Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fred Rundle interviews Robert van Tonder.

The following transcript is from an interview with Robert van Tonder conducted by former AWB spokesman Fred Rundle [ who has since left the group citing its infiltration by intelligence agents ] dating from perhaps a year before his death. Robert van Tonder died ten years ago earlier this month.

ROBERT VAN TONDER.

Interviewed by Fred Rundle.

TITLE: LEADER OF THE BOERESTAAT PARTY.

Q. Tell me a little about yourself such as your early life and where you were born?

RVT. I was born in Johannesburg seventy-five years ago from Boer War parents. I founded the town of Randburg and retired at age 40 to devote my time to my people. I subsequently purchased my present farm, Sandspruit that adjoins Randburg. Outside of politics, I have love livestock . As a hobby, I breed indigenous Nguni cattle. I have six published books to my credit and also an anthology titled Sandspruit se Bloekoms. I love writing poetry, because that is something that comes from my heart. My very good friend, Eugene Terreblanche, recites one of my poems on his new Tolbos CD which was released recently.

Q. Some people say that you are more of an intellectual than a politician?

RvT. If people say that, then I am flattered. I have always tried my best to bring dignity to politics.

Q. Why did you decide to devote most your time to politics?

RvT. I felt that I would like to make a contribution to the upliftment of my people, I would like to think that I succeeded.

Q. You are reputed to be the originator of the idea for the restoration of the old Boer Republics to the Boervolk?

Rvt. When I founded the Boerestaat Party in 1986, few people thought of the idea. [ 1 ] Today, the majority of the Boervolk support this claim. Even the Afrikaners are now supporting the idea of a geographical area of some sort.

Q. You say that your party stands for the reinstatement of the old Boer Republics of the Transvaal, the Orange Free State and Vryheid?

RvT. Yes, those Republics are the rightful property of The Boervolk. They were recognised internationally by the entire world before the British stole them from us. [ 2 ] They came here just before the turn of last century and through sheer greed attacked us to claim the rich mineral wealth in our country. In the process they killed 27,000 innocent women and children by throwing them into concentration camps. [ 3 ] This created our own Boervolk holocaust.

Q. How are you going to attain your goal, because you cannot do it through the ballot box?

RvT. You only have to look around you and you will see that Mandela's dream country is disintegrating all around you. We only have to bide our time and at the opportune time and with the help of the other Boervolk organisations, we will reinstate our lost Republics.

Q. Should you succeed, how are you going to get rid of the millions of Blacks who reside there and who are in the majority? [ 4 ]

RvT. Nobody can solve that problem overnight, unless you are in a war situation, which is highly possible. The ANC are on a killing spree of white people on the farms [ 5 ] and in the towns and suburbs. This cannot go on and my people are becoming more militant. But that aside, you will see that Black people are incapable of creating wealth as you see all over Africa and even here. They always migrate to areas where there is progress, looking for jobs. The only way to stop that is to penalise employers who give jobs to them. With no jobs available for them, they will gravitate back to the traditional areas where their forebears lived. However, you will have to have strict border controls to keep all unwanted people out. If you don't introduce these measures, they will swamp you and your own country will no longer be a home for your children.

Q. Some of your detractors say that you are an atheist, are you?

RvT. I am a firm believer in God. They are probably saying that because I think that many churches are more obsessed with politics than with God. They are trying to manipulate God as they change their religion by the introduction of liberal and Communist ideology in their doctrines. I have always opposed this vehemently.

Q. You seem to always be surrounded by your children and your grandchildren?

RvT. I am a firm believer that the family bond must be kept strong. My family is worth more to me than any earthly wealth. I have seven children and 17 grandchildren and they are all living happily on the farm in some of the many houses I built.

Q. Is it true that you are selling your farm?

RvT. Ironically, I have been expropriated by the very town, Randburg, that was founded by me. The town is totally different now and Blacks rule it. We are still negotiating the price to be paid.

End.

Source: Robert van Tonder Interviewed by Fred Rundle.

Notes from Ron.

