) if they acted in certain ways well when he writes14, p. 318: “Even a dog has a choice when confronted by a more aggressive dog: to fight or to flee.” Based on the Chamberlain-Churchill approach, the Afrikaners had four options in the 1990s14, p. 319:


  • Acquiescence. The primary approach of the Afrikaner since 1994 was “hoping for the best”, trusting that the Blacks’ gestures of good will towards the Whites are sincere. They let the Blacks “have their way for a while in South Africa” before taking some repair actions. It seems the Afrikaners gave the ANC unwritten permission with their Yes-vote in the 1993 referendum to mismanage the country, to practice corruption, nepotism, fraud, and to take financial mismanagement and misadministration of the country to an unprecedented high. The present threats to their pensions, capital, property, as well as AA, EE and EEB (nothing other than legalized racial discrimination), are a few of many dilemmas suddenly facing the Afrikaner (but to which they willingly agreed).

Resistance to these discriminations, especially outside the prescribed legal channels, can only spell disaster and war. A war is beyond the means of Afrikaners at this stage. The Afrikaners have no political or military power to obtain justice; they only have legal action in terms of the Constitution and the Constitutional Court.


This tendency to “hope for the best” corresponds with the (failed) guarantees offered by the De Klerk regime when they mesmerized the Afrikaners into voting yes in exchange for a guarantee that the goodwill of the ANC-elite is sincere and will be honoured in the long run. The (failed) government of national unity should have affirmed this sincere goodwill of the Blacks. The Afrikaners forgot about “for a while before they will be taken repair actions.” Seeing as they lost their power by their own free will in 1994, they have no means to take repair actions besides the Constitutional Court, which can only bring limited “reparation.”


  • Retaliation. In the context of retaliating are time and resources important. A retaliation party has to act with speed and overwhelming power. This can include physical actions like military retaliation for wrongdoing against the victim (as in the case of the British and Europeans in reaction to Nazi aggression). The Afrikaners did have this kind of reaction up to the 1990s towards the ANC and the other Black revolutionary organizations. However, since the Afrikaners lost all political and military power in 1994, any direct organized military action is excluded as an option. At the moment, retaliation represents only the implementing of “formal objections and legal steps” as reactions to offensive ANC actions. The only option is passive actions such as approaching the Constitutional Court, and where available and allowed, official parliamentary actions. Thus far these reactions have had limited positive outcomes with respect to Afrikaner interests. Since 1994 Afrikaners have been second-class citizens, and there is very little they can do about it.


  • Deterrence. During WW2, the British entered into an armed struggle with friendly countries to form a strong united military front to take on the Nazis and to bring them down. In the case of the Afrikaners, there was (White) cooperation with the Portuguese in Mozambique and Angola and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) before the 1990s to take up arms against (Black) aggressive revolutionary organizations. After the end of Portuguese rule in Africa and the ousting of the Smith-regime in Rhodesia, the Afrikaner was alone. After 1994, the scenario changed from military to political combat. After the collapse of the NP and the diminishing of the right-wing faction of Afrikaners, the only alternatives left for the disempowered Afrikaners were to join strong existing and upcoming political opposition groups, like the DA, or to found their own strong cultural, social, economical and political structures. The aim: to build up “an own ability to strike legally and politically at the opponent.” So far political bodies like the DA have had limited politically success in addressing the failures of the ANC in parliament, municipalities, governmental departments, parastatals, etc. The founding of bodies like Afriforum and Solidariteit has in individual cases been successful with effort to safeguard and promote Afrikaner interests, although on a very limited scale. Corrections of ANC wrongdoings via other official and non-governmental bodies were and are mostly limited as a result of the strong representing of the ANC in the parliament and other executive and legal structures. It is clear that the Afrikaners are not only side-lined, but are in a process of losing more ground in the present governmental setup. There have been no successful deterrence efforts since 1994, nor is there any possibility of this being a real option.


  • Pre-emption. The nationalist Afrikaner regime was very well armed and good at eliminating threats with pre-emptive military strikes. They kept political problems like the “Black danger” at bay with these forces. Since 1994 this option has not been available to Afrikaners. At the moment Afrikaners lack any military or political executive power to end the ANC-regime and Black authority. Another form of pre-emptive behaviour is needed, namely new political empowerment. In this regard the Afrikaners lack the numbers to challenge the ANC in elections or to do “political pre-emptive strikes” on the ANC powerhouse. The Afrikaners’ greatest chance at pre-emptive action is through the DA, where they are in a subordinate position inside a semi-Black organization. All indications are that the DA will become more Black-orientated with time, although they undoubtedly have more sympathy for Afrikaner interests than the ANC in the short term. Afrikaners therefore have no powerful tool to strike with pre-emptive action.


In terms of the Chamberlain-Churchill approach to rectifying political instability, Afrikaners have basically lost all means. Their own problematic economic situation, declining political empowerment and often their own short-sightedness, have caused them to in effect become a political failure. They have become aliens in the new South Africa, a group without any pre-emptive power, often burying his head in the sand like an ostrich.


In terms of the “Chamberlain/Churchill reactions of self-assertion” required to neutralize treats of nation dissimilation, it seems that Afrikaners had become helpless to take any preventive actions in terms of self-preservation and self-defence against or assault on their political enemies to assure their future. The Chamberlain-Churchill approach can basically only be implemented and activated from an existing position of strength. In the Afrikaner’s case, such action was needed long before 1994 when the Afrikaners were still in a position of power to force down decisions favouring them, like an Afrikaner homeland. In the Afrikaners’ emotional and financial dependence (and blind trust) of their NP-AB leadership since the 1960s, thoughts of such self-remedial actions were just unthinkable and unneeded because history could never go wrong for the Afrikaners. Their dependence made them an easy prey in the 1990s for the De Klerk-regime, which was beset with the Chamberlain-inclination of acquiescence to appease and please the ANC and to surrender without any resistance. In the 1993 referendum, Afrikaners were easy prey to be caught by the De Klerk-regime and the ANC.2,4,14,28


After the De Klerk-regime disbanded the Afrikaners’ armed forces, there was no chance for any turn-around or a full Churchill-approach to fight the threat to their political rights. The Afrikaners are in a sense to blame for this, since they had ample time to get rid of De Klerk or to reject his surrender to the ANC. Self-assertion is still available, but within the hostile setup it is much more limited. In the Afrikaner’s case it seems as if the dog is fleeing, and with good reasons. For the first time, it seems as if the odds are just too great to overcome, or at least for some of the Afrikaners.2,4,14,28


4.1.2 History and its joker surprises


History, thankfully, have also had unexpected, even strange outcomes. The fortunes and misfortunes of nations have in some instances changed even after they had fled or failed, totally contradicting the rules of trustworthy predictions (and even sound thinking!). The impact of extreme world disasters, like earthquakes, pests, new wars, immense famine, new mass migrations, just to mention a few, have in the past had quick and profound impacts on the power of mighty empires or have caused undervalued, small nations’ fate to take a turn for the better. To a certain extent, the Afrikaners experienced this kind of luck after the devastating Second Anglo Boer War. The possibility is there that today’s Afrikaners can be lucky again, even though they are such a small indigenous racial group. However, the chances are slim.3,14,24,28


History shows that the unexpected joker surprises sometimes result from the incorporation of a subordinate group (loser/victim) into the social and political life of the ruler (suppressor/winner). Often this takes place at the beginning of the new regime’s take over, other times later on as the new regime (winner) becomes established and as they lose their insecurity or resentment of the subordinate or their need for revenge. Two primary factors drive this joker surprise: first, a positive change in the suppressor/ruler in that he no longer see the subordinate as a danger to his reign; and secondly, the subordinates/losers reflecting excellent abilities that the ruler urgently needs to make a country successful.


Positive changes in governments of places that previously experienced racial and ethnic conflict that ultimately lead to sound non-discriminative management and rule and the inclusion of the “loser” sometimes contradicts the established and traditional findings on the outcomes of genocide or racial conflict as happened in Europe with the cold blooded killing of ethnic minorities with the  millions of murders of “colonial” Jews and other groups under Hitler and Stalin. In Southern Africa, Namibia is an example of such a successful transition to a race-free democracy, starting immediately after independence. South Africa, after initially being a reconciliation success, failed to include the Afrikaners as a political group in the government and started to force not only the Afrikaners out of political empowerment, but to inspire further Black discrimination against them. The expulsion of the Afrikaners was not because they were incompetent politicians or substandard citizens, but purely as a direct outcome of the ANC-regime’s hate for the Afrikaners’ apartheid (and possible masked racism). This negative view of Afrikaners is gaining ground as the present-day political rhetoric and actions of the ANC elite shows.14,25,29

There are undoubtedly many factors that favour the Afrikaner as a group that may help them come back into South African history as a prominent role player in a future governmental life. Despite their descent, they are closer to Africa than to Europe after 350 years. They have become indigenous.4,12 Afrikaners have gradually been cemented into an African indigenous heritage (although clouded by apartheid). The Afrikaner has great talent, experience and political intelligence, making him capable at many levels. Research on the pattern of ousting the losers from politics shows specific that jealousy and inferiority on the side of the winner are often the causes. The ANC elite show signs of this syndrome with their ousting of Afrikaners from the South African political life, as well as their hostile labels of “colonists,” “exploiters,” ”thieves.” It seems many of the negative reactions are directly linked to the Afrikaner’s personal talents that make him capable, like leadership, integrity, being hardworking, honesty, strategic thinking and independence. It was through the Afrikaner’s self-styled and to a great extent selfish guardianship and separate development initiative during his political reign (much of its positive impact is being ignored, denied and detested today) that the Black civilisation was helped to overtake the White civilisation in 1994, making the Blacks the new guardians of the South African society. This is a normal development that Hertzog already indicated in the 1920s. He warned the Afrikaner to take note and to be prepared if they develop and promote the Black civilisation unselfishly and wrong planned.3,4,12,30,31


Afrikaners and their forefathers have made and are still making tremendous contributions to the country, although now outside the ANC’s main stream of politics. They have the potential to do it again inside the political context in the future if they are offered the opportunity by a wise Black regime. The majority of Afrikaners deserve respect and acknowledgement, something the ANC regime and its leadership have thus far, for obvious opportunistic and self-centred reasons, refused to give. The Afrikaner does have a bond with South Africa. It was with great honesty that Nelson Mandela said that the Afrikaner is through blood and tears, the same as all the other indigenous nations, part of South Africa.32


One possibility for the Afrikaner to gain a place to participate in the country is the predicted fall of the ANC. Some political research indicates that there would be a new ruler in 2024, while others indicate the possible end of the ANC government by 2019. This can bring surprising changes to the South African political landscape.22,33-36


Even though the DA will in all probability be a majority Black party in the near future, they will surely be much more lenient and friendly in its attitude and treatment of the individual indigenous Afrikaner as a political companion. In this political context it must be emphasised that the new South Africa still holds many opportunities for Afrikaners, especially if the Black ruler of the day is positive about them. There can still be a surprise under the present ANC-regime. History sometimes surprises everyone.36-38


4.1.3 History and the biblical destiny of the Afrikaner


There is an interrelationship between the Afrikaners’ history and the Afrikaners’ biblical belief system, sometimes with a vicious undertone. Some Afrikaners believe that they are in some way “a chosen people,” placed in South Africa to Christianise the Blacks and to spread European culture here. Those who adhere to this belief think that since this is their “God-given destiny,” He will take care of them in the long run. This thinking dates back to the late 1790s and was further cultivated by the proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaner churches like the DRC. It was propagated and strengthened from 1948 by the leadership of the NP, AB and the DRC as part of their nation-building efforts and attempts to gain political power. Closely intertwined with this dogma is also the belief in the God-given visions of Siener van Rensburg. Many Afrikaners considered him a prophet. Van Rensburg, a Transvaal burgher who fought against the British, alleged to have made some “successful” predictions about the outcomes of battles during the Second Anglo Boer War and about the fact that the Boers would lose the war. Some believe that he also predicted the “suffering” of the Afrikaners under the present-day ANC regime. Fascination with his views increased in the last ten years of Afrikaner rule. 26, 27


The relevance of his prophecies for today lies in the fact that he allegedly prophesied that there would be a Black regime that would rule South Africa for a while, but as soon the Afrikaners make peace with God and rid themselves of non-Afrikaner thinking, influences and intermingling, God will put them in charge of South Africa again. Afrikaners are required in terms of his dogma to stay calm and trust God at all times. Van Rensburg’s visions of the future South Africa and the Afrikaners’ prominent role in it carry strong support among some Afrikaners, especially the elderly from the North of the country and a new contingent of Afrikaners who feel side-lined and helpless in the present political context.26, 27


These prophecies are illogical, selective of peoples and nations and seldom realizes. At this time they are misleading, creating not only false hope, but also racial conflict. The White population is dwindling when compared to the Black population (at present they make up 8% of the population, while in 20 years’ time this percentage will be between 4% and 6%, and in 60 years, 1% at most). If a war or disaster is the reason for Van Rensburg’s coming change, it will affect both Blacks and Whites equally. If a White government comes into power again, racial discrimination would start all over again. According to the Herodotus Rules, the Afrikaner would take the place of the victim in time and the positions will reverse again. The Van Rensburg predictions, if they ever realize, are a recipe for disaster and large-scale genocide and murder of a powerless Afrikaner people in a future South Africa. This is an outcome that will hopefully never realize. Thankfully, the success of such an outcome is only one in 30 million and limited to and promoted by a small fraction of Afrikaners.26,27, 39



4.1.4 The donkey’s carrot and Afrikaners’ false utopias


Since 1994 some Afrikaners have held to the belief that history will only be merciful on the Afrikaner if they themselves are constructive and participate in their own fate. Three factors play a role in this. Outdated emotionally driven group conformity and group management


There seems to be a concerted effort by some individuals to keep Afrikaners together as a group and to strengthen them with some measure of political impact in the country. They are trying to motivate Afrikaners to stay (more than 1.2 million Afrikaners have left South Africa since 1994, and this process is gaining ground among the youth). The efforts to create Afrikaner solidarity is partly based on the belief that they are still a group and that they should identify leaders who can lead them to an Afrikaner utopia. However, these efforts are in vain, since many Afrikaners are distrustful of “Afrikaner leaders.” They are wary of anything apartheid-flavoured and they are comfortable enough in post-1994 to steer clear of any talk of an Afrikaner utopia.41-47 The elderly, the poor and outdated Afrikaner nationalism


Data show that the migration for great groups of people (even from European origin) to Europe and other Western countries are becoming unfeasible, as the current resistance and hostility to Islamic refugees all over Europe shows. Any further large exodus of Afrikaners will be impossible. Even if the was opportunity, the ageing of Afrikaners makes them less acceptable in other European countries (at the moment the 60 years and older age group makes up 22% of the total White population, while the age group over 16 years makes up another 60%. The average age of Afrikaners is increasing fast, leaving the possibility of a total Afrikaner population of less than one million in 30 years). Obviously the older and poorer Afrikaners would be a burden on another country, so they are unwelcome. These elders are best off keeping their capital in the country and living their lives here. Data also confirm that there are still many opportunities for educated and eager Afrikaner youths to make money and to start a life in the new South Africa, but then outside the nationalist Afrikaner political and cultural doctrine and domain. Many Afrikaners are doing extraordinary well after 1994 financially speaking; so much so that their income increased much more from 1994 to 2014 than in the 18 years after 1910. From a short-term financial perspective South Africa is a future utopia for the older and the poorer Afrikaners. A point of great concern is the hidden efforts of self-made opportunistic Afrikaner leaders to mobilize these ordinary Afrikaners as an opposing force to Black rule. The financial abilities of these persons, like pension funds and other investments, also draw the attention of opportunistic Afrikaners and their enterprises. The rekindling of a strong nationalist Afrikaner movement has thus far been of minimal success, even among the elderly. This group has become concerned with their day-to-day existence, a far cry from the tribal concerns of years ago. The only link to their nationalist past that they are upholding is their Afrikaner churches, especially the DRC, which itself has suffered a decline in numbers.41-47 Present-day saviours and rescuers of the Afrikaners▼


The third group that offers visions of an Afrikaner utopia is the old right-wing groups, often inclusive of opportunistic Afrikaner businessmen. Sometimes the intentions are nothing less than self-enrichment. Their rhetoric aims to make Afrikaners feel endangered by speaking of topics like the danger in which Afrikaner educational institutions (schools and universities) are, farm murders, political discrimination, the capture of farms and of White capital, radical economic transformation, etc. Many of these allegations have some semblance of truth, but are stretched to fuel emotion. The “Black danger” warning is prominent, while the conservation of the Afrikaner’s self-rule is a primary topic (with the focus on an Afrikaner state or region, consisting of exclusive Afrikaner communities with their own educational institutions, etc.). Many of these private enterprises, promoting themselves as able to assist the Afrikaners with regaining their “old rights and privileges,” are run by former Afrikaner leaders, portraying themselves as sincere businesses and servants of the Afrikaner cause. At the moment many of these saviours and rescuers of the Afrikaners (Afrikaner white helmets?) are central role players in that they offer bursaries and support education and legal defence for Afrikaners’ constitutional rights. There are thankfully also a contingent of persons and enterprises of integrity active in these areas. This group have become the central role players in the political, cultural, economical and personal “rehabilitation” of ordinary Afrikaners. They are the “pilots” who can steer Afrikaners back to their former glory. Their well-oiled marketing strategies and their impact on a certain component of ordinary Afrikaners through services and products should be reflected on. This is done in the next section.


