Morning clouds. Cool.
Max du Preez
state capture, we’re presently experiencing another, subtler but equally
dangerous hijacking: that of the Afrikaner mainstream by Solidariteit and
its roots in the far-rightwing Mynwerkersunie, but in the mother of all
makeovers over the last 15 years it has morphed into a movement that positions
itself as the authentic voice and main champion of Afrikanerdom.
its main offspring parading as a civic rights organisation, AfriForum, were strategically
so brilliant that most Afrikaner opinion leaders and the Afrikaans media are nowadays
treating them as key role players and Afrikaner leaders. Many of these new
AfriForum praise singers still parade as progressives and most of them, I
suspect, are DA supporters.
It reminds me of
the old apartheid days when it was said of some English-speaking liberals that
they talked Progressive Party, belonged to the United Party and thanked God for
the National Party.
Make no mistake,
Solidariteit is a good union when it comes to guarding the interests of its
members. AfriForum has also done some good work on the ground keeping local
authorities in check.
The Solidarity Movement,
as they call themselves, has a brilliant business model that made them one of
the richest non-governmental organisations in the country. It gets good revenue,
many millions each month, from the ample contributions from Solidariteit’s 150
000 members and AfriForum’s 172 000 members, but it really profits from the
activities of its business arm and the business it does with its members, like
insurance. (Author Christi van der Westhuizen has called this “ethnic
This is all fine
and good, as is the fact that Solidariteit assisted four SABC journalists in
court, although I do get a whiff of opportunism – just two weeks ago, for
example, the Cape High Court said that AfriForum’s court action against
Stellenbosch activist Johan Pienaar would have had a “chilling effect” on free
But here’s the
dark side of the movement – actually, AfriForum more than Solidarity, if one
in fear and ethnic mobilisation. It only serves the interests of Afrikaans
demonstrated repeatedly that intolerance, ethnic chauvinism, intimidation,
crude propaganda, confrontation and provocation are part of its strategic
In the eyes of
most South Africans, they are hard-core racists and this has done much damage
to the popular perception of Afrikaners, because they parade as the true face
I have seen
cellphone messages from AfriForum sent to tens of thousands of people stating
that the ANC was planning to close down Afrikaans schools and to seize half of
all Afrikaans businesses. If you want to stop this, join AfriForum, it says.
Mogoeng Mogoeng said last week after yet another failed AfriForum court case
that AfriForum was “divisive, somewhat selfish”.
In their minority
judgment, Justices Edwin Cameron and Johan Froneman raged against AfriForum’s
references in its founding affidavit to the “so-called historical injustices of
the past” and said: “So-called! This embodies the kind of insensitivity that
poisons our society. Apartheid was all too real. And it was profoundly pernicious.”
newspapers reported on Potchefstroom students giving the Nazi salute during
initiation two years ago, AfriForum initiated a boycott and threatened and
intimidated these newspapers so viciously that some of them are now sucking up
to AfriForum and are reluctant to publish negative stories about it.
If you want to see
the real face of AfriForum, don’t rely on the polite interviews its leaders
give to the media. Go listen to what its activists and protesters say and what
its members write on social media. Pure vitriol and more often than not
profoundly racist and apartheid denialist.
I have been to the
campuses of the universities of Pretoria, Free State and Potchefstroom. I have
no doubt that AfriForum’s storm troopers had inflicted serious damage on the
cause of the Afrikaans language and the image of Afrikaners.
A recent example:
in his judgment in the Pienaar case last week judge AJ Donen said that the
AfriForum protesters at Stellenbosch were guilty of “assault, sexual violence,
sexual aggression and intimidation”.
If you dare
criticise AfriForum, you are confronted by an aggressive, vicious ad hominem campaign on social media and elsewhere.
Is this the real
face of Afrikaners in 2016? I hope not.
Afrikaners, if you want the flame of exclusive Afrikaner nationalism, isolation,
chauvinism and entitlement to burn high again with the inevitable accompanying
thuggery and racism, then yes, join AfriForum.
But if you want to
be a decent citizen living in harmony with the rest of our nation in the spirit
of our Constitution, then halt this capture of Afrikanerdom and say loud and
clear so all can hear: Ons is nie almal só nie.
- Follow Max on Twitter.Disclaimer:News24
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