1. Though it should be pointed out that the Boers did in fact try to restore the Boer Republics in 1914 during the Maritz Rebellion & AGAIN later during the 1940s though Robert van Tonder was the first the reassert the notion at a time when its popularity had wanned due to the predominance of Afrikaner Nationalism which worked to co-opt & subvert Boer Republicanism.

2. This claim is recognized on page 96 of the book: The Story of the Boers published in 1900. The Boer Republics were internationally recognized & the Vierkleur was flown at the Democratic Convention in 1900 as a symbol of anti-imperialism.

3. This is outlined at: The Concentration Camps Were Death Camps.

4. Robert van Tonder outlined a solution to this.

5. The President of Genocide Watch has publicly called the killing of Boer farmers a genocide under the Genocide Convention.

33 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

My Appeal to the World:
Why are they SO afraid of letting the Boere (white Christian Africans) have their own country? Even a small country the size of Lesotho or Swaziland!? God led the Boers around the Xhosas and South Sotho and back over the Berg into the empty lush savannah of Natal.
Just give us the hinterland of Natal, bordering Lesotho, so we can own our own water-sources! The Durban Metropole can remain a cosmopolitan region and he Zulus can keep their land o the north and the Xhosa their land o the south. They all get to be 1st class citizens in their own areas, pracising their own cultures and religions, all we ask is o be treated equally. Onl the Sotho can own land in Lesotho, give us the same privalage across the border below the Berg!

Thankyou

WHITEADDER said...

@ anon

Grovelling will get you absolutly nowhere in Africa. It might even get you killed faster.

Anonymous said...

@ Whiteadder:
Maybe, but at least it educates the world as to the other Nations of SA who do have the luxury of their own countries, where other ethnicities CANNOT own property!

Viking said...

I'm not a Boer but have always supported the idea of a Boer homeland. But I have also always said it must be based on the present and not on the past.
I believe international support for such an idea is a realistic expectation.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7.14pm: Your dream is dronk, as many Zulus live in the KZN area you want, not just metropoles. Agree about water tho - no water no settlement. Find out why voortrekkers returned "kaalvoet oor die berg" in the area you want?

Anonymous said...

"Find out why voortrekkers returned "kaalvoet oor die berg" in the area you want?"

There's no doubt as to why they trekked up to the highveld, which has less than one-tenth the carrying capacity of Natal (NOT KwaZulu)... they trekked up there because the British annexed Natal and sent the army in, thereafter landing settlers at Port Natal. The Boers NEVER sought to rule the Zulus and, in turn, could not handle being ruled by Britain.
If we are to look forward, our original Land is there, waiting for us. The lowest population density of the coastal belt is that area (south of the Tugela and Buffalo Rivers and east to the Natal Monocline)!
The Winterton region is the most prixed agricultural region of Southern Africa and the Boers are the only Farming Culture of Southen Africa! It stands to reason that they should inhabt this region, where 100HA is worth about 3000HA on the highveld.

Common Sense

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7.47pm: Your common sense is very common. The whole of KZN / Natal whatever ya wanna call it is a monocline.

You forget Weenen massacres causing Kaalvoet... Trekkers had left the Eastern Cape due to hated British rule there. Trekkers were stupid entering Natal Colony in the first place if they didn't wanna settle there under hated English Natal colony rule. And your clever trekkers were outwitted by Zulus. e.g. Piet Retief...

You forget Boere did more stupid things, like invading Natal colony during the Boer War and besieging Ladysmith, instead of capturing bigger, more useful Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

You forget English farmers who've successfully farmed Winterton area and large chunks of Natal for generations. Not many Natal Afrikaner sugar barons are there? And Cedara agricultural college is / was English. You haven't a clue and haven't lived in Natal. Dream on nitwit!

Ron. said...

There appears to be a bit of a debate here concerning possible Boer independence in Natal. Just wanted to point out that this notion is in fact quite on the table & even quite probable due to the fact that the Vryheid Republic was established in northern Natal on land the local Zulu King granted to the Boers as payment for their services in quelling a British backed rebellion of a rival faction. Theuns Cloete of Boervolk Radio pointed out in his first interview with the Right Perspective that the Zulus still recognize Boer land claims there so it is by no means impossible for the Boers to find independence there as the main thing to do would be to figure out appropriate & agreed upon borders. Considering how massive the entire macro State of South Africa is: there is no reason why a fair arrangement & balanced dispensation can not be established for the self determination of all of its various national groups.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron, you're talking about the second Boer Republic in Natal, called the Republic of Natalia, this came long after the initial Boer Republic of Natal which was definitely NOT a British Colony.