In terms of the activities, agendas, intentions and rhetoric reflected by some of these pro-Afrikaner activist groups, it is crucial that Afrikaners make sure who these people and their enterprises are. Afrikaners must learn to separate the wheat and chaff. Modern Afrikaners cannot allow their minds to be polluted by any opportunistic fellow Afrikaners who bought into the ANC dogma of nepotism and corruption, or by self-centred and greedy Afrikaners and institutions who want to mislead the Afrikaners with false propaganda and short-sighted information about the Afrikaners’ future. Even the Afrikaner media still tries to persuade Afrikaners of a good future in South Africa on the one hand and of the hostile actions that threaten Afrikaners on the other. Many of these editorials and articles lack knowledge and wisdom with respect to the “Afrikaner question.” Some also lacks knowledge of economical planning and the functioning of the country, world, genocide, etc. Most of all, they seem to be out of touch with the thinking of modern Afrikaners, young and old. Their advice and guidelines on the future for Afrikaners (as individuals and as groups) – inside or outside the country – lack the needed depth and soundness to inspire wise decisions and seems to be driven by emotional rhetoric. The Afrikaners must start to think beyond this mass propaganda and false ideas of “an everlasting happy new South Africa” or “durable support to solve the Afrikaners mistreatment by the ANC.” Nor must they blindly accept and support schemes to better themselves while in reality they are enriching only these individuals and groups at their own peril.48-60, 64


Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivision 3.1.5. Incoming of exclusive private school and tertiary education▼


Education is of great importance for the Afrikaners. This has been the case from the 1930s when Afrikaners suffered devastating poverty due to prolonged droughts and poor markets. The Afrikaners were mainly farmers, so this affected a large portion of the group. In 1936, 41.2% Afrikaners were in agricultural occupations, compared to 27.5% in White collar occupations (with 31.3% in blue collar and other manual occupations). These numbers have changed dramatically over the next 41 years. In 1977, only 8.1% Afrikaners were still in agricultural occupations (a decline of 23.2%), with 65.2% in White collar occupations (an increase of 37.7%). The percentage for blue collar and other manual occupations in 1977 was 26.7% (a decline of 4.6%).4


With the arrival of the ANC on the scene in 1994 and the many problems around school and tertiary education that followed, education again became a main point of concern for many Afrikaners. While they argue that the quality of education has dropped, concerns also included racially mixed institutions, being allowed Christian schools and Afrikaans as language of instruction. Many Afrikaners are unwilling to send their children to open schools where there is racial mixing, class divisions are breaking-down and non-racism has become the priority. They share the concerns that PW Botha aired when opening Parliament on 6 May 1987: the “protection of individual rights”, the “protection of minority rights”, the “protection of minority groups” and the “gap between the first world (Afrikaner) and the third world (Blacks) and the lowering of standards”. These “protections” valued by Botha for many Afrikaners became legitimate claims based on guarantees by the NP-regime before its fall. They in effect want exclusive Afrikaner residential areas, lifestyle and rights, as in the pre-1994 South Africa, far removed from the indigenous realities of South Africa.8


Education has become a hot issue in White-Black relations. Some Afrikaners want “better”, alternative education to fit the “exclusive standards” of education required by some of them. Private education has become an attractive alternative for Afrikaners who can afford it. It has become a gold mine for educators and businessmen who care to entertain these notions, which are often accompanied by racist attitudes. For many Afrikaners private education is a miracle, for others it seems to be a nightmare. The true consequences of private education could only be determined two to three decades from now, but at present there is much to worry about.

Many South African private organizations pride themselves in being able to save the Afrikaners with the help of linked organizations. One group of businesses, which primarily focus on Afrikaners as clients, is reflecting 350 000 members (and one million indirect members when the family members of their members are included!). Regarding tertiary education, their advertising literature mentions that they have assisted more than 5 000 students at a cost of R73 million; that their student fund is R100 million strong and that they plan to expand their scholarship fund to R160 million by 2020; that they are currently training 1 000 artisans and plan to train 1 500 artisans annually in the near future; that they have invested R50 million each in two separate training institutes; that they intend to invest R735 million in security structures, municipal services and schools by 2020 and that they aim to establish an Afrikaner hostel at one of the public universities. At the same time, they are speaking of the establishment of a private “university” for Afrikaners comparable to Yale! As can be seen from their marketing strategy, most of their actions or products are “planned,” or “will be established,” meaning simply that they are not in existence. Promises are not facts and truths, and Afrikaners must take note of this.49,51,54,55,57,60-63


First, the above group’s 350 000 members is misleading for the purposes of true education empowerment. Most of their members belong to their labour union, insurance division, etc. A very low percentage of these members can be useful in their education network to create a significant Afrikaner tertiary institution, exclusively for Afrikaners. Their insignificant present student numbers, when compared with that of the public universities’ numbers, confirms this. As said, to present intentions and future planning as realities, is misleading and cannot be taken as a viable and sustainable guarantee. Second, their 350 000 members (hopefully ordinary Afrikaners?) represent less than 13% of the total Afrikaner population (2.7 million) presently living in South Africa, making even their 350 000 memberships insignificant. Eighty seven per cent (87%) of Afrikaners do not make use of any of their general services, with many more ignoring their academic activities. Third, regarding the status of their “university,” they failed to inform the public that as a “private tertiary institute” they are not allowed to use the title “university” in South Africa, although they can offer degree programmes, but only if they meet the prescribed standards and are registered with and controlled by the various statutory bodies. Fourth, their vague reference to the possible training of healthcare professionals in the future is nothing less than fantasy. This kind of training, which includes expensive equipment, training facilities, staff and overseeing, is unaffordable without immense infrastructure and enormous government subsidies (something that private tertiary institutions do not receive and will not receive in the near future).49,51,54,55,57,59-63


Another business group, already active in private school education and functioning as a public company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), also advertises that they are going to open various “universities” in the near future as a public company, also to be registered on the JSE. It is assumed that they will, besides Afrikaners, also cater for other races as students to make it viable and sustainable. Their intention is to offer various degree programmes to 40 000 students initially, but to enlarge the student numbers to 100 000.65 As previously said, to present intentions and future planning as realities, is misleading and cannot be taken as a viable and sustainable guarantee.


All these promises, however good the intentions, can do more harm than good given the uncertainty of Afrikaners. It also holds enormous financial risks for shareholders in the long run where these enterprises are register on the JSE to generate funding for their businesses’ development. For Afrikaners who put their savings into such an enterprise in support of the “Afrikaner cause,” the outcome can be catastrophic in the long run. A well-known educational institution that went public in the 1990s after the South African authorities allowed the opening of private institutions to offer degrees and other tertiary qualifications came on the market at R40 a share. When it was delisted as a company in the 2000s, it shares were bought out by the parent company in a rescue-effort for 40 cents a share, reflecting a hundredth of a share’s initial value. Such negative outcomes can and will happen again as the South African financial environment worsens and public education is rehabilitated by a new regime, again offering excellent public education at affordable costs to South Africans. Also, when the promises of private enterprises of large enrolments fail to realize and they don’t show the profit to make these “universities” viable and sustainable businesses, the financial academic outcomes can be devastating for shareholders, as well as students enrolled in good faith.49,51,54-57,59-61,66


Regarding the private tertiary institutions for the sake of Afrikaans and Afrikaners, the dwindling and impoverishing Afrikaners are not able financially to support such a dream in the long run. The limited work opportunities and inclusiveness of the government’s AA, EE and BEE employment policy with respect to all appointments and employments, even Afrikaner private enterprises, makes the chances that these “home trained” Afrikaners will be employed very slim. The leaders of these enterprises failed to tell the Afrikaner public that the Afrikaners are an ageing population who do not need further study and training. They also fail to tell the Afrikaner public that the Afrikaners are in a process of dissolution: it is estimated that in 30 years, there will be less than one million Afrikaners in South Africa (mostly old people), while in 60 years their number will be less than 300 000. In the year 2117, there will be less than 20 000 “pure” Afrikaners left in South Africa. The financial viability and sustainability of these exclusive “Afrikaner universities” are basically zero.41-47


There is no sound basis for comparison of the quality and world ranking of these private and public tertiary institutions. The qualifications offered by these private institutions are not accepted with the same approval as those of the public universities by employers in general. This outcome also has a negative impact on the overseas employment of graduates and on further study. Very few of the graduates from private South African tertiary institutions continue their studies at public South African universities. The argument that the quality of public universities is falling due to the student unrest of the past two years is not accurate. The unrest proved to be temporary and most of the public universities compete well internationally. Besides, education at the public universities is still much less expensive than at the private universities.


Running a single medium-size faculty at a public university costs more or less R50 million a year, while a medium-size university with three campuses that include 26 faculties, costs about R1.3 billion per annum. It is also public knowledge that not a single one of the 26 South African public universities are successful business enterprises that can function without state subsidy, which makes up anywhere between 10% to 90% (average 50%) of the 26 universities’ total annual income. Those who sell a university to the public as a business model that can offer private education to Afrikaners are abusing the naïveté of the public.52-56,59,67-72


What is more, the Constitution of South Africa forbids discrimination on entrance to any universities, private or public, on the basis of race. This means that the planned exclusive “private Afrikaner universities” may not allow only “pure Afrikaners” (meaning Caucasians who speak Afrikaans at home). It will be compelled to allow all students speaking Afrikaans (not necessarily at home). This group numbers more than 13.5 million against the 2.7 million Afrikaners. This can render the “only Afrikaner” exclusiveness null and void. This knowledge is kept from the public and shareholder by the Afrikaner saviours with their private Afrikaner tertiary institutions registered on the JSE.52-56,59,67-72


Regarding private schooling, this element of education has also found approval with the Afrikaners, although it seems that the educational environment is less racially orientated, with some private businesses offering this kind of service. Still, some Afrikaners show great interest in this type of schooling, especially those offering a so-called Christian education where the Black numbers are small. This trend therefore warrants some investigation as well.

In South Africa private schools make up only 4% of all the South African schools and are therefore insignificant role players in education. Although there was a significant growth in this sector in the last 10 years, the bulk of pupils are still concentrated in public schools, which accommodate more than 12 million pupils in 23 700 schools countrywide. Private schools seem popular as a result of the temporary instability in the public school education, which often lack quality education and management. Afrikaners from the middle class (a group that is growing as rich Afrikaners earn less income) and its higher income earners are making use of these institutions. From a financial perspective, these schools are generally expensive, with fees varying between R15 000 and R21 000 per month. These fees make it unaffordable for most South Africans, although some of the schools situated in the rural areas still offer enrolment at lower fees.73


These schools can be attractive for the Afrikaners, especially those parents who believe private schools offer a better education and an environment that is more conducive to learning, additional resources, better policies and practices and who are of course satisfied with their hidden racial discrimination. The prominent question is: are these schools a stable factor in the future of the Afrikaners’ education and are they the saviours of Afrikaner education? Are Afrikaner children really benefitting from it? As a guideline one can use the statistics of one of these groups for 2017. This group has increased pupil numbers by a compound growth rate of 31% since 2012, with revenue and earnings increasing at a rate of 48% and 83% respectively over the same period. Looking back to 2009 when it joined a large business as partner, its numbers increased from 2 000 pupils to 35 000 in 2015, but it now seems as if enrolment has started to reach saturation. As many as 127 of their present schools are only operating at a 52% capacity.73 Evidence suggests that further expansion plans are just too ambitious. Gumede writes73, p. 8: “…it’s not one of those things the market is going to get excited over because there are hurdles to achieving such target”. This negativity about the future of private schools is confirmed by other sources. This draws the attention to one of these groups declaration that tit plan to establish and run 500 schools in South Africa by 2030. The attainment of this target is doubtful (in terms of financial viability and sustainability given the fact that private capital must fund it), especially in light of the poor financial environment into which the country is moving. There is a relatively small middle class, the country’s credit ratings have been downgraded, poor economic outlook, low business and personal confidence in the government, sub-zero growth are prominent. One of these education groups  constantly have to back up development, not from net profits delivered by the schools or from the pockets of the owners themselves, but from annual rights (This group has had six rights offers in six years, yet  still do not pay dividends to shareholders as a result of “reinvesting” of profits).73


The fact that some of the private education service deliverers are not using their own money to run these enterprises but make use of enormous public money (via the JSE, etc.) to drive their businesses, leaves a question mark on stable profits from the existing schools as a direct source of income. Why do these schools not generate enough capital to drive on their own growth in terms of pupils and more schools? Profit and dividend payment to shareholders based on the delivery of affordable education does not seems to be viable and sustainable.73 Promises of future performance cannot and should not be seen as guarantees. It is a marketing strategy to attract attention, nothing more. The Afrikaners who support these ventures with their hard-earned capital to secure their children an “Afrikaner education” at the secondary or tertiary levels must take note of this.


It is clear from the above it will be difficult for many Afrikaners to make use of private schools in future because the fees of these schools will increase, while the income of the parents is on the decrease. An eagerly parent who wants to make a contribution to the continuation of private schools by investing money into the holding companies, should take note of the constant lack of significant net profit generated by some of these schools themselves and the constant use of rights to do development. Constant development (reinvestment) leads to “over-development” and the “over-sourcing” of finance via the JSE from the public that stretches beyond the true value of some education enterprises. This can lead to a vicious cycle of “money-sourcing,” for reasons other than pure education delivery. Private school education is, like private tertiary education, not always the utopia offered too many ordinary Afrikaners, from promises of exclusive “White” education, to promises of financial gain.


The initiatives for the creation of own-funded private “universities”, schools and related educational businesses are noble ideas and must not be seen at any time as “illegal”, “irregular” or “fraud’. It is individuals and business-groups democratic right to do and practice it and to believe in the virtue of it, as long as they stay inside the law. What is clear is that a line must be drawn between business opportunism which is focussed on every individual, notwithstanding race, religion or status or political orientation in South Africa to make money from by business enterprises versus business initiatives solely focussed in helping the Afrikaners in their unique political, ethnic, racial and cultural dilemma. Here especially are the political confused Afrikaners under radar. With a shrinking Afrikaner population and decreased buying power, exclusion from profitable and sustainable enterprises and professions by a growing policy of AA, EE and BEE, these actions to “save” of Afrikaners are just too little too late. The same is happening here than what happened with the Jews in Germany, Hungary and Poland in the 1940s, namely the selectively disownment of their properties, being kept out of professions, closure of their schools and universities, withdrawal of business rights, limiting their civil and personal lives. Nothing can stop the ANC from making an end to private school and tertiary training in the near future. The worst can still come. The Afrikaners must be informed and not be misled by moneymaking schemes and business opportunists who abuse their emotional and personal unhappiness in present-day South Africa. Public education is still the most viable and preferable for the ordinary Afrikaner. Most important of all, it helps the Afrikaner to enter the South African open society and to accept the indigenous realities of the country. His individuality is here centred, not outdated political, racial and cultural groupings and doctrines or isolation in Afrikaner learning-enclaves. Exclusive private institutions cannot reach this goal.56,68,72,73


Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivision 3.1.5. Private enterprises who take on public and legal battles on behalf of Afrikaners▼


Frustrated Afrikaners are at the moment limited to court cases, appeals to the Constitutional Court and moaning in the few struggling Afrikaans newspapers still publishing. Many of these unhappy and deserted Afrikaners are putting their last hopes, trust and money, often in vain, into various “organisations for Afrikaners” to repair their lost political, economical, social and civil rights. In all honesty, these organizations do not have the real political power, know-how and finances to restore the Afrikaners’ dignity and rights in full, or even have the stamina themselves to outlive the Afrikaners’ daily growing problems.56,57,74-84


A profile analysis of the two largest of the private enterprises involved in the “Afrikaner cause” reflect that they have approximately 170 000 supporters and approximately 350 000 members respectively. These two, to a certain extent, self-styled “Afrikaner saving bodies,” how humble and honest their intentions may be, have struggled to attract more than between 5% and 13% of the total Afrikaner population since 1994. One of these bodies’ Afrikaner support has gone down from 600 000 votes in 1994 to only 166 000 in 2014, reflecting a decline of nearly 70% in 20 years. The prominent nationalist Afrikaner right-wing organizations that promised the freeing of the Afrikaner from Black rule after 1994, have all but disappeared.60,74,85


Besides the two organizations referred to above, various other smaller organizations and initiatives representing the interests of today’s “lost” Afrikaners surface from time to time. Some of these organizations target the Afrikaners’ religiosity. However much these organizations, initiatives, leaders and “prophets” like to present themselves as saviours, their own life-span as service deliverers are at most ten years. They are superficial, directionless, not viable or sustainable in the new South Africa. Second, some of these “saviours” are intentionally (seeing that some of the leaders themselves make alarm that the Afrikaners are in a process of dissolution) not informing their uninformed followers that there will be only between 300 000 and 1 million Afrikaners left in South Africa in 30 to 60 years (in a century it can be less than 20 000 “pure” Afrikaners). This makes the “pure” Afrikaners as a dynamic and profitable entity to generate income through membership and donations for all these initiatives, insignificant. Their rescue efforts are already doomed. Efforts to mobilize Afrikaner positively to accept the new South Africa unconditionally, to discard apartheid and racial discrimination fully are absent from these various initiatives. All that many of these “saviour” initiatives do is to give false hope of a “new Afrikaner South Africa.” They often just strengthen outdated apartheid and racial discriminations and negative political attitudes in the minds of confused and directionless Afrikaners, making their future adaptation to a non-racial society basically impossible.20,60,70,74,83,85,87-91


