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.
Interviewed by Fred Rundle.
TITLE: LEADER OF THE BOERESTAAT PARTY.
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.
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.