The Natal Monocline referred for man years to what we now know to in fact be an incline and not a monocline. I won't go into the geological differences now save to say I am referring to the high ridge that runs parallel to the Berg, about half way between the Berg and the Coast and is steeper on the coat side and more gentle dropping down to a much lower altitude at the base of the Drakensberg!

The British always claimed that there had been a treaty with Shaka giving them land up to 50 miles from Port Natal in all directions which would've taken them to short of the Monocline/Incline and short of Pietermaritzberg. The Boer treaty with Dingaan (signed) still details the Boer Land below the Berg and between the Zulu and Xhosa Kingdoms! (ie. the land left vacant by the Mfecane)

Common Sense

Ron. said...

While I am indeed talking about the second Boer Republic in Natal it was not called the Republic of Natalia as this is what the first Boer Republic in Natal was called. The Natalia Republic was the Boer Republic which was established in 1839 close to a year after the Battle of Blood River. This republic was established by Andries Pretorius after he entered into an alliance with the new Zulu King Mpande. I agree that this republic was not a British Colony despite its proximity to Durban but is was soon annexed by Britain in 1843 after a brief struggle from the Boers to remain independent. This republic was never revived again though it is true that the deed Dingaan signed is viewed as a legitimate Boer claim to the region in question.

The Boer Republic I am talking about was the republic founded in northern Natal in 1884 by Lucas Meyer & Louis Botha during an alliance with a local Zulu King named Dinizulu & was called the Vryheid Republic & also called the New Republic. This republic was at the other end of Natal from where the Natalia Republic was located & a portion of the Vryheid Republic too was later annexed by the British while the remaining north west part was absorbed into the Transvaal Republic about four years after it was established.

There are some who are also trying to restore the Natalia Republic as well based on the land deed signed by Dingaan but the area where the Vryheid Republic was has a greater chance of succeeding due to its continued recognition by the Zulus of the region. There is a 45 year difference between the establishment of the Natalia Republic & the Vryheid Republic.

Anonymous said...

Ron, you and I are on the same page, bar my quick typing confusing the names of the two Boer Republics in Natal.
No, my geology (and history) lesson was for the benefit of "Anon 11h12", who quite rudely claimed my common sense to not be so common. Sadly he is correct to some extent, as although I have common sense, he and most others in the western hemisphere DO NOT!

I still think the original Natalia Republic region (incl. the top of the Drakensberg and therefore the river sources) is the best option for the Boers of today!

Common Sense
ps. I know these areas well, having studied around hee for a number of years, and having climed the Central and Northern Berg! There's a number of good reasons the Voortrekkers first settled this area!

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 9.12pm: Dream on! Your pathetic "common sense" is laughable.

Trekkers left Natal after Zulus massacred them around Weenen, and fled their risible Natalia Republic when Zulus and Brits made it too hot for them. Nothing like Zulu assegais or Scottish Highlander bayonets up Boers' arses to make Boers flee eh?

So now, on that flimsy base, you think snivelling latter day Boers and Afrikaner poor whites earned the right to post-apartheid steal prime Natal farmland and re-settle Natal with Afrikaners?

Did Boere fight and die at Rorkes Drift during the Zulu War? They crowed for decades over their massacre of Zulus at Blood River tho, even arrogantly proclaimed a SA public holiday: Day of the Covenant.

White, I was born and bred in Durban and lived / worked there for over 30 years during apartheid. What's your Natal work input besides history reading and Berg climbing? I think little.