The actions and declarations of these various organizations that have emerged since 1994 with their sympathy for the “Afrikaner cause” through court actions and other public rescue-actions on behalf of the ordinary Afrikaners are also reflected in public publications. It must be clear that these organizations in general are not non-profit organizations, but are often trade unions that are constantly marketing themselves as the front-line fighters for a specific cause: Afrikaner rights and the Afrikaner’s future. Their main aims are to assure member enrolments, member fees and thus a constant income for the union’s staff salaries and benefits. Public statements that these organizations currently have more than 30 affirmative action cases against the state pending, that they win nearly 90% of their court cases, that they handle 400 000 work-related enquiries annually, that they are involved in 1 200 legal disputes and court actions at any given time and that they are even making presentations to the United Nation on behalf of the Afrikaner, bare evidence of their excellent marketing policies. All these efforts cost money and ask immense input from the organizations, but ultimately serve to attract more support, more members and more income. They have offices to maintain, as well as the salaries, pensions and medical funds of the “hard-working and sincere” directors, managers and staff involved in these solutions to Afrikaner “injustices.” They offer limited welfare and free services, and in the end all these services are funded by the Afrikaner themselves through membership fees and their donations for the “urgent Afrikaner cause.” Very few Afrikaner organizations offer any free services to the public. They never mention the declining Afrikaner numbers and how little they can do about that. Much of their rhetoric also reflects a strong anti-Black view, troubling racial relations unnecessary. In some cases it seems as if they deliberately seek conflict, and this causes Afrikaners in general to look like they are uncooperative. These actions not only increases hostility, but contributes to moving Afrikaners further away from inclusion in the South African politics.49,51,54,55,57, 59-61, 66, 72


These organizations call on memories of the “Help Each Other”-initiative of 1915 which led to the later founding of various Afrikaner financial institutions. However, the comparison is misleading and constitutes manipulation to recruit more Afrikaners and their hard-earned savings into often doomed financial enterprises. The Afrikaners’ successes of the past can never be repeated by the present-day Afrikaners, simply because they lack apartheid’s favour, NP state capture and Afrikaner radical economical transformation by the NP, as well as the nationalistic Afrikaner doctrine and unity that drove Afrikaners in their previous crises and planning.50,52-54,5658,66,77


The above future utopias offered to the naive and sometime desperate Afrikaners, spells only disaster. These efforts are short-termed and cannot grow into anything substantial. It only furthers and strengthens the Afrikaner’s negative racial attitudes, obstructs transformation, creates false ideas about his individual constitutional and other personal rights and slows down his successfully absorption into the new South Africa. The useless continuation of court cases against the state (some of the organizations have gone so far as establishing a prosecution authority) to protect “individual Afrikaners’ constitutional rights,” etc., is nothing more than public gimmicks to recruit more members and generate more income for these Afrikaner institutions. Since these efforts increase hostility, they do not always serve the Afrikaners who want to stay in South Africa. Afrikaners, either as individuals or as a group, must remember that they can no longer hide behind outdated Afrikaner institutions that promise unsustainable futures. It is foolish to give these “saviours” and “rescuers” a mandate to manage Afrikaner interests. The Afrikaners did this with the NP, AB and the DRC in the past, and it caused the present chaos. There is no place for isolation in modern society, not for the individual, the group or the country. This is applicable to the individual Afrikaner too. Chances are that many of these noisy organizations will go down at the same speed and with as little of a bang as the NP did.50, 56, 57, 59, 60, 70


To-day’s Afrikaners do not need again the exclusive Afrikaner education, economic and cultural volk- institutions from their past. Neither do they need the input of outdated and self-righteous leaders from the old NP-AB alliance to guide and uplift them. They have their quota of them in the past. Most Afrikaners are now in individual growth, geopolitically in transit, or, as the writer Breyten Breytenbach describes them: “people in the middle world”; people able to think more and more for them selves, independent from the misleading doctrine of Afrikaner nationalism. Indeed, the Afrikaner is seeking a new identity, totally unknown at this stage.50,56,57,59,60,70,92-95


Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivision 3.1.5.


4.1.5 The rekindling of the Boer homeland thinking


Many of the organizations alluded to above do not answer the question of what kind of future they see for the Afrikaner in South Africa. Do they see this future inside or outside South Africa? What will happen to the small group of Afrikaners left 60 years from now? Where will they live or where will they go?


The idea of a Boer homeland is still alive among some Afrikaners. They see the cultural and racial diversity of South Africa as a good reason to restart homelands. The focus is the unification of certain similar groups who are concentrated in specific regions or areas. The argument is that the creation of homelands in areas with mono-cultural economical structures, racial and ethnic composition, and development histories, has occurred world-wide and can also happen in the future South Africa. Modern-day Italy, Belgium, the UK and The Netherlands are offered by these Afrikaner propagandists as good examples of self-rule. It is also argued that Brexit, where Britain preferred to regain its independence from the European Union, as well as the fight for independence from the British by the Scots, shows the legal possibility of cancelling unifications when a specific group’s interest, like democracy, unique identity and finance are endangered. Afrikaanses in the Western Cape, supported by Afrikaners, are playing with the idea of breaking away in the Western Cape.40,92-94


Frans Cronje92, director of the South African Institute of Race Relations, has referred to the possible division of the new South Africa into various independent states, mainly on the basis of economical sustainability and viability, although ethnicity and race differences can also be role players at the end. Cronje is of the opinion that over the last 100 years, not a single South African government could successfully governed the “Union of South Africans” in a prosperous and peacefully way. He argues further that the present forcing of different races and ethnicities into one South African state is indeed a huge failure. The Zulus, as a specific Black tribe, would be the first to gain independence as the ANC has failed to stay in power in that region and the Zulu-component in the government is losing their power and are being pushed into sub-ordinance by the Xhosas and others. There is also at present a racial cleansing of non-Zulus underway in Zulu regions making a “pure” racial Zulu state even more of a reality. An Afrikaner homeland is also part of this thinking, inspiring the idea of an utopia in waiting for Afrikaners in the new South Africa.33,34,36,92


Clearly, some Afrikaner did not learn anything from the AWB efforts in the 1990s to establish an independent Boer state. The average Afrikaner is becoming poorer and poorer and their dreams are being shattered, while their realities are becoming harsher and their opportunities are becoming fewer and fewer each day. The Constitution is on occasion dragged into this “Afrikaner fight for justice” without much sound argument. The Constitution is not meant for abuse by the citizens of South Africa. This includes the Afrikaner’s search for justice for the alleged wrongs done to him after 1994.50,51,54-57, 59,-61,66


There seems to be only one constructive route, and that is as individuals inside an Afrikaanse grouping inside greater South Africa, free from the anti-transformational sentiment of the right wing and “laager” Afrikaners who are being misled and exited by all kinds of prophets and visionaries. It would be wise for Afrikaners to pay their medical fund, pension contributions and taxes every month, but not a sent to any organization or individuals that offer to act on their behalf or to fight for their rights. They are wasting their money and time. Most of all, in doing so they surrender to opportunists!

4.1.6 The post-1994 cultural, social and political unchaining of many Afrikaners▼

After 1948 and under the influence of the NP-government many of the ordinary nationalist Afrikaners thought of themselves as the anointed nation who was sent to Africa by God to Christianise the Blacks. Prominent were the NP-AB dogma of White supremacy and the internalized belief that Afrikaners would always have the power to rule South Africa. They never thought that it could all collapse. When the NP-AB alliance suddenly collapsed in 1994, many ordinary Afrikaners were still too naive to understand that they, with the approval of the NP-AB-ANC leadership, will slowly be sacrificed within ten years: the proverbial lamb to be slaughtered on the ANC’s altar of revenge. Since the early 2000s the ordinary Afrikaners were not only naive on what to expect in a new South Africa and unprepared for the immense political, social, economic and personal changes awaiting, but were also totally confused about what their position in the new dispensation is and about the appropriate behaviours for new environment.8


It is not surprising that many Afrikaners feel so desolated. Many experience the feeling that they have ceased being an Afrikaner and the Afrikaner as an entity with a language has been lost.95


The Afrikaner is still alive, but it is true that they have lost all power. Black rule has become final. What is also clear is that the new ruler will apply more and more strong-arm tactics to impoverish, isolate and where possible, nullify the Afrikaner as a citizen.1,95


The hard fact is that Afrikaners are still citizens and that the ruler should take note of this. It is therefore of utmost importance for Afrikaners to find solutions to secure their existence and to avert the danger of dissolution. There is evidence that Afrikaners have already started to think outside their indoctrinated Afrikaner nationalism and are starting to try out solutions to adapt to their political dilemmas in the new South Africa.95


Afrikaner dependence on spiritual-political-cultural leaders and mentors is evident from the political and personal disorientation of NP-members as a group after the1970s on the deaths of their dominant leaders DF Malan, JG Strydom and HF Verwoerd. After 1994 they started to split into small, less rigid and less extreme Afrikaner cultural, political and financial bodies. However, the Afrikaner group’s disintegration does not mean that the internalized beliefs, values and intentions on racial differences have disappeared too. These views have become fixed and independent dispositions in the mindsets of the nationalist Afrikaners, guiding many of them still today.2,4,10-12,17,21,22


Since the late-1990s many nationalist Afrikaners, basically leaderless and politically disorientated, have become individual and reactive about their well-being. They seek individual economical and social empowerment, outside the growing corrupted NP and AB family tree and its extreme racial policy. Established internalized beliefs, customs and traditions are increasingly being abandoned without the traditional compensations of the past to reinforce it. Once an unstoppable and mighty political, cultural, economic and emotional bullying giant under the guardianship of the NP and AB, the nationalist Afrikaners are now orphaned and totally frail. In 23 years Afrikaner nationalism has gone from a hyper-state into a hypo-state.


Most of the current 2.7 million Afrikaners, of whom many already hold different political and cultural views than their parents, are driven in their daily lives and future planning by their own individual needs. More or less 2.3 million ordinary Afrikaners are ignoring the various exclusive “saviours” and “rescuers” and the various bodies that want to take up the Afrikaner cause.


Most Afrikaners clearly see no place for the racist right wing politics of old. The new independent Afrikaners have undoubtedly drawn a line between themselves and the hard-line nationalist Afrikaners. The de-internalization of wrong believes on racism and the dissociation from false “saviours” has become essential for the Afrikaners’ survival.


Many Afrikaners have written off their racist pasts and are doing their level best to adjust to the new South Africa on an individual basis. Many of these Afrikaners regret their trust in the different apartheid governments and their adherence to those doctrines. This being the case, would it not have been better if they 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 easily pliable. This fact is reflected today by some Afrikaners’ who still underwrite negative racial attitudes and behaviours against Blacks, although mostly not openly.


Cross-references: see Part 5, subdivision 4.2.7.



Boon1, p. 11 enthusiastically wrote 21 years ago about a free South Africa: “South Africa has been forced in conflict but also in human triumph. It is a place of multiple cultures – each with their dramatic and proud histories and powerful heritages. But culture is not static nor is it an isolated thing. It is dynamic and constantly influenced by other groups’ thoughts, philosophies and behaviours”. And this South Africa came in 1994, making dramatic chances to its multiple cultures and to the mindsets of its various peoples.

The Afrikaners were put before the reality of dynamic and constant changes in their culture by the 1994 dispensation. They resisted being assimilated into the country’s multiple cultures or assimilating South Africa’s multiple cultures into theirs for 350 years. The 1994 dispensation forced them out of their cocoon of assumed White supremacy and Afrikaner uniqueness and their ignorance of the indigenous realities of South Africa. They have lost their fear for the other South African groups’ thoughts, philosophies and behaviours. Undoubtedly many of their political conflicts have changed to human triumphs. Their previously rigid refusals to understand, accept and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa have started to wane. Being betrayed by the NP-AB leadership after the ANC came to power, have forced them out of group conformity and they have started thinking independently. Most of the ordinary Afrikaners do not need “saviours” and “rescuers” to steer their future: not the NP-AB-DRC leadership of the past or the new post-1994 corps of “Afrikaner white helmets”; leaders and enterprises with their “we are here to serve exclusively Afrikaners.” They can only harm Afrikaners’ future with their intentions and efforts to create a “double government” for South Africa (with their efforts to institute and to reserve “apartheid” for the “benefit” of some racial Afrikaners again). Ordinary Afrikaners can thankfully at last think, plan and decide for themselves, and some are doing it excellently.

Some Afrikaners prepared themselves long ago to deal with the threats and challenges of the new South Africa. Other unfortunately did not.

An in-depth understanding of their present and future situation is urgently needed so that they can get out of their present political, social, economical and emotional insecurities.


The pertinent question at this stage is: Are routes really available to assure success? Can ordinary Afrikaners make the year 2017 the year of thinking, decisions and actions? They can only do this if they know the opportunities, challenges, risks, threats and dangers awaiting them in the future. Part 7 (Article 7) of the series offers such a reflection on options and opportunities.


Whether they plan to make a future in South Africa or not, is it of great importance that the ordinary Afrikaner takes to heart in the wisdom of J C Smuts, the eminent South African statesman and scholar, when he said that South Africa was a place in which neither the best nor the worst has happened96. For the Afrikaner, moving into the new South Africa, these words can be the wisest he ever heard. The negativisms they experienced since 1994 in South Africa could have been worse; it was not the worst and will not become worse. The apartheid euphoria until 1994 was false. His future experiences in South Africa can be positive.  What does the Afrikaner want more than a true South Africa? The Mozambican-Portuguese settled successfully in the new South Africa. Why can the indigenous Afrikaners not do the same? South Africa is his only homeland.






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  95. Breytenbach B. Notes from the Middle World. Chicago: Haymarket Books; 2009.
  96. Bruce P. Bell Pottinger harmed us. Now it can help us. Sunday Times (Opinion). 2017 July 9; p. 16.



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 a century away? Part 4: Afrikaners’ failure to understand, accept, and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa

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

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com


Ensovoort volume 37(2017), number 10:2




Apartheid, civilisation, conflict, discrimination, dispensation, dissolution, ethnicity, European Afrikaners, genocide, Herodotus curse, doctrine, internalise, proto-Afrikaner, race, racism, White.



  • Background



The racial separation of Whites and other races in South Africa in the form of apartheid as a legal and a social system, exclusively for benefit the White minority and to suppress the Black majority, was a devastating White political dispensation that lasted up to 1994. It was a process of discrimination, forced physically and legally by the Whites on the Blacks, Asians, other non-Whites and Coloureds, that gradually started from 1671.1-6


This dispensation was statutorily erased in 1994 and the political tide turned on the Afrikaner. The Afrikaners’ fortune changed dramatically in just 23 years and in 2017 their future looks completely different from what their ancestors planned for them in South Africa. This outcome seems to be fully in line with the undesirable and unwelcoming changes that the Europeans, especially the British, were subjected to since the 1900s during the decolonization of their African colonies. The only difference between the British and the Afrikaner situation is that the European Afrikaners came to the table about sixty years later.7,8


This unexpected turn in the Afrikaners’ seemingly “unchangeable future” must be understood in terms of their proto-Afrikaner heritage that started off in the early Cape. This proto-Afrikaner heritage, which developed with time into Afrikanerism, includes a complexity of specific though patters and beliefs, cultural values, lifestyles and intentions, histories and life experiences that have been internalized over many years. This forms a complex that makes observing, recognizing and incorporating any other realities outside this internalized Afrikaner framework very difficult, if not totally impossible. Although the Afrikaner and his ancestors have been in Africa for more than 350 years and have acclimatized to a South African existence to some extent, is would be false to say that they ever became true South Africans with African thinking, planning and living. However, they are not truly European with European thinking, planning and living either. This is an etnic differentiation and uniqueness that already started to manifest in the 1700s at the Cape. This inbetween status (Afro-Euro status or Euro-Afro status) is a unique feature of the Afrikaner’s identity, political thinking and actions. Anti-apartheid and anti-colonial activists completely miss this, especially the post-1994 ANC politicians who are constantly targeting the Afrikaners for apartheid.2,3,4,6,9-12


Although the identity of the Afrikaner has been defined to a certain extent, although many times with conflicting, misleading and negative descriptions for instance as a European colonist, very few researchers have noted the existence of Afrikanerism as a specific cultural, political and racial movement and grouping in South Africa. It undoubtedly developed out of Europeanism, colonialism and to lesser extent Africanism, but, in terms of its unique discriminative intentions and inclinations, it is not colonialism, nor Europeanism or Africanism. Apartheid was not colonialism or a European-driven entity either. It is erroneous to classify these Afrikaner actions as European just because they descend from European ancestors. Although Hitler’s apartheid and Jewish apartheid reflect similarities in terms of racial supremacy and discrimination, the Germans and Jewish personal and psychological development and structures that led to these “apartheids” are different from that of the majority of Germans and Jews. These “apartheids” developed, as in the case of the Afrikaner’s apartheid, as a result of exposure to negative treatments by and experience of other indigenous and ethnic groups over time. It is not a European hereditary taint, transferred from generation to generation, as many researchers claim.  In practice, there are different social classes of Blacks in South Africa today, varying from rural to urban and from poor to rich, who clearly do not intermingle. The middle and upper class Blacks have moved to the traditional White suburbs, send their children to the old “White” schools and private schools, buy good homes and cars, maintain an “Western and modern” lifestyle, etc., away from the poor in the informal settlements and their ‘sub-standard” lifestyles. This class differentiation, representing discrimination per excellence and an unofficial Black-on-Black apartheid, reflect exactly the same inclination to discriminate of the Afrikaners. Any of the Black tribes of South Africa could, if the circumstances favoured them and they were military, political and economic empowered, have developed a similar South African apartheid as a result of wrongdoings by other indigenous races or ethnic groups or because of selfish and opportunistic personal inclinations. Such apartheid do not represents a Black hereditary taint, but the unique (sometimes deviant) behaviour of a specific group of Blacks. 2,3,4,6,9-12


Afrikanerism’s differentiation between Afrikaners and Africans forms a “cultural- and racial-schizophrenia” in which proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners have lived since 1652. It determined the Afrikaners attitude and view on the Blacks, as well as their preferred actions, life style and views, etc. This early secession of the proto-Afrikaners from the Black life system and the total absorption of Blackness, was further aggravated by the proto-Afrikaners’ unchangeable belief in a system of constant order and predictable outcomes to which most Westerns (and not specific only Europeans like the British, French, Dutch) were exposed over centuries in South Africa. It was clearly a case of direct experience with what works and what does not work, what cultural approaches, expertise, life-uses and traditions, etc., assure the viability and sustainable of the individual’s life and the continuation of a group. This included the maintenance of a certain life standards, life style, traditions, customs and habits that they believed were not debatable. This behaviour was not European determined or driven, but the result of group experiences and views developed by exposure to a country’s environment and its people. Many of these initial experience-derived characteristics, internalized in the mindsets of the proto-Afrikaner and Afrikaner, were of secondary importance for Blacks as it did not fit into their preferences. This difference laid the basis for indigenous racial conflict and estrangement between indigenous South Africans. (Many of the “uncivilised” characteristics assumed to belong to Blacks are direct results of many years of living in the disorder of racial discrimination and the denial of human rights).2,4,6,9-12


The Afrikaners’ failure to accept the indigenous realities of South Africa and their rigid implementation of their Afrikaneristic lifestyles, standards and values on the Blacks from a very early stage in the country’s history, must also be valued in terms of the impact that the narrow-minded views of Europeanism and colonialism had on the total South African population. A short historical overview of South African (British) colonialism, colonists and Afrikanerism is first offered.


