I’m also an Afrikaner, but don’t talk for me

2011-04-16 11:55

I am an African. And an Afrikaner.

Like Professor Danie Goosen of the Federasie van Afrikaanse ­Kultuurvereniginge (FAK), I ­identify ­myself as part of the ­minority group that invented ­boerewors, ­zef-rap and apartheid.

I am, however, also a lot of other things.

I don’t know which beer Goosen likes, but I’m a Windhoek man – Windhoek Lager, in the 500ml bottle, ice cold.

And I still need to be convinced why I should ever drive a car that is not a Toyota.

And food? I like to braai, but the dim sum at So Yum in Hyde Park is to die for.

Especially the Hong Kong pears. And I recently started to eat sushi – nogals nice if you add enough soy sauce and ginger.

Goosen looks like a sushi and Chardonnay man to me, but who knows? Maybe the guy is the potjiekos champ of Pretoria and drives a BMW!

Goosen and I are both Afrikaners, but this could be all we have in common. And judging from his evidence in the AfriForum vs Julius Malema hate-speech trial this week, politically we differ a lot.

That’s why I was so annoyed when he spoke like the self-appointed spokesperson of the Afrikaners when he testified.

These were some of his quotes in court this week:

» “‘Kill the boer’ is experienced as an utterance which places the ideals of Afrikaners in a difficult space”;

» “The prevalent feeling (among the Afrikaans community) is very negative . . . not a single Afrikaner supports it (the utterance) within the confines that I move”; and

» “It is seen as a threat to their (Afrikaner) symbolic connection to South Africa.”

I don’t feel my ­ideals are being placed in a “difficult space” when Malema sings Aw’ Dubhul’ibhunu;

I don’t experience the singing of this struggle song as positive or negative, and I definitely don’t see the singing of the song as a threat to my “symbolic connection to South Africa”.

If you listened to Goosen and some of his fellow witnesses this week, you could easily think the case was called Afrikaners, not ­AfriForum, vs Malema.

Neither ­AfriForum, nor Goosen, the FAK, the Transvaalse Landbou-Unie or any other grouping represented in court represents me or “the Afrikaners”.

They represent themselves.

This is the beautiful thing about democracy – you don’t have to be the ANC or the Blue Bulls with lots of supporters to take powerful politicians to court.

Even if your name is Joe Soap, Hugh Glenister or Danie Goosen, you may challenge the views of anyone you believe to be ­infringing on your rights.

But don’t pretend that you have the support of an entire people, only bound by name and language, if you go to court and say these things.

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