During apartheid, many Natal Afrikaners I knew did everything they could to subvert Natal English culture. e.g. mawkish Boer War treur and resentment against Engelse decades after the Boer War; SATV and SABC brainwashing; insidious Broederbond; touting kuktuur and Afrikaans ad nauseum; home detentions of university lecturers and parish priests; separate schools, teacher training colleges; built Afrikaner schools in English areas like Durban North to gerrymander Afrikaner votes; school cadets and militarization of Engelse boykies; local SADF Commandos; ... I'm sure you know many more subversive Afrikaner examples...

Ja well, most Natalians like myself would've read Natal history and climbed the Berg like you, (surfed Durbs waves when the Indian Ocean was unpolluted too), but that doesn't give buitelande Afrikaners your "common sense" right to claim ownership / settlement of KZN land settled and farmed for generations by English families in Natal.

Go back to the platteland! You're hypocritically worse than thieving blacks / ANC you despise. Natal doesn't need more thieves like you.

If anything, descendants of indentured sugarcane farming Indians and later Indian settlers: generations / hundreds and thousands of loyal Natal Indians, who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and hard work in Natal, have more right to Natal farmland than you and your Afrikaner crony thieves.

You'll recall Natal Indians were insulted and weren't allowed into the Transvaal and Vrystaat without a pass during apartheid. I knew many fine Indians in Durbs, finer than you, but crushed and impoverished by your Afrikaner apartheid subversion. I bet, like Zulus, Natal Engelse and Indians would despise and resist your latter day Natal Boer Republic dreaming.

And where were Natal Afrikaner Ossewa Brandwag patriots during WW2, when Natal Engelse were fighting fascists in North Africa and Europe? I knew many fine Natal English WW2 warriors, but not one Natal Afrikaner WW2 warrior.

Viking said...

Anonymous & Anonymous (gets confusing doesn't it?)
Having a debate about history runs the risk of losing the plot and getting off-topic. There are sensitive issues on both sides, but South African identity has been suitably forged by now to unite on some issues at least? Just a thought.
We are a motley bunch on here, both contributors, guests and readers, many of whom have little in common, and we'd probably fight about a lot of the occasion arose.
An outsider's obsevation, but wouldn't white South Africans (except liberals of course) be better off banding together to fight the common foe?

On the subject of a Boer homeland, it seems likely the if such a thing ever came about, only a minority would choose to take part. I always have a suspicion of exclusivist communities of any stripe - but if the ANC sometime in the future chose to lump us all into some homeland or other, it seems unlikely that they'll discriminate as carefully as Verwoerd did....

Ron. said...

Anon Sept 1 9:09. The Afrikaners ALSO subverted the Boer people as well under their Broederbond established Grand Apartheid as none other than Theuns Cloete rightly pointed out in his first interview with the Right Perspective but a lot of folks [ like you ] often lump the Boers in with the Afrikaners as though the Boers had any real say or control over the policies directed by the Broederbond which was run mainly by the Cape Dutch descended Afrikaners. There are not a whole lot of Natal Boers at any rate as the actual or authentic Boer population lives mostly in the northern region of Natal.

Also you forget that the old Boer Republics were under Afrikaner suzerainty during the Apartheid era & that most Boers were conditioned into thinking of themselves as Afrikaners [ as part of an insidious strategy to usurp & destroy the Boers' identity - learn more at the Theuns Cloete interviews on TRP ] so your anti-Boer accusations do not hold water. Theuns Cloete also pointed out how the Afrikaner establishment organized AGAINST the Boers during the 1940s when the Boers were trying to restore their old republics anywhere from 300 000 to 500 000. The Afrikaners proclaimed the Day of the Covenant as part of a program appropriating Boer history & inheritance. The Boers had long since declared a public holiday on the date within the old ZAR.

There apparently were no Apartheid laws within the Boer Republics though I understand there was a scant racial ordinance but there was certainly no formal structured racial based legal apparatus as the Boers only ever wanted self determination & did not go for the sort of imperial control which was later legislated by the British regimes & Afrikaner governments.

Anonymous said...

@ Ron 3.09 pm. So What? Nit picking over diffs between Boer and Afrikaner is conceited sophistry. Boer / Afrikaner replublics / homelands will never happen again. They failed.

Ron. said...
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Ron. said...
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Ron. said...
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Ron. said...