1.1 Colonialism and Afrikanerism


Since 1994, the terms “colonialism” and “colonist” had become two of the catch phrase to identify Afrikaners with apartheid. Underlining this abuse is the simplified argument that the Afrikaners are Europeans who do not belong here. The Helen Zille sage around South African colonialism recently showed how little understanding some of the Black anti-Afrikaners have of their own past as well as that of the Whites, including that of the Afrikaners. Any person like Zille who dares to challenge the propaganda of the subjective post-1994 spirit of political correctness directed at the concepts colonialism, Afrikaner, racism and apartheid, is quickly ousted from political life, notwithstanding his or her skin colour. Researchers also hesitate to address the matter out of fear of victimizing and many forms of retaliation. Black anti-colonial and anti-apartheid activists have received an open book to jabber untruths in speeches and publications on the multiple wrongs of “British colonialism” and “all colonists,” ignoring the unaccountable benefits it brought to all South Africans: Afrikaners, Blacks and Whites.2,13-16


1.1.1 British colonialism


Although the British colonial policy at the Cape seized in 1815 for academic purposes, its practice was reignited with the colonization of the republics of Natal, Transvaal and Free State up to 1902 under the pretence of safeguarding the various Black tribes against proto-Afrikaner racism (A philanthropic British claim that came to very little when they allowed the racist Constitution of the Union of South Africa in 1910)3,17,18


What is clear is that the proto-Afrikaners were subjugated to the same imperial rule of British and English cultural arrogance as the Blacks. The proto-Afrikaners ‘subjugation started much earlier and was much deeper and extreme’. Not only did it drive many proto-Afrikaners out of the Cape Colony in the 1830s, but it also led to the death of thousands of innocent proto-Afrikaner citizens of the republics of Transvaal and Free State during the Anglo Boer War (1899–1902). It created the same perception of injustices and hate in the mindsets of the Northern proto-Afrikaners as colonialism (and later also Afrikanernism with apartheid) did in the mindsets of Blacks. It created such a hate for the British in the early 1900s that when the British spoke of South Africa’s “racial problem,” it was not a Black one, but an exclusive Boer one. Ethnic and racial tension between Afrikaners and the English Whites who came to South Africa as part of British colonialism, only eased from the 1960s onwards when the “Black problem” became a mutual concern for both groups: the English speakers needed Afrikaner protection against the feared Black empowerment and the Afrikaners needed the English votes to stay in power.2,3,11


The erroneous thought that classifies the Afrikaner as a “colonist” practicing “colonialism” is contradicted by many outcomes. First, true colonialism in South Africa, as practiced by the British formally stopped in the 1840s. “Decolonisation” in present South Africa is an outdated concept about a historical event that ended more than a century ago. The present blames and claims around it are based on uninformed anti-apartheid activists who lacking knowledge of South Africa’s history. To ‘decolonize’ Afrikaners or Blacks would in practice mean to erase internalized and established European and British knowledge, culture, lifestyles, politics, economics, etc., going back more than two centuries. Surely some of the contributions of colonialism that have become part of South Africans have helped them to become successful countrymen and global citizens. Without early colonialism, most South Africans would be political and cultural “zombies.”7,9,19


One fact is clear from the South African history: present-day South Africa is not a colonial society as is being argued. It was awarded effective self-government in 1910 with the Union of South Africa, obtained sovereign status in 1933 (equal to that of Australia, Canada and New Zeeland). Affiliation with Britain ended with the founding of the South African Republic outside the Commonwealth. South Africa affiliated in 1994, but without subordinate status.7,17,18


In other words, there are two prominent historical facts that are being blindly ignored by current anti-apartheid activists and politicians when they argue on colonialism and the Afrikaners’ status as colonist: a) the change in the constitutional status of South Africa in 1910; b) the activation of statutory political rule by a specific group of indigenous people over the other indigenous groups in South Africa since 1910. Afrikaners (the rulers until 1994) are indigenous to South Africa as the Blacks are indigenous to South Africa (both groups’ forefathers migrated four centuries or more ago to the country and settled here without any other fatherland to go back to or that can supports them in any way. They were not responsible to any colonial power and were not compensated for being here).20


Second, there are no footprints of colonialism in apartheid. The intent with Afrikanerist apartheid from the 1910s was to safeguard the personal and economical safety of Afrikaners as a specific indigenous racial group. This intention was based on obtaining exclusive political, economical and military power through the practice of extreme racial discrimination under apartheid. Afrikanerism and apartheid lacked a foreign colonial power’s inheritance or input, thinking, planning, manpower and manipulation or responsibility. The internal indigenous inclinations and intentions that make up Afrikanerism, which was driven, managed and maintained as grand apartheid, are different from the external colonial inclinations and intentions.7


1.1.2 Indigenous Afrikaners and Afrikanerism▼


The momentum and absolute power of Afrikanerism from the 1910s up to its collapse in 1994 in terms of its statutory empowerment, together with the tremendous input needed to neutralize apartheid, as well as the differences between British colonialism and Afrikanerism as practice by the indigenous Afrikaners in South Africa, –were aptly described in Berger and Godsell in 19887, p. 268:


These details of constitutional status are important because of what they indicate about the nature of power in South African society. Power is held by a segment of the indigenous population. The task facing those who seek fundamental change in the present government does not lie in persuading a colonial authority that the costs of continued occupation outweigh the benefits, but rather in helping in one section of a population wrest power, by force or persuasion, from each other. This is a much more difficult exercise.


In the process of dislodging a colonial overlord, economic, military and political costs had to exceed their benefits. In military terms, decolonization has mainly involved campaigns of endurance on the part of the indigenous guerrilla forces, and exhaustion on the part of the colonial power. The military stakes were seldom high.


In contrast to this colonial pattern, conflict in South Africa pits one section of population against the other.


Defining the identity of the Afrikaners and their behaviour and thinking around apartheid as that of Western European settlers, or as a fragment or a segment of Western Europeans practicing colonialism, is inappropriate and faulty. Also, propagating that the social identity of Afrikaners, especially from 1948 when apartheid began its more devastating journey into the South African society, is imbued with a colonially invested consciousness of being associated with a ‘superior’ civilisation, which in turn tinted Afrikaner views of indigenous people by pervasive paternalism and social distance because of their assumed personal inferiority and other shortcomings, is “stretched” and unsubstantiated thinking. These arguments are not adequate to solve a complex problem like apartheid or Afrikanerism.9


Labelling the Afrikaners as “settler-colonist classes” or as a group of Europeans living in Africa with the main intention to oppose Blacks is misleading. The view that all Whites are united by their European origin, perceptions of origin, cultural features and political interests is a planned effort to deny the Afrikaners their identity as an independent, indigenous group of South Africa. Up to 1994 they thought for themselves and reacted independently to situations, totally away from their early European descent or European political, cultural and racial influences. They are a group that has not had any political, emotional and cultural roots in Europe as a homeland for more than three centuries and that has intermixed with other South African groups to some extent. What is true is that Afrikanerism, in its efforts to deal with unique indigenous challenges and the Afrikaners’ feeling of being endangered, activated not only extreme discrimination against Blacks, but also the social and racial ousting of Blacks from their intimate circle. This led to Afrikaners lacking sound information and expertise about the “subordinate” indigenous Blacks. They were driven blindly by various levels of racial prejudice in their apartheid actions, ultimately lacking any real understanding, acceptance and incorporation of South African realities.2,9,20,21


Secondly; the current labelling of Afrikaners as settlers, etc., also fails to describe the unique racial attitudes of Afrikaners as their practiced apartheid and the role of Afrikanerism in racism. The normal reaction of a subgroup and sub-society is declared as a result of the Afrikaner’s European descent. There are social classes and reactions to realities like the differences between first and third world cultures, established group rights, moral and religious beliefs, etc., all over the world. This assumption also fails to consider the multi-fold European origin of Afrikaners – their descence from European groups and nations who differ from each other and reflect dissimilar ethnic and racial inclinations, social class approaches and behaviours, etc. The cultural, social and political distancing and estrangement of the proto-Afrikaners from their original European homelands over centuries is also ignored. Their history has left them with a strong mixed bloodline from the first day of the arrival of the Dutch at the Cape. They were an indigenous racial group in South Africa by the late 1700s and early 1800s.2,9,20,21


Third, their later racial reactions as an indigenous South African group must be seen from the context of the contact they had with the other indigenous South African racial groups, varying from Blacks to Asians, at the Cape and in the Boer republics. Their fear as a specific minority indigenous group has nothing to do with Europeanism or colonialism. They are a group bound together over many years by political discrimination and British colonialism. They learned cultural customs and adopted certain views. They were politically, culturally and economically steamrollered by other indigenous groups. Their distaste for unsophistication, disorder and lower life standards, also have nothing to do with European system. The racial discrimination practiced by the Afrikaners was activated and driven by their own South African indigenous lifestyle, developed over centuries in terms of indigenous lines in South Africa. It was this “sophisticated” indigenous lifestyle that formed the Afrikaners’ racial (and ethnic) discrimination and, as result of their political authoritarianism and selfishness, ended in apartheid.2,9,20


Many Afrikaners say that race and colour do not matter to them anymore. They are willing to live in South Africa with all the other races, they just want to live according to their own standard and they want the other groups to live to this as well. However, other indigenous groups are not interested in living in a way that would please the Afrikaners. The criteria are such that other groups would fail to meet them anyway. The continuation of discrimination in the form of Afrikanerism is obvious here. Afrikaners want to claim a certain brotherhood with other indigenous groups, but this standard that they prescribe is one of the factors that led to early class distinctions that later became race distinctions. Afrikanerism’s practice of racism was much more extreme than the racism practiced under colonialism and of a much longer duration. They tried to maintain “blood purity” by means of rules prohibiting racial mixing, even simple social association. They wanted to isolate their group to protect it from assimilation by means of unwritten and unreasonable “standards”. Blacks were regarded as volksvreemd (foreign), and this view propelled their self-enrichment and political empowerment for Afrikaners only, their ideas of racial supremacy and acts of suppression, including the benefits in turn for loyalty at the cost of non-Whites.2,9,20


Cross-references: see Part 1, subdivisions 3.2.1 and 3.2.7.

1.1.3. Indigenous Afrikaner versus indigenous Black


Due to the Afrikaner’s racial differentiation, they never learned to move out of their early learned culture, lifestyle and belief system towards a true South African inter-racial sphere. They don’t have the ability to conceptualize South African indigenous realities, like the constructive role of constant chaos, disappointment, repeated failures, unhappiness, unpredictability and constant hope that forms the life cycle of many Blacks as positive drivers in life. The Afrikaner never mastered the ability to understand the indigenous religious, economical, social and tribal life of Black, which, in contrast to the Afrikaner’s individuality, are driven and practiced around the family and tribe. The many differences in the Black marriage and religious practices are strange to the Afrikaner. These failures to observe, to understand, to incorporate and to acclimatize in his development, exposure and learning, kept the Afrikaner from understanding South Africa’s indigenous realities, needs and demands. This precludes the ability to participate successfully in the Black community or to make a transition to becoming a permanent member of the Black society. Priding oneself on good relations with various Buthelezi’s and Mangope’s is insignificant, even condemning. Basically is the isolation and out-casting of him from the Black culture a direct result of his incorrect thinking and expectation that  successful Afrikaner trouble-shooting in daily life will also always follows permanent in the greater South African society, including for the Blacks. Accompanying this separatist Afrikaner thinking is their selfish inclination to autocratically and indiscreetly forced needs, rights, experiences and wishes on the Blacks. They also have the tendency to see Black indigenous behaviours as barbaric. They seem to miss the fact that Blacks themselves experience Afrikanerist behaviour as barbaric. In the end there were two strangers living in two different cultural and mental worlds in the same South Africa.2-4,6,11,12


The proto-Afrikaners’ oversimplified view of indigenous Blacks’ political, social, economical and personal thinking and needs was one of the primary reasons for striking Blacks off the voter’s role of the Union in 1910 and later in 1961 from the first Republic (see later: subdivision 3.1.1.).


As discussed at length in the two previous articles of the series (Parts 2 and 3), the proto-Afrikaner and Afrikaner were exposed to a variety of traumatic experiences and examples of improper racial and ethnic behaviours over a long time.2-4,6,11,12,22,23


This history and racial differentiation paved the way for ideas of a White supremacy and civilisation versus Black barbarism in proto-Afrikaners thinking. This racial and cultural differentiation formed one of the main reasons for the Great Trek and became entrenched in the mindsets of the Northern Afrikaners of South Africa (Transvaal and Orange Free State). The history that culminated in the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 and the role of the debate on Blacks as citizen and their right and ability to be part of the Union reflects this North-versus-South thinking about the Blacks as “different kinds of human beings” and as “African strangers”. The racial attitudes of the White delegates to the meetings of the Convention to form the Union of South Africa in 1908 confirm the existence of the idea that there is a double world of Blacks and Whites. It established the schizoid racial relations between Whites and Blacks that the modern Afrikaner was later exposed to and grew up in and that hampers their understanding, acceptance and appropriation of South Africa’s indigenous realities.1-6,11,12,24


The Afrikaner internalization of life experiences as good versus bad is the main point of focus of this study. Much of the Afrikaner thinking is based on a bi-polar racial classification. In terms of this classification, they evaluate certain situations as problematic and they address these, and they evaluate other situations as less important. They have a vision for the future and they plan accordingly, but only for their own benefit. . Prominent in this context is the Afrikaner’s failure to understand, accept and appropriate South African indigenous realities correctly.


The aim of the study is to reflect on the failure of the Afrikaner to understand, accept and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa.


  • This article is the fourth 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 reinforcement and of racial discrimination in the mindsets of Afrikaners; 3) Present and past negative determinants and role players in the establishment and reinforcement of injustices in the mindsets of Afrikaners; 4) the Afrikaners’ failure to understand, accept and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa; 5) The vicious cycle of revenge and counter-revenge around apartheid; 6) Preparedness of Afrikaners to deal with the threats and challenges of the new South Africa; 7) 2017 is the time for thinking, planning and action.


  • The overarching intention of the broader study is to determine the position of the Afrikaners in the year 2117.



  • Method



The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a viewpoint based on the evidence as it appears during the course of the research. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established library, like on the topic of the Afrikaner’s present-day and future position in South Africa. The databases used were EBSCOHost and Sabinet online. Sources included articles from 2015 to 2017, books for the period 1944 to 2017 and newspapers covering the period 2015 to 2017. These sources are used to reflect on the Afrikaners and to put thinking trends, views and opinions on the Afrikaners in perspective.25-27


The research findings are presented in narrative format.



  • Results



3.1 Disrespect and degradation of Blacks at the 1908 Cape Convention (Union of South Africa)


It is crucial to understand the racial disrespect and degrading behaviours of many South African Whites, especially the Afrikaners, towards the South African Blacks before apartheid. This also explains how Afrikaners deliberately isolated the Blacks as indigenous partners in a true South African indigenous society, ultimately leaving the Afrikaners in isolation, a total stranger to the South African realities. The best evidence of this is the events in 1908 at the National Convention to prepare a constitution for the Union of South Africa. The various speeches and other inputs of the White delegates on accommodating and inscribing the rights of the all citizens, White and Blacks, of the Cape and the three colonies into the constitution, provides insight in this matter. The events also reveal the thinking of the Afrikaners and the English-speaking Whites of that time. It also reflects the racial situation into which the proto-Afrikaners were guided by their leaders, shaping to a great extent their future views of disrespect and degradation of the Blacks’ political and general views, cultures, ambitions, dreams and expectations of the South African society.3


In retrospect, the views of 1908 on Blacks did not differ very much from those of the nationalist Afrikaners of 1948 to 1960 and onwards into grand apartheid. It is therefore of great importance to start with this 1908 racial profile and description to determine the Afrikaners’ attitudes, reasons and motivation to discriminate instead of becoming incorporated in South Africa’s indigenous realities.2,3,11,24


  • Regarding the status of Blacks in the world of 1908, it would have been naive to see them as perfectly developed and functioning citizens in terms of “Western” and “Afrikaner” standards, which were the only criteria for human rights for many Whites of that time. To the contrary. They were not “civilised angels” who were blindly discriminated against just because they are Black. There were large cultural gaps between the average Black and the average White in the 1900s, making social resistance and conflict unavoidable


In referring to the 1900s, one must remember that South Africa, its people and civil society was totally different from that of the South Africa of 2017. It would also be false to claim that racial discrimination, hatred, prejudice and hostility were limited to Afrikaners. The same negative characteristics existed (and still do today) in the mindsets and behaviours of some Blacks against Afrikaners (the Black hostile view and that the Afrikaner is an uninvited European colonist and interloper into South Africa was already there from the 1800s). 2,4,6,11,12,14


  • The intention of this article is to focus exclusively (a focus that some over-sensitive Afrikaners may see as prejudice, which is of cause not true) on the Afrikaners and their political and social wrongdoings in South Africa. The article examines how they saw and treated the country and its people and why they fail to accept, understand and appropriate South Africa’s indigenous realities. The article also looks at why they failed as indigenous South Africans to join Blacks in the greater South African society unconditionally. This approach permeates the wider research. The mistakes of the Blacks and their racist attitudes or hostility are irrelevant here and should be studied separately.


