Afrikaners must find their own Nkandla - Zuma
Pieter du Toit and Lizel Steenkamp, Beeld
Cape Town – The Afrikaner should find his own Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.
Not a geographical area, but a psychological home where he’s safe and has the freedom and confidence to live and express the things that are important to him.
Zuma said in an interview with Beeld – the first with an Afrikaans newspaper since he became president – he has a deep understanding for the need of some Afrikaners for a home of their own.
“For example: I work in Cape Town and in Pretoria, but then I want to go to Nkandla (in rural KwaZulu-Natal). That’s where I belong. I feel at home when I’m there.
“I can do the indlamu (a traditional dance for men), I can speak isiZulu...
“This is what some Afrikaners need on a psychological level: an Nkandla.”
He emphasised the fact that he doesn’t mean Afrikaners can or should demarcate their own area or create a separate home.
“You can’t create an Orania, you must be part of South Africa and share in what we all share.”
Proud of heritage
The president explained that historical realities have determined that various ethnic groups are concentrated in various parts of the country.
For instance, the Venda live mostly in the north of the country, the Zulus in KwaZulu-Natal and the Xhosas along the East Coast.
He said the Afrikaner is not found in a single geographical area, but all over the country. This is why they don’t have a “physical Nkandla”.
Zuma said ethnic diversity in South Africa is valuable and that he, as a Zulu, is proud of his heritage and traditions.
“Being a South African doesn’t make me any less of a Zulu. But being a Zulu also doesn’t make me any less of a South African.”
Fought for freedom
Despite his extensive conversations and meetings with Afrikaners – since taking office he has visited white squatter camps, Orania and the union Solidarity – it is still impossible for him to say who exactly represents “the Afrikaner”.
“I’ve met many different Afrikaners. Some of them don’t even want to be called Afrikaners, but rather Boere.
“So you can’t say that, since I’ve met one Afrikaner, I have met the Afrikaner (representing the whole group).”
Zuma spoke at length about the Afrikaners’ unique history and how this distinguishes them from other whites in the country.
“Some people are upset when I say this, but it’s a fact: they are the only white group who can lay claim to the fact that they also fought for their freedom, against the Brits... they died in concentration camps.
“They made a contribution to the development of South Africa and helped make it what it is today. They are an important group.
"They are the kind of group that doesn’t carry two passports, only one.”