There were Boer Republics no Afrikaner Republics as the Afrikaners never had republics [ with the possible exception of the RSA from 1961 - 1994 but it was more of a White Republic as it incorporated the English speakers due to the British conquest prior. ] which should tell you all you need to know in realizing why it is so dangerous for the Boers to continue to be tethered to them because there were only ever Boer Republics. None other than Arthur Kemp himself [ who appears to be heavily quoted on this blog concerning his March of the Titans book ] has noted this fact.

Quote: [ It is also of crucial importance to note that when any mention is made of the independent republics, they are always called " Boer Republics " - and never " Afrikaner Republics ". This is of course confirmation that the Boers had a separate identity from the Cape Dutch and British settlers. This separate identity was confirmed in International Law by the Sand River Convention of 1852. ]

From: Who Are The Boers. Arthur Kemp. Which I would highly recommend as Kemp has quite a surprisingly good grasp of the facts in relation to this important distinction.

The Afrikaners never wanted republics & always disdained the Boers' desire for independence & self determination.

People only often presume that the Boers were Afrikaners because they accepted the Broederbond rewritten history which retroactively turned Boers "into" Afrikaners [ which Adriana Stuijt has pointed out as well ] & folks never seem to realize that the Boers were marginalized & outnumbered by the Cape Dutch within this artificial Afrikaner designation.

Claiming that the Boer people will not regain their republics or achieve another homeland is a bold statement based on pure conjecture because no one thought the Boers would ever achieve independence in the first place back during the Great Trek when most Cape Dutch / Afrikaners & English were ridiculing it & presumed that the Boers would "all die" in the process. The Boer struggle for survival starting on their humble Cape frontier origins has always been a constant marked distinction with the Cape Dutch who would later direct & control the Afrikaner designation which captured [ as Theuns Cloete put it ] the Boer Nation.

The difference between Boer & Afrikaner is not "nitpicking" at all as it is at the crux of why the Boer people have routinely been & continue to be subverted because even when the majority of the Boer people [ Boerevolk ] stand up for independence or for the restoration of the old republics [ as they did in 1914 & during the 1940s & in recent times ] they are still derailed by the Afrikaners [ particularly its establishment leadership ] whose larger numbers foil any such attempts in an exercise of political dominance by default over the Boers. I would hardly call this tragic reality just "nitpicking" because the Boers are as different from the Afrikaners as the Quebecois are from the Acadians or the Southrons from the USA north. No matter what the Boers are called or what they choose to be called: they will never find the self determination that they seek so long as too many of them remained propagandized into thinking that they are Afrikaners & that the Afrikaner leadership will "look out" for them when that leadership only looks out for itself often throwing the Boers under the bus [ as Frank of the Right Perspective said ] & serves foreign based political & financial powers.

Islandshark said...

@ Ron: Spot on as always. I'm waiting for the day you write a book on Boer and Afrikaner history in South Africa. I'm your first customer!!

FishEagle said...

Ron, I admire your extensive knowledge about the boers and I've learned a lot from your posts and comments. Thanks!

From what you've explained I'm sure some of my ancestors are Afrikaners. There was a group on my dad's side that used to be wood cutters in the Knysna area. I'm not sure about my mother's side though. You explained that Boers have been turned into Afrikaners and implied that they lost their identity. Haven't the Afrikaners also lost their identity? That has been my personal experience because I don't know of anyone in my family that was aware of the difference between the Afrikaners and the Boers.

You explained that the Boers are still being derailed by the Afrikaners. If that was the case then it would be my people (at least part of my culture/ancestry) that you have pointed out to be the guilty party. Up to this point, possibly in my ignorance, I am not aware of how this is being done. Please explain your comment.

Ron. said...
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Ron. said...

Thanks Islandshark. People have in fact urged me to write a book on the topic in the past & it would be a worthwhile undertaking just to try to present a fuller & more precise [ even perhaps more authentic if I may be so bold as to assert ] history of the Boers because there is often quite a bit of confusion & fallacies propagated about them & even some things which are hardly widely known at all. Critics have already accused me of "writing a book" within some the various discussion forums I have posted comments in in the past.