3.1.1 The 1853 Cape Constitution and liberal politicians

Racial relations were not negative and hostile before 1908. From the British side there was a positive view on Blacks (although they called them Natives at that time) as reflected in the 1853 Constitution of the Cape Colony. Sir George Cathcart reveals this clearly in a dispatch to the Governor of the Cape3, pp.22-23: “It is the earnest desire of Her Majesty’s government that all her subjects at the Cape without distinction of class or colour should be united by one bond of loyalty and we believe that the exercise of political rights enjoyed by all alike will prove one of the best methods of attaining this object.” In the Cape under this Constitution “franchise was open to all men, White, Coloured or Native, who could comply with a civilisation test and every person qualified to vote was eligible for election to the House of Assembly”.3


The testimony of Colonel Stanford, a Cape delegate and former head of the Native Affairs Department in the Cape Colony and an ex-member of the Native Affairs Commission, someone who spent his life among Blacks and thus with in-depth knowledge of the Blacks, said to the other members of the Convention3, p. 53: “They must realise the fact that the Natives were men and must treat them as men and slowly they would prove themselves good and worthy citizens ready and able to bear their full share of the burden of citizenship”. His belief was that they would take the same position and show the same progress in South Africa as they had done in the Cape Colony. The franchise in his view was the crux of the whole Native question in South Africa. He regarded freedom and citizenship for Blacks as a priority in South Africa after 1910.


The prominent politician WP Schreiner, a former Prime Minister of the Cape, saw the political intentions of many of the delegates to the Convention, especially those from the Northern parts, as suspicious. He felt that they were racist when it came to the rights of Blacks and described the new Constitution they wanted for South Africa not as an Act of Union but rather as an Act of Separation between the minority and the majority of the people of South Africa.3 He denounced the intended exclusion of other races from the union parliament3. In this regard he argued3, p. 25: “ Humani nil a me alienum puto. To embody in the South African constitution a vertical line or barrier separating its people upon the ground of colour into a privileged class or caste and an unprivileged, inferior proletariat is, as I see the problem, as imprudent as it would be to build a grand building upon unsound and sinking foundations…”.


The Cape politician JX Merriman, going through as a liberal on the Black issue in public view, showed his true racial attitudes (and colours!) in a letter to JC Smuts when he wrote3, p.18: “… I do not like the 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”.


Merriman’s extreme racist view was in line with that of the Northern delegates and laid the foundation for the union’s racial policy and later apartheid.


3.1.2 The Northern Colonies and their 1908-degradation of Blacks


Compared to the Cape Colony, the two Northern colonies had a rigid colour bar in their constitutions that excluded any person who was not European from franchise and from public office. The Transvaal and the Orange River Constitutions were based on the proto-Afrikaners’ views. They came from a tradition of slavery from the 1650s at the Cape, went through a constant struggle with Blacks on the Eastern border and in the colonies and had a schooling in the harsh, rigid doctrine that promised security for the minority Whites in South Africa. This doctrine held that they had to subdue the Blacks and keep them permanently and constantly subdued. These Northern Afrikaners claimed based on their earlier conquering of the Blacks in Transvaal and Orange Free State, the right to rule and to keep Blacks in a state of complete subjection.3 This perception of the Northern Boers is illustrated well by Friedman3, p. 24: “They would admit of no relationship between White and Black save that of master and servant. The caste system they established was supported by Biblical sanction, than which they recognised no higher authority. White supremacy was part of the Divine order of things. Equality of status for White and Black was not only a revolutionary conception – it was sheer blasphemy”.


During the preparatory discussions to the formation of the union, this Northern Afrikaner contempt for Blacks as humans quickly came to the foreground. They stated it in their arguments and they won in the end, notwithstanding strong opposition from some delegates. This early socio-cultural isolation between Afrikaners and Blacks in the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony became the guiding racial policy for South Africa as a whole after the establishment of the Union, with the Blacks seen as inferior humans. Prominent Afrikaner and English-speaking White leaders showed disrespect for Black intelligence, integrity and sincerity in their degrading speeches. Hidden behind this racial discrimination was the desire to secure exclusive White economical supremacy through White political supremacy as fast and comprehensively as possible. [Today under the ANC regime these actions are described by anxious White critics as (White) radical economical transformation through state capture under the Zuma regime]. The foundations of the Afrikaans version of radical economical transformation and state capture were laid on the establishment of the Union, waiting to be exploited by the authoritarian Hitler-oriented Malan-Strydom-Verwoerd alliance. Twenty years later it started steering into an extreme economical and political apartheid. For this alliance, the impoverished and downtrodden Afrikaners (with a strong tendency towards authoritarianism themselves) were easy prey who could be manipulated with the Nazi-dogma of White supremacy as a vehicle to obtain and maintain political and economical power.2,3,6,9,11,12


General Botha was commissioned by Transvaal to attend the Convention. His negative racial attitude is aptly described by Friedman3 when he writes3, p. 49: “His conception of a united nation did not embrace the Natives and other non-Whites; when he spoke of the population of South Africa as being too small he obviously did not include them in the account. As a true descendant of the Voortrekkers he could not acknowledge that the Natives had any legitimate claim to a share in the new dispensation. Nor could Botha accept the doctrine that by enhancing the status of the Black man he would make a contribution to the progress and prosperity of the Union”.


General de Wet’s reaction was even more negative when he said3, p. 60: “Providence had drawn the line between Black and White and we must make that clear to the Natives and not instil into their minds false ideas of equality”. To his mind, the greatest kindness and the greatest justice the Convention could do to the Blacks were to inform them that they are unequal to Whites.3


Two other speeches, one at the preparatory meeting of the Convention and one at the Convention itself, reflect the psychological and physical estrangement and detachment already present between Afrikaners and Blacks in 1908, notwithstanding nearly 200 years of contact. Mr Abraham Fischer spoke on behalf of the Orange River Colony and challenged the opinion of another delegate. Friedman reports as follows on his reaction3, p.55: “…He could ask those who knew [the Native peoples] whether they could say the Natives were fit for power? Are they fit to take part in the making of laws for South Africa? …A test of civilisation was spoken: what is the test of civilisation? It is not education. Not an industrial qualification. Not the improvement of property. Was it to be a liquor test?”


The negative view of Sir Frederick Moor of Natal on the Blacks was the following3, p. 54:


… White and Black races in South Africa could never be amalgamated. The history of the world proved that the Black man was incapable of civilisation and the evidences were to be found throughout South Africa today. Almost every race in the world could point to its stages of civilisation but what traces of Black civilisation could South Africa produce though the Native people had been brought into contact with civilisation for ages?…Sir Percy Fitz-Patrick has spoken of a test of civilisation. What was a civilized man? Was it not a man who proved himself adaptable to a civilized community? The Native were incapable of civilisation because they were incapable of sustained effort.


General JC Smuts, representing Transvaal and a person of supposed liberal thinking, had a less negative reaction, but he was very aloof about Black political rights in the future union. Smuts reflected3, p. 19: “…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”. In studying Smuts’ famous Memorandum to the 1908 Convention, preparing the Constitution for the Union, there is no trace of safeguarding the future rights of or a concern for the fate of Blacks in post-1910 South Africa.3,24


In retrospect, most of the 1908-delegates to the founding of the union regarded the ordinary South African Black as persona non grata; more precisely, they were persona non human. These non-human Blacks stayed for a very long time.


These negative attitudes on the Blacks in 1908 and the racial attitudes reflected by prominent leaders not only laid the foundation for the future racial policy of South Africa, but confirmed the belief that Blacks are inferior and can not be allowed into the intimate circle of Whites. Whatever was going on at the homes of Blacks, their daily struggles to survive financially, and the substandard quality of healthcare they received, were not only of little concern to the ordinary Afrikaners, it was taboo for them to want to know, understand or see it for themselves. These problems were not regarded as the Afrikaners’ concerns, notwithstanding the fact that the Afrikaner racial policy was responsible for much of the Blacks’ suffering. The 1908-views on race relations, cemented into the Constitution of the Union of 1910, paved the way for keeping White and Black away from each other as far as possible, not only socially but also statutorily. The Constitution of the Union of South Africa made Blacks into strangers to Afrikaners aside from cordial, subordinate workplace contact. The opportunity for the Afrikaners to understand, accept and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa was curtailed by their own negative racial attitudes and inclinations in 1910.2-4,6,11,12.24


This racial split that prohibited assimilation between White and Black, thus blocking the opportunity for a better understanding among Whites and Blacks, was edified by various kinds of racial legislations. This legislation was accompanied by supremacy and an authoritarian Afrikaner thinking on Blacks as humans and with regard to their civil rights. An example is Hertzog’s legislation of 1936 that accomplished not only the removal of the Black voters from the common roll, but established distinctions of race or colour as legitimate grounds for the denial of political rights and an all-out discrimination. This deprived the Blacks and Coloured people of their political rights (the racial discrimination became the basis for the later apartheid dispensation).3


White and Black became more and more estranged from each other: two opposing aliens living in the same country. The passing of more extreme legislation, culminating in grand apartheid, destroyed any opportunity for Whites to learn more about Blacks and South Africa’s realities.2-4,6,11,12


This side-lining of the “Black problem” in 1908 became a chronic problem, left unaddressed for many years to come. It was never successful addressed until the dawn of the ANC regime. The union was to benefit exclusively the Whites, not the Blacks; the matter of citizen status for Blacks was treated by the union-makers as a matter of subsidiary importance. In the minds of the racially discriminative White policy makers, Black voting and civil rights would have meant the end of White supremacy and the doom of White civilisation. Political power had to stay in the hands of Whites to maintain White supremacy and to enforce a full-blown policy of segregation. This segregation, which within short time developed into full racial discrimination, was intentionally obtained through the formation of the union. Apartheid was introduced to Afrikaners as morally, and statutorily righ and acceptable. This was an outcome that was welcomed by many greedy nationalist Afrikaners who were now assured of their income through job reservation and profited from property expropriation, etc. But the most successful outcome of apartheid was the deliberately isolation of ordinary Afrikaners from the Blacks’ indigenous culture, their lifestyles, politics, ambitions, dreams, humanity and, most of all, the Blacks’ immense suffering as a result of the nationalist Afrikaner leadership’s policy of systematic discrimination against Blacks and the open degradation and disrespect for them as humans. By 1908 the table was fully laid for discrimination against Blacks and a lifelong estrangement that the 1994 dispensation have not been able to address. The events of 1908 also became the barrier for the Afrikaner to obtain insight into South Africa’s realities.2-4,6,11,12


The harshness of apartheid is echoed by the nationalist Afrikaners’ disdain for Jews during the 1930s. Like the Nazis hid the Jews from the German civilians, the fate of Blacks and their existence was kept hidden from the Afrikaners’ daily view. In this way they saw to it that Afrikaners would not develop any sensitivity for their fate (based on the principle “out of sight, out of mind”). Up to the 1930s, Jews were regarded as “brothers” of the Afrikaners, yet they were shunned when it suited the Afrikaners. This makes clear the cold-bloodedness of the discrimination against the Blacks during apartheid and the damage done to any future “brotherhood” between Blacks and Whites after apartheid.3


The next section shortly chronicles the Afrikaner reaction to immigrants and the “Jew problem” to show how groups that used to have amicable relationships can suddenly turn on each other. Such outcomes make any unification in a country impossible. This piece of history also shows how the fears and prejudices of the proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners were hijacked by crafty political leaders from the early 1900s. These leaders had dubious personal and political views. They masterfully steered these unfortunate and insecure Afrikaners in the direction of extreme racial discrimination and the expulsion of other ethnic and racial groups from their lifestyles and living spaces. The endorsement, acceptance and establishment of authoritarianism and moral double standards as part of the political lifestyle of these insecure Afrikaners fitted well with the racial discrimination promoted by ultra-nationalist Afrikaner leaders. It is evident from the political behaviour of the puritan nationalist Afrikaner leaders (the rulers of South Africa from 1948 to 1994) and those in their inner circles from the 1930s onwards.2,3


3.1.3. The puritan nationalist Afrikaners’ discrimination against Jews▼


The sentiment around Hitler and his Nazis became very prominent in 1935 with DF Malan (a future prime minister) and his Purified Nationalist Party (PNP) [launched in 1934 and later becoming the core of the National party (NP) which came to power in 1948]. This sentiment is well-demonstrated by Malan, Hertzog, Strydom and Verwoerd’s justification of Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia and Poland and his growing aggressions to Germany’s neighbours. These four were leaders in the Purified National Party.2,3 The purified nationalism of Malan was very much in line with the political thinking and philosophies of Hitler. Friedman writes about the PNP and Malan3, p. 125: “Its aim was domination. It sought a state of affairs which would ensure the undisputed ascendancy of the ware Afrikaner in every sphere of the national life and reduce all unnational elements – British, Jews and detribalised Afrikaners who followed Smuts – to the status of second-class citizens. The Republic, the goal of all his aspirations, would be founded on the principle of ‘Een land, een volk, een taal’”.


The severity of Malan’s purified nationalist intolerance of democracy is noticeable from the fact that he scolded JBM Hertzog, who was seen as the father of Afrikaner nationalism, as a renegade and a traitor to the cause, and an enemy of the volk. Malan’s purified nationalist Afrikaners assimilated Hitler’s Herren-volk doctrine, so much so that a party member, JG Strydom3 (a future prime minister), said that if the Afrikaners do not accept and practice the “Herren-volk idea” of the Nazis, the Whites would fail to be the political masters of South Africa and to rule the Blacks.3,12


Hitler’s prominent use of anti-Semitism as one of the main strategies (the other strategy was to use the dire poverty of the Germans after the First World War) to muster authoritarian political power had a direct impact on the purified nationalist Afrikaners. Malan, when he was Minister of the Interior, was himself a man who initially publicly praised the South African Jews for their contribution to various areas to the country and as an important group of the population who had fully identified themselves with the White society and its people. Now, beset by purified nationalism and suddenly under the Nazi-doctrine of anti-Semitism, Malan denounced the Jews as an unassimilable group. Even the belief that the Jews are the Chosen People of the Bible was skilfully extinguised in the mindsets of the Boers under the influence of the purified Afrikaners. The Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church annulled the Divine decree that the Jews were God’s Chosen People after a study on the historic credentials of the Jews (In doing this the DRC assured Afrikaners that any manifestation anti-Semitism would not and could not incur Divine displeasure). DRC members were careful to observe the Biblical injunction to “love their neighbours”, but the church aligned this commandment with anti-Semitism and the Afrikaners’ new Christian duty became to ensure that their neighbours are Gentiles and not Jews.2,3


In this regard it must be noted that South Africa was at that time a safe place to settle for German Jews fleeing Nazi persecution and genocide. However, Malan and his collaborators’ anti-Semitism and pro-Nazism immediately saw the Jews becoming a target for the purified nationalist Afrikaners. The PNP wanted to stop them from entrance into South Africa. Action was started by the Purified Afrikaners to prohibit Jewish immigration. Malan himself declared that the country did not want more Jews because they were an ‘unassimilable element.’ The anti-Jewish hostility of the purified nationalist Afrikaners reached a climax when a German chartered ship, the Stuttgart, arrived in Cape Town filled with German Jews and urgently looking for asylum. The agitation by the purified Afrikaners forced Hertzog’s government to act and the Aliens Bill ended the entrance of Jewish refugees. Even the liberal Smuts did not block this draconian act.3


What is of immediate importance is that this unprecedented official ethnic discrimination, fully in the public domain and promoted with “Afrikaner pride” by prominent nationalist Afrikaners, was internalized during the 1930s by ordinary nationalist Afrikaners as good, applicable and correct behaviour. For Blacks, this increase discriminatory thinking among the majority of Afrikaners and the inclusion of discrimination in the political system was a sign of doom. An entire sub-society of nationalist Afrikaners formed. The question must have been clear to Blacks at that time: if the Afrikaner could not assimilate other Whites like the Jews, how could they ever freely assimilate Blacks?


This without a doubt increased the Blacks’ distrust in the Afrikaners and they increased the distance they kept. The estrangement between the two racial groups was exacerbated, leaving the Afrikaners in isolation, with a growing misunderstanding of Blacks and South African indigenous realities (and the Blacks of Afrikaner realities).


