Afrikaner group seeks independent state

2014-07-23 14:18
Sakkie van der Merwe, a member of the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad, is seen at a news conference in Pretoria. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Sakkie van der Merwe, a member of the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad, is seen at a news conference in Pretoria. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Pretoria - Members of an Afrikaner group who call themselves the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad view forthcoming talks with the government as a step closer to their "right for self-determination for our own people in a peaceful way".

"The Boer Afrikaner people are distinctive people and we have been fighting for the past two centuries to gain our independence," Andries Breytenbach, chairperson of the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad, told reporters in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"We see the willingness of government to hold talks with us in a positive light."

The discussions that according to Breytenbach will include President Jacob Zuma, or his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, or both, will be held before the end of August and will consist of the concept of territorial self-determination for what the organisation calls "Boer Afrikaner people".

This follows a recent court application by the Boere-Afrikanervolksraad to have their own state.

"In a letter received on 17 July from the State attorney, the Volksraad was told that government chose to settle this issue through negotiations rather than litigation," he said.

Breytenbach, who could not give the exact number of members belonging to their organisation, said that a possible poll among Afrikaners who want their own state would form part of the talks with government.

"We want a country of our own where we are allowed to run our own affairs.

“We were a self-governing nation before 1994 and then we lost our independence. We are a minority and have no influence in the political course South Africa is taking," he said.

"If we can attain our own territory we can be a stabilising factor for the whole southern Africa region."

- SAPA
Read more on:    pretoria
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