Do not worry F E about having Cape Dutch / Afrikaner ancestors because if you were to support the Boer people & or join them in their struggle: you & especially your children would highly likely be assimilated into the Boerevolk just as the Boers have done in the past with many Scots / Irish / English & probably some Cape Dutch over time. The term Afrikaner is quite a tricky term because of course all it really means is "African" of which all White Afrikaans speakers [ particularly the Boers who were especially forged in Africa ] & everyone else in Africa are but the problem with this term was that it was used in a political context & was applied in a manner which insinuated that all White Afrikaans speakers were from the same group when the facts are quite different.

While one could argue that the Cape Dutch also lost their identity to some extent the fact of the matter is that the Boers lost their identity the most as they were the smaller segment of the "Afrikaners" thereby falling under a form of Afrikaner domination. [ Which Theuns Cloete noted as well in his second interview with TRP. ] Another thing to keep in mind is that the Cape Dutch never had a very strong sense of identity & were often pro Colonial [ while the Boers were anti-Colonial & have from the beginning viewed themselves as "Africans" knowing no other continent ] until they began to refer to themselves as "Afrikaners" during the era [ circa 1875 ] when they started the Afrikaans language rights movement. The Cape Dutch finally started developing a sense of national identity under the term Afrikaner during the late 19th cent but during a time when the Boers were independent in their republics [ or living on the north eastern Cape frontier as not all trekked during the Great Trek ] & had long since developed a sense of national identity [ national in the sense of volk not state as the Boers had various minimalist republics / states ] & had long since viewed themselves as distinct from the Cape Dutch. Remember also that some of the early Cape Dutch Afrikaner leaders did not recognize the Boers as a distinct group [ the more things change the more things remain the same ] & often tried to woo or incorporate the Boers onto the Afrikaner reservation [ for lack of a better term ] with overtures to join them as a united group [ particularly folks from the Afrikaner Bond a more open & initially pro British political party style forerunner to the later more secretive anti-British Broederbond ] but the Boers of the republics wanted quite little to do with it despite some apprehensive & limited reciprocity or interest from a few Boers.

Ron. said...

Concerning Boer derailment. Theuns Cloete pointed out that whenever there is a vote on issues: the Afrikaners often vote one way & the Boers often vote the opposite way demonstrating the inherent Afrikaner domination of the Boers because as I pointed out even if & when the Boers have voted in a majority on something: it does not matter in a political context because the votes of the Afrikaners makes the ultimate decision. This was even noticeable to an extent within the 1992 Referendum as the only place which voted No was the region within the northern Transvaal: which was quite an un-recontructed Boer [ as in population center despite what most were conditioned into labeling themselves as ] region. Which is not to say that the Boers of the region were necessarily opposed to the negotiation of a new dispensation but that they were most adverse to the consequences & were much more opposed to the prospect of ANC rule than to a renegotiated dispensation because what they wanted most was self determination which could certainly have been accommodated within a new dispensation but this notion was abandoned in favour of a "unitary state" under Universal Suffrage which needless to say due to the inherent national & ethnic diverseness of the South African peoples: also perpetuates its own form of domination.

Ron. said...

The Boers are often derailed by the Afrikaners but I think it is not personal as the Cape Dutch descended Afrikaners are just a different culture with a different outlook [ sort of like how Canadians have a different pro link to the British Crown perspective while Americans had & have a much more independent oriented outlook & perspective ] who have not historically wanted independence or national [ volk ] freedom within some sort of sovereign dispensation unlike the Boers whose entire history has been replete with numerous attempts at obtaining independence & national freedom within a sovereign dispensation of some sort. Though I pointed out that it is mainly the Afrikaner leadership which derails the Boers as I am sure there are numerous average Afrikaners today who also champion some form of independence but just be mindful of the fact that there are enough Afrikaners who do not therefore the weight of their numbers will derail the Boers if we were to continue to notion that Afrikaner leaders represent the smaller Boer people as well. This is just a simple matter of population inertia because there are more Cape Dutch descendents & most of them [ ? - at least in the past ] view South Africa as an "indivisible" state & do not favour the cause of secession or independence for themselves let alone the Boer population.