The racial incitement against the Jews revealed the authoritarian and self-centred political and psychological thought patterns of the purified nationalist Afrikaner leaders. Not only did they steer and manipulate the Afrikaners into their weird and abnormal thinking on humanity, but they also sought votes and political empowerment, cunningly and deliberately creating false ideals for the insecure Afrikaners and promising that their injustices would be rectified and their political, social and financial needs would be satisfied. The leaders’ own intentions, ideals and attitudes on extreme racial discrimination and White supremacy were hidden from ordinary Afrikaners.3


As with the Germans’ immense poverty that offered Hitler the opportunity to direct his ideology of revenge at the “culprits” and to focus on the correction of the imbalance in richness between the Germans and the “culprits,” the Jews, the purified nationalist-Afrikaner leaders identified the Blacks as the “culprits”. Blacks as cheap labour was seen as competition for the poor and unskilled Afrikaners. The White English had comparatively higher incomes than the Afrikaners. The purified Afrikaner leaders exploited this state of affairs to strengthen their self-centred political racist dogma, personal agendas and to gain support among the Afrikaner electorate. They basically relied on White supremacy and kept non-Whites isolated and on a distance as strangers whose influence must at all time be blocked. Support for the purified Afrikaners (as with the Nazis in the beginning in Germany) was initially small, but it quickly gathered momentum intil they won the general election in 1948 (when the Purified Afrikaner Party came to power in 1948 they won with a majority of eight seats, while obtaining only 37% of the polled votes. Nineteen years later, in 1977, on the NP’s pick, the NP captured 134 of the 164 seats, drawing 64.5% of the polled votes with an estimated 85% voter support from the Afrikaners).2,3


When comparing the authoritarian personality of Adolf Hitler with many of the leaders of the purified Afrikaners and later nationalist Afrikaners, the similarities are astonishing. The same goes for a comparison of their political planning and institutions. The same political and emotional rhetoric, well-planned false racist propaganda, dogma and doctrine, authoritarian thinking, planning and management by the leadership, exclusive small beneficiary support groups around the top management, like the SS versus the AB, the Gestapo versus the Civil Cooperation Bureau, the immense poverty of certain sectors of the German and Afrikaner populations to exploit, extremely charismatic leaders that could secure a mass following of up to 85% of the population, constant pleas for nationalism and nation building, group interests above that of the individual and unselfish service to and sacrifices for the nation, the emphasis on injustices done to the Germans and Afrikaners, extreme suppression of political enemies, reckless political behaviour by the leaderships of both when their power started to thane, etc., distinguish both groups. Also, the failure brought on the Germans by the racism/ethnicity and political corruption of Hitler and the failure brought on the Afrikaners by the ultra-racism and political corruption of their leaders, show great similarities. The only two differences between modern Germany and modern South Africa is that Germany re-captured its position as a world leader after Hitler and the Nazis, but the Afrikaners failed to be a group of any significance after the fall of the NP-AB-alliance leaders and the NP, and they seems to be on their way to dissolution in a century’s time. Secondly, where it took the world to bring down Hitler, the NP was brought down easily by South African Black empowerment without a real war.2,3,28-30


Regarding the characteristic authoritarianism of the Afrikaner leaders like Malan, Strydom, Verwoerd and Vorster, it will be foolish to argue that it was unique to them. This is far from the truth: the behaviours of the Trekboers on the Eastern border of the Cape in the 18th, the Boers/Burghers of the republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State and their previous governments under leaders like Paul Kruger, Smuts, Botha and De Wet as well as the various delegates to the 1908 Convention, bares evidence of this. Also, the behaviour of the management structures of the Afrikaner churches like the DRC was and is still today founded in authoritarianism. Authoritarianism seems to be embedded in the worldviews of most ordinary Afrikaners, which made it very easy for their autocratic leaders to beset their political minds and to steer them towards the thinking and belief system of their leaders and into extreme apartheid from 1960. Hitler’s impact on leaders like Malan, Verwoerd and Vorster did not a lead to the creation of a new political behaviour or ideology based on authoritarianism, but rekindled old behaviours and thinking. The practices that result from this thinking were driven unashamedly and with certitude by a prominent (notorious) world leader in world politics, setting an example for subordinate leaders. It is an open question if one could describe the strong tendency of many Afrikaners to underwrite and to practice authoritarianism in their daily life as abnormal psychological behaviour that reflects psychopathology. However, one could say that authoritarianism did contribute to the Afrikaner’s abnormal racial discrimination and apartheid. The role of authoritarianism in the Afrikaner’s resistance to Black empowerment and his isolation from South Africa’s realities can not be doubted or denied either.2,4,6,11,12,24


It essential to understand the autocrat Adolf Hitler and his dogma if one wants to understand the authoritarian behaviour, intentions and thinking of the NP-AB-DRC leaders, apartheid and the extreme racial segregation with all its consequences, the isolation of the Afrikaners from knowledge of South Africa’s indigenous realities.


In an effort to understand the corrupting influence of Hitler on the nationalist Afrikaner leaders during the 1930s (a mindset that still seems to exist today), the article provides short descriptions of the anti-Semitic and general Nazi-authoritarian behaviour of DF Malan, HF Verwoerd and JB Vorster. There is also a short reference to the post-Vorster period of NP leaders.


Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivisions and 3.1.5. DF Malan


Malan’s extreme authoritarian mindset and his shameless manipulation of the ordinary Afrikaners (characteristics that became well-known with the NP leadership up to the party’s disbanding) are described well by Friedman3, p. 126: “He [Malan] denied that there was a Nazi persecution of the Jews, a rather ironic statement for, in effect, he denied that Hitler had put into practice the sort of discrimination he, Malan, was planning to enforce against the Jews in South Africa. Thus he exonerated Hitler, whilst convicting himself of anti-Semitism”.


Looking back on the blocking of German Jewish refugees from South Africa by Malan and his collaborators, Malan made himself directly part of the killing and genocide of German and other European Jews by making it impossible for them to flee the Nazis. Judged by his post-1930s behaviour, his part to these murders by the Germans did not seem to worry him. This is a good indicator of how “unworried” he was when he ruthlessly conducted his policy of apartheid from 1948 onwards.


Malan, although not part of the war clan of Hertzog, Botha, De Wet, and Smuts, started to have a political impact on the Afrikaners during the early 1900s. He became a strong opinion and policy maker on Afrikaner interests after he became editor of Die Burger in 1916 and the leader of the Cape NP in 1920. His intention was to give specific meaning to the then rather undefined concept of the Afrikaner, the immediate mobilization and empowerment of Afrikaners in the South African politics (and to successfully mask the various divisions) to establish a nationalist Afrikaner identity and – entity that is separate from White English speakers and Coloured Afrikaans speakers. He was, in the words of Giliomee2, p.12, “part of the rewriting of history along nationalist Afrikaner lines: the gestalt of the Afrikaners as a distinct group living among groups of ‘savage’ and ‘heathen’ nations, the construction of a new nationalist Afrikaner ideology founded specifically on the long-standing beliefs of White supremacy with the subordinate position of non-Whites and the condemning of racial mingling”. Primary to these new ideas was neo-Calvinism (Malan was previously a minister of the Word in the DRC), which Malan propagated in the south alongside the Doppers of Potchefstroom in the North.


This “neo-Calvinism,” strongly underwritten and propagated by Malan2, p.12: “argue[d] 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”. Malan’s later acceptance of the Nazi ideology (and extreme racial discrimination) was clearly present in his mindset in the early 1900s and was waiting to be set free in the mindsets of Afrikaners when applicable.

Malan’s disrespect for the rights of the individual is evident from the NP’s consistent violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of South Africans after 1948. One means to do this was the Suppression of Communism Act which placed the NP regime above the law. Malan could eliminate individuals and political opposition from politics, ban persons from public life, etc., by means of executive order. This shows how the ghost of Nazism became a living Dracula in South Africa after 1948. This act was amply applied to Black political leaders.3 HF Verwoerd


A good example of the significant Nazi-orientation and – manifestation among the leaders of the purified nationalist Afrikaners is the extreme racial and ethnic discriminative mindset of HF Verwoerd (A born Dutchman and later leader of the NP and premier and president of the South African Republic) in the 1930s. When the German ship, the Stuttgart, arrived at the Cape filled with German Jewish refugees, Verwoerd – at that time a professor at Stellenbosch University – addressed a mass demonstration and threatened to lead a march on parliament to vent the people’s anger and resentment against this unwanted and undesirable influx of Jewish refugees.3


This attitude and these actions against White immigrants who were fleeing from the murdering madness of Hitler (and himself an immigrant) provide a good idea of Verwoerd’s early Nazism. These ethnic and racial attitudes and Nazi ideas and behaviour never left Verwoerd. The tragic outcome of his twisted political mindset for Black South Africans is evidenced by his later grand apartheid.2,8,11,23


The highly charismatic Verwoerd, as Malan before him, captivated nationalist Afrikaners and he became the most unchallenged leader of the NP. His advice, viewpoints and opinions were untouchable and were followed without questions. The same went for his political dogma around apartheid. For a many opportunistic and shortsighted nationalist Afrikaners, his extreme racial politics worked excellently, at least in the short term, although totally at the cost of the Blacks. Ultimately his vision, promises and manipulations not only failed the NP, but also all the Afrikaners. The backlash by the Blacks after 1994 erased to a great extent many of his racist wrongdoings, but the psychological and physical estrangements he brought between Black and White seems to have become permanent, making the Afrikaners today outcasts with a limited knowledge of South Africa’s indigenous realities.2,3,11 JB Vorster


Vorster, a president of the old South Africa, was an agitator for Nazism in his younger days and was interned by the Smuts regime to curb his undermining political activities in the country during the war.


His Terrorism Act highlighted his Nazi-draconian and authoritarian mindset. In terms of this act the South African police could at any time arrest anyone without stating reasons and they could suspend Habeas Corpus for 180 days. The act conferred unlimited authority on the arresting official. Detainees could be held in solitary confinement without visitors or reading and writing material. The arrestee could on the termination of the 180 days be rearrested for another period of 180 days if the police deemed it necessary.3


Vorster’s political behaviour was very similar to that of the SS and the Gestapo, only two decades later and outside the borders of Nazi Germany. Although he tried to establish ties with various African leaders, his government also failed to introduce the Afrikaners to any African realities.



  • The post-Vorster leaders of the NP


Looking back at the examples set by Malan, Verwoerd and Vorster, there can be no doubt how, where and from whom the ordinary nationalist Afrikaners learned White supremacy, the practice of racial discrimination and the tendency to dissociate themselves from Blacks from the 1920s onwards. Regarding Malan, Strydom and Verwoerd’s political teachings and doctrines, there can be no doubt where they found in some way the inspiration for their political dogma: Hitler and the Nazis.


To declare the post-Vorster-period of NP-leaders’ and –members’ thinking and behaviour free from the authoritarian and racial political policy as practiced by the Malan-to-Vorster-leaderships is wrong: the political ideology preached and practiced under Vorster, had continued. P W Botha shows throughout his political life his authoritarian NP-orientated racial-inclinations. Indeed, as a disciple of D F Malan he learned and internalised a lot of the NP-AB-doctrine. Although F W de Klerk, a minister in  Botha’s cabinet, activated the dismantling of apartheid, he underwrites till 1990 as a member of the NP – and before his seemingly Damascus Enlightenment and political conversion – fully apartheid in all its negative consequences for Blacks. This political inclination was home-and family-bred. His father, Jan de Klerk, a nominated senator, was a minister in the Strydom- and Verwoerd-cabinets and a stalwart apartheid-preacher and –practitioner himself. More, de Klerk Senior was the brother-in-law of J G Strydom, the prime-minister of South Africa after D F Malan. How much it can be debated, F W de Klerk, notwithstanding his receiving of the Nobel-prize for Peace and his political self-crucifixion in the eyes of many South Africans and the international public to dismantle apartheid, undoubtedly benefited over a broad terrain and in long term from the pre-1994 NP-reign. He is direct and indirect as much collectively guilty to apartheid’s mal-behaviours as Malan, Srydom, Vorster, his father Jan de Klerk and Botha are: No-one can escape his past, also not De Klerk Junior. About the political and humanitarian guilt to apartheid’s wrongdoing of the last leader of the NP, Marthinus  van Schalkwyk, there is little to say in this political condemnation and pinpointing of NP-culpability: he was a political non-account in Afrikaner-politics and a short lived leader. Plentiful autocrats like Adolf Hitler


Various researchers3,22,31 offers an excellent description of Hitler and the NP-AB leadership’s mental functioning. They shared elements such as their ability to easily motivate masses of ordinary citizens to follow their leadership and doctrines blindly and unquestioningly. In the case of the Afrikaner leaders, there was the successful implementation of the doctrine of apartheid for many years; their establishment of segregation so that the Blacks, notwithstanding centuries of living in the same country, remained complete strangers for the Afrikaners; their successful radical economical transformation of the Afrikaners at the cost of Blacks and their successful state capturing after 1948.3,22,31 Boon’s description on autocrats and the mental functioning of Hitler is of such importance in helping to understand the modern Afrikaners’ politically deviant behaviour during apartheid that I quote it at length 31, p. 69:


Autocrats will not be keen to draw on the analogy between themselves and such a heinous individual as Hitler. However, Hitler was a dictator and an autocrat. To the German people he was presented as a saviour, someone to look up to and to follow out of the terrible depression of the 1930s. People wanted to follow him – he was charismatic, charming and convincing. But that was his public image. Behind the scenes he was ruthless. He cared nothing for the German people or their wishes. He only fed them with what they wanted for as long as it satisfied his personal needs and objectives. He created the Gestapo to eradicate any resistance to his ideology.


At a senior level Hitler behaved very differently. He was utterly and openly dictatorial. There was genuine conflict among his senior leaders, to the point where some of his general staff attempted to kill him in 1944.


As an autocrat, charismatic as he was, he used song, charm and rousing speeches to instil unbelievable pride in the German people. Because he made them feel good about themselves and gave them hope, they loved him. But all of this was designed to foster loyalty to him alone so that he could better achieve his ambitions. Hitler lied to the people all the time. When ambition is coupled with dishonesty, one finds the evil of autocracy.


Hitler did not share his real goals with the people. He did not stand on a podium and talk of murder and genocide. Instead, he talked of love and care for the ordinary German people. This is the kind of thing that makes autocracy so dangerous. The autocrat is unassailable and need not even share his visions. People are therefore never empowered, and rely entirely on the autocrat. ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’


3.2 Afrikaners’ negative life experiences and lost opportunities to better South Africa▼


It must be conceded in all honesty that the proto-Afrikaner and later the Afrikaner were exposed to many negative and unfavourable life experiences and examples from 1652 onwards. This created the tendency to feel that injustices have been committed towards them and attitudes of hatred towards others. They were conditioned to form negative racial attitudes and to shy away from contact with the Blacks.


Since the 1900s there were several opportunities to incorporate Black South Africans into the White governmental system successfully. They could also have been included in the Afrikaners’ personal and social lives, but Afrikaners ignored South African indigenous realities and the fate awaiting them as indigenous Whites in South Africa. They were politically and emotionally blinded by their purified nationalist Afrikaner leaders’ doctrine (which became stronger from the 1930s). They also clung to unsustainable selfish political rights and privileges.


The first opportunity was the founding of a federation instead of a union in 1910. Although the idea of a confederation of states like that of the United States of America (USA) instead of a union was initially favoured, this plan was short-sightedly abandoned after political manipulation (see 3.1 on the role players and their intentions). The negative consequences of this decision not to accept a federation for the Whites, especially the Afrikaners, were enormous. First, the concentration of Afrikaners in particular provinces, like the Orange Free State, could have empowered them. Second, the further division of the provinces in terms of tribes and their particular territories could have led to a variety of racially orientated federal states inside the confederation by awarding equal federal areas to the Afrikaner, the Coloureds, the Zulu, the Venda, etc. This outcome would have prevented the racial friction that resulted from the union. This would also have eliminated the competition with the Blacks for resources since federal states would have guaranteed the equality of the citizens. This competition was a strong driver in the implementation of racial discrimination. The Afrikaner would also have had the opportunity to grow out of their racial fears in a less racially laden environment where the communication and interaction between races would have been less influenced by the doctrines authoritarian racist leaders. The structure of a federation would from have made it difficult for the authoritarian Afrikaner leaders to proclaim their dogmas on race.3,6,12,32,33


In the 1930s there was another opportunity to make a positive turn-around on racial discrimination with full voter’s rights and a confederation of tribal states. Again, the selfish interests of nationalist Afrikaner leaders and their political parties to stay in power with a developing but an unstable Afrikaner nationalism, made reconciliation with the Blacks impossible. This was just a repeat of the continuing denial of South African indigenous realities; realities that had to be solved as fast as possible.2,3,6


The arguments in the 1950s that there is enough room in South Africa for all its’ people and for the peaceful inclusion of the Blacks in the political system were ignored. The Afrikaners took the road of no return regarding reconciliation with the Blacks. Their last opportunity to understand and get to know the Blacks was lost. In this vacuum the Blacks unofficially took up the position as master of South African politics, ignoring the Afrikaners.


When the NP and its NP-AB leadership promulgated the laws that made up grand apartheid in the hope that it would assure Afrikaner supremacy through state capture and management of the “Black-problem”, the “doors of reason” of even politically moderate Blacks closed on the Afrikaner. His fate as an obstruction to sound interracial relations and an uninvited and “an unwelcome White colonist” in South Africa was sealed. At present, there are few opportunities in South Africa for the Afrikaner to accept the indigenous realities and to make good with the Blacks. The Blacks regard the Afrikaner as the stranger who they don’t want to know.3,6,12,33


Cross-references: see Part 2, subdivisions 3.1.3 and 3.1.5.


