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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

 

RESEARCH

 

Corresponding Author: Prof Dr GP Louw
Focus Area Social Transformation

Faculty of Arts

Potchefstroom Campus

North-West University

South Africa

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com

 

Ensovoort volume 37(2017), number 10:2

 

ABSTRACT

Keywords

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 3.1.1.4 and 3.1.5.

 

3.1.3.1. 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

 

3.1.3.2. 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

 

3.1.3.3 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.

 

3.1.3.5 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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PEER REVIEW

Not commissioned. Externally peer-reviewed.

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author declares that he has no competing interest.

 

FUNDING

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

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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PEER REVIEW
Not commissioned. Externally peer-reviewed.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The author declares that he has no competing interest.

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