Viking said...

@FishEagle
I think you make a great point - who knows?
Ultimately we all come from Northwest Europe with the closeness of relationship that implies. Have not all white South Africans (and Rhodesians) not been "forged" into a single ethnic identity enough over the past 300 years?
I can only compare to my own country, where I can imagine trying to divide the Scots from the English. There's no way it can be done - even those Ulstermen who speak a form of Scots language still have English blood and the two cultures are intertwined further by their common 'enemy'.
Back to SA, the history of one ethnic group trying to break away from another or others always failed, and I don't know why anyone would want to be so insular as to cut themselves off completely for the sake of 'indepence'.
When the trekkers finally found their place in the sun in the 1850s (?), what did they do? immediately set up a European-style state with connections to the outside world. Adopting a republican model, imported from abroad, once they discovered mineral wealth they used it to buy guns! lots of them. There's no justification for the view that these were a collection of poor oppressed farmers. They had exceptional organisational skills, took part in international diplomacy, had a standing army (the largest in Africa). To paint a picture of them as a paranoid and insular peasant class stand in direct opposition to my experience of white people in the Transvaal. Although I did find they didn't want to talk to me in English most of the time...

Anonymous said...

@Ron: I think you're flogging a dead horse. If you ever got your book published it would make interesting reading and have resonance with South Africans.

My father was British, my mother came from an old Cape Dutch family, which over 200 years or so spread throughout SA and Rhodesia. The eloquent Afrikaners on my mom's side of her family never differentiated between Cape Afrikaners and Boers, although the family that I met lived in places as diverse as Muizenberg, Bettys Bay, Somerset East, Graaf Reinet, Bedford, Colesberg, Bloemfontein, Bethlehem, Clarens, Bandelierskop, Durban... Like yourself they all spoke impeccable English and suiwer Afrikaans.

Ron. said...

Viking. What you must remember was that the average Boer was often a farmer & that numerous positions in the various governments of the republics were filled by foreigners [ President Kruger brought out some Dutch folks ] who had more skills & experience in running a government.

Even the famous Vierkleur was designed by a Dutch Reverend named Dirk van der Hoff along with the ZAR national anthem. President T F Burgers was himself from the Cape Dutch people. [ who was soon not too popular for his unconventional religious views ] Therefore the various Boer governments / states etc were influenced by those who were not Boers themselves so you can not equate the actions or even the temperament of the governments with being an exact reflection of the Boer people it ruled over. I for one have always said that the Boers only had a high degree of self determination within the old Boer Republics but never total self determination as just like people anywhere else: were also under some foreign influences as well.

The Boers adopted republicanism during the Cape Patriot movement of the late 1700s based on large part from the French & American Revolutions. The Constitutions of the Boer Republics were modeled on those of France & the USA. Therefore the Boers might have been insular but not impervious to ideologies from abroad. No. The Boers never had any standing armies as they employed the Commando system [ a volunteer system ] which was used right up to the various Anglo-Boer Wars.

I think you are extrapolating the Boers of the past with their current descendents because most of them are no longer a peasant insular class [ I never said paranoid - why the straw man? ] as they have been industrialized but the point is that they still exist as an intact cultural group just as the Scots do despite slight intermarriage with neighbouring groups. Furthermore I think you forget that ancestry matters little when compared to culture. For example you could have a mostly English origin fellow having been raised as a Scot & vice versa. Just as one could have a Cape Dutch being raised as a Boer & vice versa. Just look at how many South Africans are now being raised as British / Australians Canadians etc. Cultural groups can often survive diverse ancestry or absorbing small numbers of folks from other groups but what they often can not survive is domination by a different cultural group.

Anon. There were & are of course lots of people who never did or do not differentiate just as many Americans do not differentiate between the Southron & the Northerner BUT this does not negate the existence of such groups. Ignorance of distinctions is not evidence of no distinctions. Furthermore a family as the one you described is always more likely to dismiss distinctions as all those who do when they have a history of moving around & assimilating new cultures & there has always been a slight interconnection among limited numbers of the two groups.

