Roelf Meyer: Man of Ideas

2015-04-08 18:15

The Stature of Cecil John Rhodes (that genocide maniac) at the heart of the University of Cape Town has fallen. The message is clear and it is already out there. It cannot be called back in. The horse has bolted from the stable and the falcon has left the nest. The message is out there that the physical structure and topography of our physical environment must change. The genie is out of the bottle.

So what is next.... we got to keep moving....

Roelf Meyer is known for his sharp kicks at the Apartheid system that saw him through the course of Apartheid being branded by his contemporaries with such names as verligte Nat ("liberal" or "enlightened" National Party leader). The description that simply meant that he was too lax - too lenient and too soft on Blacks and their aspiration for freedom. He was just too kind and gentle with them. They saw his accommodating nature as stupidity and weakness.

Throughout as the leader within the National Party he argued brilliantly for a more open South Africa. But most of the time in the corridors of power he just remained quiet and silent in debates because he felt that he was too outnumbered for a contrary argument.

Roelf Meyer as Minister of Defence had two main options open to him: he could continue with the hard line legacy of the iron fisted Magnus Malan suppressing and rounding off the Blacks or he could use his powers and authority to shift the Government to a position where channels are more opened for the realisation of a new South Africa. He chose the latter position.

Because of this position he was completely disrespected by his soldiers. The soldiers refused him salutes. The abuse and disrespect got so bad that President FW de Klerk had to intervene and remove him from his position and gave him a much quieter portfolio: Minister of Constitutional Affairs and of Communication.

As Minister of Constitutional Affairs and of Communication Roelf Meyer made full use of his spinning powers in conditioning South Africa for the ultimate inevitability of a Black Government. He had a key helper in his elder brother Anthon "Tobie" Meyer.

As a youth and student at the University of the Free State Roelf Meyer always showed a revolutionary trend of thought. But his thought lacked courage within the atmosphere of the tough Charles Robberts Swart the last Governor-General of Union of South Africa from 1960 to 1961 and the first State President of the Republic of South Africa from 1961 to 1967.

Of course we know more of Roelf Meyer as a towering figure: the Chief Architect of the New South Africa navigating the lanes of new South Africa with that deep velvet Afrikaans accent.

Roelf Meyer and a number of others represent a generation of South Africans who should be celebrated with statures across the country. Roelf Meyer an ingenious politician, a penetrating thinker is a truly Afrikaaner all the way. He is forever young, His youthfulness - full of wisdom - reflect the new South Africa and the South Africa that is more of a young population.

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