  1.     Discussion


4.1 The Afrikaner’s failure to “read” the future and to accept indigenous realities


4.1.1 The early indigenous realities and visions of JC Smuts and JBM Hertzog


One of the main failures of the Afrikaners was that they could not “read” their future in South Africa correctly. This statement does not refer to the Siener van Rensburg fantasies that so commonly beset the minds of some Afrikaners, but rather to hard facts of the South African economical, social, racial and political realities. JC Smuts spelled out the reality of Blacks and Whites and the Afrikaner’s future possession of the (their) South African territory [the Union of South Africa and later the Republic of South Africa (RSA)] as a whole when he said in 1908 on the eve of Convention to found the union, that the Blacks were here before the Whites. The implication of this comment is that Whites have illegally occupied their territory. This means that repossession is emminent; a South African reality for Smuts that will still happen in the future, notwithstanding the ideologies of purified Afrikaner leaders like Malan and Verwoerd of an everlasting Afrikaner South Africa.3,34,35


This South African indigenous reality was central in the mindset of Smuts, but definitely not in the mindset of the ordinary nationalist Afrikaners, whose thinking on the Blacks were guided and driven by exclusive Afrikaner realities (or better: unrealities). There views were steered by ideas such as permanent White supremacy and Black subordination and inferiority developed over centuries. The return of the South Africa territory as a whole to the Blacks in 1994 would be an understandable and an unavoidable fact for the ordinary nationalist Afrikaner if his thinking about the future was based on a sound understanding of the South African indigenous reality.


The 1994 dispensation was a logical and predictable outcome based on a South African reality. When JBM Hertzog said in the 1920s that the Blacks will one day become “equally civilised” to the White civilisation and that the Blacks would then swamp the Whites in South Africa, he was referring to a reality. This explosion of the Black civilisation to “equality,” suppressed for decades by apartheid (but in real life unknowingly promoted by the Afrikaner with his separate development and the progress of the impoverished Blacks on various terrains), indeed happened in 1994 when the Black civilisation seemingly “overtook” the Afrikaner civilisation. This specific African reality observed by Hertzog, but denied by the ordinary nationalist Afrikaner (and masterly concealed by the NP-AB leaders), not led only to the repossession of all of South Africa by the Blacks, but it also permanently annulled the Afrikaner’s “baasskap” (or in more finessed words: guardianship and trusteeship as the ordinary nationalist Afrikaners liked to call it) over the Blacks in South Africa. The Afrikaners did not in the 1020s foresee this nullifying of their “baasskap.” They thought they would have indemnity from any Black reaction and revenge in the future.3


Hertzog furthermore warned when this “equality” of the two civilisations manifested, the White civilisation in South Africa would start to disappear. It is exactly what started to happen from 1994 with the Afrikaners, with all the Whites as a unit, in South Africa. However, in 2017 it seems as if this South African reality is still not embedded in the mindset of many ordinary nationalist Afrikaners. There is still the belief that they might regain political power through some manoeuvre and will be restored as the everlasting Afrikaner, standing out in the world’s history.3,9,10,36


Smuts and Hertzog clearly outlined the path (and South African reality) that the Afrikaners should have taken to the future from 1902 up to 1994 to avoid their fixed destination. It also shows that the empire building and false Afrikaner nationalism imprinted in Afrikaners by their nationalist Afrikaner leaders under the umbrella of patriotism to guide Afrikaners into apartheid thinking, failed.  The primary aim was to change their doomed route and to keep nationalist Afrikaners lifelong in power. Today such ideas are laughed at as a political joke because it is so unrealistic (In Africa all the European states that tried to do the same thing in their colonies had dolefully failed and left the continent long ago). The Afrikaner, it seems, will continue on this journey and it will result in the dissolution of the Afrikaner tribe by 2117. This is a South African reality that the ordinary nationalist Afrikaner have not yet figured out.3,9.12,37,38


Smuts’3 insight in the future in the early 1900s (although he himself ultimately did nothing constructive to solve the Afrikaners’ lack of insight into South Africa’s realities) is echoed by his honest view that the Black-White issue will only be solved in the far future when he said at that time that it is an “intolerable burden” that only “the ampler shoulders and the stronger brains” of the future can solve3. The later NP regime lacked this insight and this contributed to their downfall in 1994. The problem has not been solved yet. Blacks have succeeded in liberating themselves from the oppression, but the race problem has now only shifted. Instead of the “Black problem” it is now the “Afrikaner problem”.2-4,12,20,24,32,39


The Blacks quickly realized that such a foolish system can not contain them. The 1994 dispensation and the transfer of Afrikaners’ political power to the Blacks took place without a single shot being fired; a South African reality which the ordinary nationalist Afrikaner did not consider or think of ever before the 1990s, basically because they thought that it was just impossible that it could ever happen. Even a revolution was seemingly outside their frame of reference.9,20,21,38


Giliomee anxiously warned in 1988 about military counter-actions by the Afrikaners against Blacks in the event of a change of regime2, p. 4: “Should its own political dominance be threatened Afrikanerdom may well unleash a ‘scorched earth’ policy. It will destroy the modern infrastructure, demolish industry and explode the edifice of civilised rule and orderly government – and take as many Blacks down with it as possible”. However, the mighty Afrikaners their systems and institutions simply started after 1994 to collapse. This also proved Zille wrong in her over-estimation of the military and political power and the influences of the right-wing nationalist Afrikaners as an uniform group who would run down Blacks when she warned in the late 1980s23, p. 4: “One thing at least seems clear: the right wing is a serious obstacle in the way of South Africa’s transition to a society beyond apartheid. The Right is no paper tiger”. Today the Afrikaners are nothing more than a nuisance for the ANC.


4.1.2 The Afrikaners’ unwillingness to confront South African indigenous realities


It is open question whether Afrikaners ever developed a true Afrikaner nationalism and whether they ever reached the final stage of a real tribe (especially the Afrikaner segments of Transvaal and the Free State after their psychological ordeal during and after the Second Anglo Boer War). Have they ever overcome the negative impact of the great diversity in the Afrikaners’ political thinking, education and culture that existed from 1902 between the various Afrikaner groups? Did the nationalist Afrikaners ever try to see the larger South African reality and to understand themselves within that context? It seems as if the Afrikaners over time also adopted a certain selfish materialism. The Afrikaners became so preoccupied with their own suffering and financial struggles and their later power, that they lost contact with South Africa’s realities and with the existence of the other large civilisations inside South Africa besides the limited Afrikaner realities that were based on a false “Afrikaner empire” and “Afrikaner nation.”2-4,12,20,32,39


The nationalist Afrikaner leadership ultimately failed to transform the various groups of Afrikaners (and their own unique realities) into a true nation to reach true Afrikaner nationalism, basically because these role players failed to position themselves inside the greater South African reality that in the 1900s set the rules for Black government in 1994. The ordinary nationalist Afrikaner, it seems, became more and more driven by empty public political rhetoric based on exclusive Afrikaner realities, like that of Hertzog in 1911 and other prominent NP leaders such as Malan in the 1930s. All rhetoric was cleansed from South African realities to make sense to the Afrikaners. The Afrikaners never regarded it as important to think about their future within the greater South Africa. They assumed the permanence of Afrikaner rule. This short-sightedness has lasted for so long that even modern Afrikaners struggle to consider their place within South Africa.2-4,6,11,32.33


4.1.3 The indigenous realities of Black numbers and ultimate Black rule


The Afrikaners’ failure to think about their future was not just an innocent mistake. Leaders adhered to a policy of deliberately ignoring and concealing facts from the general public. They especially did not communicate the fact that the Black population would ultimately swallow the Afrikaners. In the early 1900s the ratios of Whites to Blacks in South Africa was 1 to 3 and people like Hertzog already warned then that the Blacks would outnumber the Whites and that Whites should address this But the 1913, 1923 and 1936 legislation on the “Black question” only addressed it superficially, as if it was not a South African reality that had to be addressed immediately and critically. The laws were aimed at ensuring the continuation of White supremacy, nothing more. It never occurred to the Afrikaners that this was not rational or realistic. They did not notice the increase in the Black population and showed immigrants the door because they feared sharing their resources and allowing people in who may not vote for them. They were more concerned with giving White women the right to vote that with increasing the White population or actually solving the underlying problems. 3,33,39-44


The Afrikaners were too short-sighted to see that the numbers of the Black population was getting out of control when viewed in relation to White numbers. Indicators of this trend emerged early. In 1804 the Cape Colony’s population was: 25 757 Whites, 29 545 slaves and 20 006 Hottentots. This implied 25 757 Whites against 49 551 non-Whites (ratio: 1 to 2). In Cape Town itself the non-Whites were the majority with 6 273 Whites against 9 129 slaves and 452 Hottentots (6 273 against 9 581 or a ratio of 2: 3). The 1904 statistics reflect 1 116 805 Whites, 3 491 056 Blacks, 445 228 Coloureds and 122 734 Indians (ratio: nearly 1 to 4). The 1911 census showed 1 276 000 Whites against 4 000 000 Blacks, 525 000 Coloureds and 152 000 Indians. In totals this means 1 276 000 Whites against 4 677 000 non-Whites (ratio: nearly 1 to 4). In other words, the ration doubled from 1804 to 1911.33,41-44


The census of 1936 shows a growth in the Afrikaner population compared to the English-speaking Whites (1 121 000: 783 000). Afrikaners were 56% of the total White population, and the ratio Afrikaners versus English-speaking South Africans were as follows: age groups 7 to 21 years, 64.6% versus 35.4%, under 7 years, 68.2% versus 31.8%. This comparison of Afrikaners with White English-speaking South Africans steered attention away from the population statistics of the greater South African society and the Black statistics specifically. When comparing White statistics with Black statistics, the 1936 census reflected 2 000 000 Whites, 6 500 000 Blacks, 750 000 Coloureds and 219 000 Indians [(meaning 2 000 000 Whites against 7 469 000 non-Whites (ratio: nearly 1 to 4)].33,41-44


Although the ratio stayed the same from 1911 to 1936 (25 years), the numbers of the Blacks increased from 4 million in 1911 to 6.5 million in 1936 (growth 2.5 million) and the Whites from 1 276 000 to 2 000 000 (increase of only 724 000). The 1960 statistics show 3 088 492 Whites, 10 928 264 Blacks, 1 509 258 Coloureds and 477 125 Indians (ratio: 1 to 4). Fifty-one years later, in 2011, the numbers were as follows: 4 586 838 Whites, 41 000 938 Blacks, 4 615 401 Coloureds and 1 286 930 Indians (ratio Whites to non-Whites: 1 to 10). From 2011 the Coloureds passed the Whites as the second largest race group. The hopelessness of the Afrikaner’s case in terms of numbers in the new South Africa is evident from the 2015 statistics of the Afrikaner and Whites in the new South Africa. In 2015 the Whites were estimated to be 4 534 000 against 44 228 000 Blacks, 4 832 000 Coloureds and 1 362 000 Indians. The ratio of Whites to non-Whites is more or less 1 to 11.33,41-44


The final nail in the coffin for those nationalist Afrikaners who still cling to their empire is their fast decrease in numbers. The White population (which includes the Afrikaners) has become an old population, lacking young people to assure growth. Where in 2016 the ratio for Black persons under 16 years to persons over 60 years was 100:20, this ratio for Whites was 100:130. This imbalance will increase over the next five years as more young Whites are leaving South Africa permanently and the high concentration of the elderly is growing. Statistics indicate that the Afrikaners may decrease to between 1% and 3% of the total population in 30 to 40 years from now, leaving a remnant of less than 1 million Afrikaners against an estimated 70 million Blacks in South Africa. As a very small minority group, their influence and empowerment will be zero. The Afrikaners are primarily responsible for this situation themselves because of the decrease in birth rate as well as the high rate of emmigration of younger Afrikaners.44-48


The estimated growth of the South African Black population for the period up to 2110 is lower than the rest for Africa but it is still estimated that the growth may be between two to five times the 2015 numbers. This would mean that the total Blacks population for 2110 may be 100 million. The Whites have shown a constant decline in numbers for many years, which can make them an absolutely insignificant group in 2110 in South Africa with a possible ratio of 1 to 30 or more to the Blacks.33,40-43, 48


4.2 Cultural assimilation versus biological assimilation


The Afrikaners were indeed in denial during in the early 1900s about the reality that the Blacks were waiting in silence to gobble them up from 2011. In this regard they also failed to hear the sound warning of historians, anthropologists and socialists to be realistic, that when two opposite peoples meet in the same living area, the weaker one is always over-powered by the stronger one. The weaker group with either have no influence on the new society, or will be absorbed by the stronger culture to such an extent that the weaker culture has no effect on the stronger one’s culture. The other option is that a new society develops after a process of adaptation and intermingling between the various elements of the initial groups. The groups ultimately disappear in a new social unity. The process of integration activates one or more of these outcomes, mostly very slowly and insignificantly, but comprehensively in the end.33,39


For South Africa, with its complex multiracial society and Blacks increasing in numbers from the early 1900s, the long-term intent and reality of this process has only one way to go, as Prof RFA Hoernlé predicted39, p. 9: “firstly cultural assimilation, followed by economical assimilation, social assimilation coupled to political assimilation, ending in biological assimilation”. Stress and conflict are part of this transformation, especially in the stages of socio-political and biological assimilation. These are stresses and conflicts that the Afrikaners have already been experienced since the 1990s.


The view of Hoernlé39 was echoed by the Tomlinson commission in 195539, showing that there was only one of two choices left for the Afrikaner in his South African reality: integration or segregation (This finding was much in line with the 1908 Convention to prepare for the Constitution of the union). At that time the Tomlinson outcome already clearly indicated that integration was the best option for the country’s people in the long term (as the 1908 Convention also indicated). However, the nationalist Afrikaner never regarded integration and assimilation as an option. They wanted a European solution. This ultimately led to the demise of the NP in 1994. The NP and AB’s top management under the racist leaderships of Malan, Strydom and Verwoerd, ignored the sound Tomlinson advice39 that the Afrikaners should adapt to the South African requirement of a gradual integration to survive in the long term as citizens in South Africa. Instead these leaders continued to believe (or at least reflected it as such to their followers) that their “Afrikaner solution” would bring the necessary solution to the “Black problem.” They successfully concealed the inevitable outcome from their followers with manipulation and political misinformation. Any indications of Afrikaner’s future being endangered as reflected by the Tomlinson outcomes and the Hoernlé guidelines were deposed in public speeches by the nationalist Afrikaners leaders and in NP guidelines as unimportant senselessness. The point of departure was the belief of the NP and AB leaders that the Blacks’ assumed economical, racial and cultural inferiorities, and their alleged African supernatural religion and pre-modern levels of civilisation, are insignificant drivers to make them permanent and dominant role players in the Afrikaner’s South African political and social life. Basically the nationalist Afrikaner in 1908 saw the Blacks as non-entities in an Afrikaner/White society: a persona non-human.39


The results of American and Australian studies that warned about the possible effect of upcoming majorities on the futures of minorities were disregarded as inapplicable in South Africa. The nationalist Afrikaner leadership felt that although the Blacks are the majority in South Africa, their lower cultural level neutralized their power through numbers and that the Blacks were not a reality that could ever disturb the Afrikaner equilibrium. The Afrikaners refused to see the gradual Black empowerment from the 1950s onwards.39


In 1955 the South African greater society was, in terms of the Hoernlé model, already reaching the stage of social assimilation. The 1980s brought the second-last stage, namely political assimilation and the equalization of the Black and White civilisations.6,12,39 The 1994 dispensation confirmed this reality. On the other hand, the 1994 outcome have not yet alerted the individual Afrikaner to South Africa’s realities; specifically the reality that Afrikaners are at present entering the final stage in the South African political equalization, namely biological assimilation into the Black population and therefore dissolution.


The Afrikaner cannot escape this process of dissolution and the harsh South African realities that the year 2017 has brought. However, Afrikaners seem to be oblivious to this South African reality.


4.3. Nationalist Afrikaner leaders’ deceit on Black indigenous realities


The nationalist Afrikaner leaders knew in the 1930s that there would ultimately be black rule in South Africa. The convention in 1908 to form the union showed that the Black problem was already South Africa’s biggest problem and needed urgent attention.3 In the 1910s and the 1930s there were only two choices with regard to the “Black question”:


  1. to prolong White supremacy and the short-lived comfort of the Afrikaners for as long as possible before it is followed by the total and fast collapse of the Afrikaner empire and its possible dissolution; or


  1. an immediate incorporation of the Blacks in the socio-politics of the country, together with a gradual transfer political rights, leading to an early curtailing of the Afrikaner’s life of comfort, but the possibly of socio-political survival and the avoidance of dissolution.