Which brings up an interesting phenomenon. A lot of perhaps even most Cape Dutch descended Afrikaners do not recognize the Boers as a distinct ethnic / cultural group on its own as they often view them as an extension of their group. While many if not most Boer descendents view themselves as a sort of tribe & are often called the Boer Nation.

Viking said...

Ron
your patience with those seeking clarification is commendable!
I had no idea Kruger imported experts from abroad, although in doing so he obviously recognised some kinship with the Dutch - although he himself was a German.
Fascinating stuff.

Ron. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron. said...

Well Viking: it is much more accurate to say that Kruger was a Boer of German ancestry than to call him a German. No one would call Piet Joubert French as he too was a Boer who was just of French descent. The Boers are an ethnic / cultural group in their own right. Remember also that there was in fact an established German [ German speaking too ] community in southern Africa particularly in the eastern Cape & in what is now called Namibia. Therefore it would be more accurate to call those folks Germans [ though African Germans ] than to call the Boers that. Despite the fact that the Boers have a lot of German ancestors & could even be mostly of German origin. On an interesting note: the Germans of the eastern Cape were reduced in size as a community due to the N P government having to make more room for the Ciskei State. Case in point of Apartheid relocating White folks as well.

The supposed kinship Kruger felt with the Dutch was mainly strategic because Kruger was [ & some Boer leader prior to him ] always looking for support from other countries as the Boers were particularly pressed by the encroaching British power.

The Dutch had began to take more notice with the Boers during the first Anglo-Boer War as they both had a common opponent in the British & the Dutch felt a rekindled connection to the Boers due to the history of the VOC which brought their [ often non-Dutch ] ancestors to the Cape. The Dutch even named some of their streets after Voortrekker & Andries Pretorius etc. Which they later abandoned in the 20th cent when they began to name streets after ANC personalities.

The following is a relevant excerpt Quote: [ In 1880s the real interest developed, with the Boer rebellion. From then the Dutch began to consider the Boer Republics something like a Dutch colony - not in a political sense but as having a cultural dependency. Many Dutch occupied positions in the Transvaal: the preachers in churches were mostly Dutch, about 20 percent of the administration was Dutch, there were hundreds of Dutch schoolmasters and railways in the Transvaal were run by a Dutch company. The Superintendent of Education was Dutch, as was the Secretary of the Interior and Foreign Affairs. The Transvaal government made the republic attractive for Dutch people. Paul Kruger did not like people from the Cape - he felt they were subjugated by the British, so he encouraged people from the Netherlands to work in the Transvaal as a way to strengthen Boer independence. ]

From: Clare Wyllie interviews Professor Gerrit Schutte.


More to follow.

Ron. said...

President Paul Kruger would rather have Dutch folks from the Netherlands than folks from the Cape Dutch community as he felt the Cape Dutch were too influenced by the British & might act as a fifth column of sorts. Though it is interesting to note that the Cape Dutch Jan Smuts moved to the ZAR & became its Secretary of State [ Theuns Cloetes notes how "he slipped in" during the first interview ] then later a General.

JBM Hertzog did just about the same thing with respect to the Orange Free State becoming prominent there: first as a Judge then later as a General. Both personalities would follow Louis Botha in the post of Prime Minister of the new British created macro State of South Africa in secession.

Also: even the Orange Free State Vierkleur was designed by the King of the Netherlands [ as part of a OFS government gesture to create & strengthen bonds with the Netherlands in their struggle against the British ] though the red / white & blue tricolour [ which was featured in the canton of the OFS Vierkleur flag & was a significant part of the ZAR Vierkleur flag ] was used by the first Boer Republics on the Cape frontier in 1795. Though the significance of the flag then had more to do with breaking from Dutch rule which was considerably weakened by then on the frontier.

Ron. said...

Therefore there has periodically been some association with the Dutch particularly at times when they were looking for support [ Kruger also tried to get support from other countries & the Germans did provide him with those famous Mauser rifles ] from abroad & the Dutch have periodically showed interest in the Boers but most of them today have probably been propagandized against them though one Dutch citizen in particular who has an interest in the Boers was a guest on the Right Perspective in the past.