Apartheid was not an accidental phenomenon, it was artificially created to protect the interest of the Afrikaner, despite the fact that Black rule was a given from the start.  The Afrikaner nationalist leaders DF Malan and HF Verwoerd at times acknowledged “Black danger” as a chronic problem, but they did nothing (besides using it as a lever to gain votes). JC Smuts and JBM Hertzog did not do anything positive and failed the test of immediate constructive and pro-active actions to remedy discrimination and racism in terms of human rights and the Christianity that they as Afrikaners and nationalist Afrikaners publically prided themselves in. This failure to react was basically a fear of the consequences at the ballot box (which happened to Smuts in 1948). Short-sightedness, opportunism and selfishness were sometimes stronger motivators in the political thinking of many of the prominent Afrikaner leaders than wise reasoning and decisions.2,3,9,11,20


Afrikaners failed to be productive and industrious and in their search for financial empowerment, they allowed the economical considerations to outweigh their socio-cultural and political independence and self-rule. Hoernlé and Tomlinson show this South African reality, which completely escaped the Afrikaners. The Afrikaner ultimately surrendered their territory in 1994. This breakdown of power, activated by Black economics, already started in 1658 with the introduction of slavery at the Cape by the proto-Afrikaners, followed gradually by the entrance of the Black labour into White territories to suit the Whites. Indicators in 1913, 1923 and 1936 regarding Black landownership and citizen rights, as well as the 1955 Tomlinson Commission’s findings that the “Black question” is an unavoidable disaster awaiting the Afrikaner in the future, were blindly and bluntly ignored. This was basically a direct outcome of the nationalist Afrikaners’ refusal to acknowledge the South African reality of Black rule for South Africa from as far back as the Great Trek, the Union of South Africa and the establishment of the republic.2,33,39,49 The Arabian proverb: “arrogance diminishes wisdom”, declares this failure the best.


4.4 The unavoidable realities of 2017


4.4.1. “Forever happy South Africa”


The Afrikaner should consider a few realities. They should be aware of their deteriorating political, social, personal and economical position, the daily build-up of political rhetoric and hostility from the side of Black politicians and leaders against the Afrikaners and the slow collapse of the country since 1994. They should not forget about the tragic experiences of the Jews from 1938 to 1948 in an assumed “Happy Greater Europe,” leaving nearly 60% of their total population dead. There are correlations in the European and South African realities that the Afrikaner can not and must not ignore when considering a “Forever happy South Africa” that many opportunists belief awaits.8


The South African period of Black-on-Black genocide from 1810 to 1840 during which more than 1 million Blacks were murdered and 28 Black tribes annulled and the Afrikaners’ own experience of genocide by the British from 1899 to 1902 in Transvaal and the Free State, must serve as a warning that they can find themselves inside such a renewed genocide of even be the focus. Africa has a tragic track record for genocide. Excellent examples are the present murderous outcomes in Sudan, Mali, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Algeria, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Basically is there not a single African state has not experienced some form of internal conflict based on ethnicity or race in the past, since 1960 or at present. Afrikaners should be reminded of the murdering of Whites in the old Belgium Congo in July 1960 after its independence. There is also the inhumane treatment and murder of White farmers and Blacks from the same ethnic groups as the murderers the last decade or two in neighbouring Zimbabwe under the regime of Robert Mugabe.20,31,33,50-56


It is important to remember that many African countries tend to default on good government. The outstanding academic, Prof Francis Wilson, describes this African reality on governmental failure well. According to him it is mostly due to poor leadership and management that are chronic characteristics of the new South Africa. He writes57, p. 14: “If we look at the 12 most southern countries of Africa and as where each was in 1960 and where each hoped to be 50 years later, we find that many which were hopeful have failed dismally, while two that had the worst prospects, Botswana and Mauritius, have done remarkably well. This is due to several factors but common to all countries is one fact: the quality of leadership. It is this which will determine where we will be 50 years from now”. The constant failure of the ANC regime and its leaders with regard to good and clean governing since 1994 is a strict warning that the next 20 to 50 years can be much worse than the past 20 years for South Africa, and thus also for the Afrikaners. This outcome is a South African reality that must penetrate the narrow-minded mindset of the Afrikaner in their efforts to avoid dissolution in an African setup.20,57

It is also important to remember that history repeats itself. The worst time to live under a regime is when it is starting to crumble, especially when this process takes place slowly. In 2017 the ANC, based on his governing from 1994, seems to be such a regime in making. This makes even their planned or forced assimilation of the Afrikaners into the Black society more impossible by the day. It seems as if new South Africa has reached the point of make or break already. Again, it seems as if most Afrikaners have still not detected this South African reality of chaos.58-62


In reference to above, a successful terrorist organization that changes to a democratic political party and ends up as the people’s government of a country is seldom successful in governance. Extremists, especially with racial, religious, or Marxist inclinations in their politics, belief system, lifestyles and view of human rights, have proven this fact over and over. Stalin’s mass murder in Russia and the Assad family’s cold-blooded regime in Syria are of the world’s best examples. Also the military interference and intervening by the US in political so called “unstable” countries like Afghanistan, Iraqu and Syria and their murdering of hundred thousands of innocent Islamic believers in these countries under the false cover of American/Western democracy, can also awaits Afrikaners in South Africa when the ANC-regime collapse under political unrest and anarchy. Remember: the ANC was an organization of terrorists (now called “freedom fighters”) who now have to be the honourable citizens in the new South Africa, a virtue to which they not always fulfilled too. Especially the arriving recently of the “Zumpta-era” spells possible disaster.8,63-66


Staying on too long in South Africa, especially when the number of the Afrikaner population has decreased below 1 million, can be risky. The opportunities to leave will then also be far less and just too expensive for an impoverished Afrikaner, especially the older generation. Afrikaners have to do constructive and strategic thinking and planning based on the South African realities to safeguard them for survival and for the early detection of genocidal thinking directed at them. Many European nations in the 1940s saw the Jews as a “Jews question,” a problem that is unsolvable even by full assimilation or miscegenation. It could in their view only be solved by the complete dissolution of the Jews as a nation. The Greek, Armenian and Ukrainian “problems” in the 1940s were also addressed with the same savageness.8,63


These tragic Armenian, Greek, Jewish and Ukrainian fates can suddenly await the Afrikaner as the last White tribe of “colonists” in Africa. It is time for the Afrikaner to learn to understand and to master the reality of Blacks, South Africa and Africa and to make place with it. This will better his chances to survive in South Africa.8,63


4.4.2. The Afrikaners’ everlasting curse▼


The “Afrikaners’ curse”, as cemented into their existence by the Herodotus curse67 also constantly hangs over the Afrikaner’s head. Not assimilation or miscegenation worked in biblical times or in modern times to prevent revenge and genocide. Genocide is complicated, unpredictable and unexpected. It starts suddenly and is focused. Even if they live in total isolation in various Orania enclaves, the Afrikaner will not be free from genocide. The Afrikaner must note this. To say68, p. par. 20/61: “Apartheid is gone and Afrikaners are, in the world’s eyes, no longer the bad guys and we must not get stuck in that area. We cannot live with a guilt complex or as hostages of the past…” as propagated by a sector of Afrikaners, is naive and inappropriate. It is a misguided idea that reflects a lack of understanding of the present reality.


Above reflection is a selective disremembering about one’s own past of political wrongdoings and of a country’s inherent political- and racial-instability that were already present before the start-up of the Cape Settlement in 1652. Most of all, it is an evidence of a lack of political knowledge of the Herodotus Rules on injustices, prejudices, hate and revenges, and thus an inability to understand the processes around genocide by over-eager (and sometimes false) propagandists of the “Sacred Afrikaner Race” who still belief the Afrikaners have a calling to spread Christianity and civilisation as well as to preserve the nationhood God ordained for them. Again this reflects the Afrikaners inability to read and to understand the realities of South Africa.23,67,69,70


Cross-references: see Part 3, subdivision 3.1.1.


4.4.3 The White problem


After 1994, the “Black problem”, “Coloured problem” and “Indian problem” disappeared. The Whites, including the Afrikaners, have become the “White problem” in the eyes of the ANC regime (this surely reminds the Afrikaner of the “Jewish problem” of the 1930s and their own wrongdoing in those events). The “Afrikaner problem” is presently addressed by means of the ANC’s well-managed policy of anti-White rhetoric and actions embedded in and guided by various pieces of legislation, like AA, EE, and BEE.


In order to survive these growing anti-White actions, the Afrikaners have to take a critical look at the various South African realities like their own radical economical transformation and state capture in the distant past. They have to make peace with certain events that do not always favour the Afrikaners. Many Afrikaners are still unaware that they are the main “problem” at the moment, a problem that occupies the minds of many Blacks. Contrary to the nationalist Afrikaners who had constantly and deliberately ignored the Black problem, the Blacks are clearly not ignoring the White problem. It seems as if they are going to addressed it properly, possibly not always positively.15,60,62


However, to think that the Afrikaners history is replete with their racial discrimination against Blacks is wrong: there is also a significant tradition of non-racialism towards Blacks in the leadership of various South African organizations that opposed apartheid. To argue that a specific skin colour determines specific political thinking and that only an oppressive White minority or only an oppressive Black majority can govern the country means that a non-racial democracy is impossible. Such thinking dooms the Afrikaners. However, the fact that some (although a small number) Afrikaners could successfully bridge the racial gap in supporting Blacks against the majority of nationalist Afrikaners, means that other Afrikaners can also do it in the future. This would not only make a non-racial democracy possible, but also cleanse the history from the self-fulfilling hypothesis of apartheid as an exclusive Afrikaner racial intention and disposition. The basis here is that these dissident Afrikaners acted as individuals and were received into the Black community and politics as individuals. For those the Afrikaners dislodging from their authoritarian group and leaders and becoming individuals who think for themselves, this cross-over seems to be natural, neutralizing the elements of race and class in New South Africa. This can change the “Afrikaner problem” in the mindsets of Blacks from negative to positive. It can be the beginning of a “new Afrikaner” inside a “new nationalist South African movement” who has drawn a line between himself and the traditional Afrikaner of the apartheids era.7,10,31


Berger and Godsell are perhaps not over-optimistic when they write about a future South Africa in which the Afrikaners are also role players7, p. 298: “Neither paradise nor Armageddon awaits South Africa. Instead, a slow and often painful march towards modernity is on the agenda. A non-racial democracy and prosperous society is possible. South Africans simply have to make it happen”. The “new Afrikaners” can be part of these South Africans.


4.4.4 Was colonialism and Afrikanerism a godsend?


British colonialism served the Blacks and the Afrikaners well, notwithstanding negative emotional rhetoric on the matter. Goodness in a stormy political setup is seldom rewarded by thanks from the sufferer. Good intentions and help are seldom acknowledged by the receivers. Political ambitions and aggression close the wronged mind to remember events that can influence it to do good, but instead focuses on evil done to mankind. Colonialism undoubtedly brought much suffering to the indigenous people of South Africa, but it also benefited the country’s people. British colonialism brought with it early stage school education, healthcare and infrastructure like roads, dams, political networks, buildings, administrations, as well as exposure to new knowledge and expertise, open doors to new worlds and cultures. British missions played a strong leading role, especially in political support of Black activists and the creation of a strong leadership to challenge the Afrikaner’s racial politics and discrimination. Without the early colonial support, Blacks would have never reached the 1994 political transfer. Helen Zille was correct about the benefits of colonialism to all South Africans, Blacks and Whites, including herself. All political systems have pros and cons; to retract a system’s inputs after a century or more is basically impossible. To see only the utmost negative and the wrong, as opportunistic anti-colonial activists and Black politicians do with British colonialism at present, is evidence of the political immaturity and purblind that characterize the behaviour of many inside the ANC.16,49,71-74


Afrikanernism also served the Blacks of South Africa. It put them on the road to self-development, the regaining of their previous identity and self-respect. It offered schools and tertiary education, leadership development, it drained the central government’s coffers to sustain corrupt homelands and wronged the ordinary Afrikaners financially to benefit Blacks. It offered the incoming ANC a sound and comprehensive infrastructure on schools, healthcare, etc., to build on when they took over in 1994.23,73.74


Looking back to 1994 and the impact of the ANC regime on South African up to 2017, it is a massive failure: basically all the previously well-established systems are in pieces. In retropective, it seems as if colonialism and Afrikanerism were godsends to many Blacks in the early times, helping them to reach heights that they failed to reach in the past or even today after 1994.


The Afrikaners can be criticized for failing to understand, accept and appropriate South African realities. However, their egocentric thinking on what was good for Blacks and the implementation of these things in the lives of Blacks during apartheid brought enormously benefits for many Blacks. Many of these successes of Afrikanerism seem to be of a more lasting quality than many of the ANC regime’s post-1994 liberated actions, even that of British colonialism.


Black activists seem to forget that they are themselves in a colonial political and financial structure as old as the British occupation of the Cape of 1795. The majority of Blacks are allowing the country to be governed present-day by a self-serving minority in the name of the masses.76



  • Conclusion



To say that the present-day Afrikaners are in the worst crisis in their history is a falsity. The devastating Second Anglo Boer War brought a belief of totally loss in the 1910s to the majority Northern Afrikaners. They doubted the continuation of the Afrikaners as a specific indigenous cultural group in South Africa. This crisis was of such intensity that JC Smuts called it the darkest time in the old Boer republics history ever.2,3 The 1980s political turmoil in South Africa and the in-fighting between the left- and right-wing Afrikaner factions about the political road further, was viewedd as something that can destroy Afrikanerdom.11,23 The journalist and writer, later politician, Helen Zille, writes about this23, p. 63: “Afrikaners (and South African whites in general) are facing the greatest moment of crisis in their history”.


It is now more than a century after the Second Anglo Boer War and nearly 40 years after the 1980s Afrikaner right wing’s despair and the Afrikaners are still here, riding out crisis after crisis since 1994. To say that the Afrikaners are before their biggest challenge, that is perhaps correct and true. What is now of importance is what the Afrikaners are going to do with and make of this challenge in the immediate future.2,3,23


The toxic impurities of selfish thinking and opportunism that can penetrate the minds of the White man and which in the end can destroy him – the evil political toxin that the economist John Maynard Keynes8, p.5had so dearly warned the White man against more than a century ago – also infested the ordinary nationalist Afrikaner’s mind. This makes his political rehabilitation and establishment as a future role player in new South Africa, notwithstanding his indigenousness, very difficult. But most importantly, clinging to and believing in outdated Afrikaner realities and lacking political growth and maturity cripple the Afrikaner, just like Ferguson’s White man of 1901 in Europe.8 It was therefore logical that the Afrikaner would fail as a ruler and in the act of becoming a a well-respected member of the greater South African indigenous society.2-4,6,8,11,12,33


The Afrikaners’ insufficient knowledge of South Africa’s indigenous realities left him without any armour to address the demands and requirements of South Africa if they want to stay on here. It is thus time for the Afrikaner to confront these many demands and realities, but to do that an honest and comprehensive self-valuation of his cognitive, cultural, economical, political and racial context is first urgently needed. This means in practice a re-evaluation of Afrikanerism’s frame of reference, thinking and functioning. A total departure from Afrikanerism is prefereable. It is only in this way that they can hope to obtain a place in the new and future South Africa.2,4,20,21,32


The efforts by various nationalist Afrikaner leaders since the 1880s to secure solidarity and security for the proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners as2, p. 12: “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,” supported by their propaganda that the Afrikaners can realize their full human potential only “through identification with and service of the volk” and not through “individual self-assertion,” failed miserably when this unrealistic dogma of Afrikanerism mets the hard political realities of the 21st century. However heart-breaking it is, the Afrikaner group’s identity is fast being gobbled up by the stronger Black group’s identity. At this stage it seems only to be the Afrikaner’s individual self-assertion that can hold him up in new South Africa.2,17


Thankfully individual Afrikaners have come long away from the lack of insight of leaders on South African realities. One example is HF Verwoerd’s comment in 1960 in the Cape Parliament78, p. 11: “Ons het ‘n land beset wat kaal is…Ons beskou onsself as deel van die Westerse wêreld…Ons is die skakel. Ons is Wit maar ons is in Afrika.”


It can be catastrophic for the Afrikaners if they allow themselves to be led by such foolish leaders again. There is no “Forever happy South Africa” awaiting the Afrikaners. For this privilege they have to become true “South Africans” and “Africans,” but thankfully Afrikaners are “not Whites from somewhere outside Africa,” as HF Verwoerd erroneously asserted. To the contrary: Afrikaners are indigenous South Africans and Africans from the late 1600s, if not earlier. Historically, the Afrikaners became indigenous when their European umbilical cord was cut in 1707 as the rebellious Hendrik Biebouw or Bibault shouted79, p. 75: “Ik ben een Afrikaander!” during his conflict with the Dutch East Indian Company at the Cape (He seems to be  of mixed descent, a so-called “bastard” — but was the Afrikaner not  then already a “bastard?”).


The poet, artist and writer Breyten Breytenbach writes79, p. 75: “Bibault’s defiant cry (I am an Afrikaner!) of secession from Dutch law and company sovereignty must have been a leap towards defining another identity. He says: I am beyond your possession. But he also says: You cannot tax me or govern over me since I’m no longer a Dutchman or a Frenchman; I’m of this continent”. But still, notwithstanding their established South African indigenousness, to be accepted as true South Africans and Africans in the new South Africa, Afrikaners have to de-Afrikanerise and have to make an effort to adopt a non-Afrikanerism.2-4,11,24,69,70,79


The settlement of the Afrikaner’s ancestors in 1652 at the Cape of Good Hope was geographically located on a massive African racial faultline. It is a giant demographic sinkhole that, when it opens unexpected more than 350 years later, hungrily started swallowing into its dark depths the psycho-political unprepared and bewildered Afrikaners of South Africa as one of the last two indigenous Whites tribes of Africa (with the Tuaregs being the other “White African” tribe). But this unpreparedness and bewilderment are the Afrikaners own fault. It was cause primarily by their unwillingness to understand, accept and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa into their Afrikanerism.1-3,20,21,79


It remains to be seen if the Afrikaner can take on the challenge and make the leap from a “bewildered Afrikaner” to a “very happy African.” To succeed, the Afrikaner has to take to heart the words of the human rights activist and academic, Mamphele Ramphele, when she says80, p. 20: “Embracing shared values would enable us to reconnect as fellow citizens and build trust and productivity as economic actors”.


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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 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




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





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.






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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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
Email: profgplouw@gmail.com

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.