Ten reasons for the Afrikaner declaration

Henry

The growing crisis in the country after thirty years of ANC rule, forced a network of Afrikaner organizations and leaders to draw up a joint statement to outline a path to the future.

This is the first joint Afrikaner statement since 1994 that enjoys support across a broad spectrum – something that even well-known black leaders immediately noticed. In Afrikaner ranks, the statement also received wide support, with the exception of the usual “Boys’ Weeping Choir” with their usual false tunes of racism and the past. The drafters and signatories, including the Solidarity Movement, still receive inquiries about it, and it is necessary to explain the reasons for this.

There are at least ten reasons for the statement.

One voice

The first reason is that the crisis in the country and in which Afrikaners move has become so great that it has become urgently necessary to speak with one voice. Afrikaners are a divided minority, and the ANC has played us off against each other for long enough. Therefore, the statement focuses on what we agree on, rather than what we disagree on.

It is also not necessary that what we disagree on leads to such a great division that it paralyzes us. Afrikaners standing together weigh more than we count, and the joint declaration gives us more bargaining power and cultural self-confidence.

Population

Secondly, the declaration is based on “multiplicity” rather than national unity.

This means that the differences that exist in the past, present or future are acknowledged, and that there is room for different views. So it is about unity, and not sameness. The big breakthrough is that the signatories will support each other’s goals or at least not oppose them, even if someone disagrees with something. We have thus achieved greater unity through the recognition of multiplicity.

Three groups

The strength of the declaration lies in the fact that the three political currents that have always arisen among Afrikaners were recognized with room to pursue all three. The first group are Afrikaners who only believed in individual rights, the second group advocates collective rights such as Afrikaans schools, while the third group feels strongly about their own territory. The third group’s supporters support a wide spectrum of territory, from largely African security neighbourhoods, regional towns where Afrikaners concentrate, greater autonomy for the Western Cape and support for Orania’s project to grow from town to city to region. The Orania supporters vary from people who say “outside South Africa if possible, within South Africa if necessary”, to those who say “within South Africa if possible, outside South Africa if necessary”.

The country’s Constitution does provide for all three of these groups’ rights, although the authorities try to undermine collective and territorial rights. The fact that Afrikaners across a wide spectrum now recognize each other’s aspirations gives all three groups greater bargaining power.

Cultural treaty

The fourth reason is to publicize Afrikaners’ intention to pursue a “cultural pact” with the authorities.

For years now, the government has ignored the constitutional rights and spaces for Afrikaners, constantly attacks Afrikaner schools and universities, has drawn up a comprehensive racial division of 116 racial laws, and treats Afrikaners who are first-class tax payers as second-class citizens and rules us third world .

National dialogue

The government talks about us but not with us. This fits in with the ANC’s policy which has changed from government “by” the people to government “over” the people.

Afrikaners have been talking for years about the need for a new national dialogue to address the problems that plague the country and Afrikaners. Despite this, the government has been turning a deaf ear to such calls for years now, under the pretext that they were elected to solve the country’s problems. That is why it is a breath of fresh air that former president Thabo Mbeki welcomed the Afrikaner declaration, and that his proposal for a new “National Dialogue” by Mr. Ramaphosa was supported.

This does not mean at all that it will take place, or that Afrikaners’ legitimate demands will be recognized there. The Afrikaner declaration’s purpose is indeed to place our community’s position on the national agenda, thereby making ourselves part of the debate about the future. The joint declaration strengthens our collective bargaining power if such a dialogue were to take place, which is important because the ANC does not care about right or wrong, but only looks at the balance of power.

Two million

The sixth point is that the member organisations, of which the Solidarity Movement is the largest, represent around 2 million people. The statement makes it clear that we cannot speak on behalf of all Afrikaners, but believe that we speak on behalf of the majority because it is in everyone’s interest if, for example, there are no unfair racial laws or attacks on Afrikaans schools. That is why it is important for us to encourage Afrikaners to support the declaration on the website of the Afrikaner declaration.

South Africa

The seventh point is that the statement recognizes the fact that we live in South Africa, that we want to stay here, that we build to be able to stay, and that we want to make a contribution to the well-being of the country and its people.

We believe in equality, and claim the same rights as demographic majorities for us. Nor can Afrikaners be expected to make a contribution to the country if we are constantly ruled against and if we are made political scapegoats to divert attention from the ANC’s corrupt incompetence.

Demographic democracy

Afrikaners are occasionally blamed for the problems in the country that the ANC has caused. Even Jan van Riebeeck walks through regularly. This creates hatred against us among the black youth, who are viciously exploited by people like Julius Malema.

The upcoming election is important, and the drafters of the statement encourage everyone to vote. It is also significant that the DA and the FF+ signed the declaration. However, it is important to remember that South Africa is a demographic democracy, where the composition of the population says more about politics than parties’ policies or performance.

That is why we cannot just wait for the next election because we are working for the next generation. We realize very well that political powerlessness does not mean powerlessness. If it does happen that a non-ANC coalition takes over the government or at least takes over a few provinces, the declaration puts us in a strong position to promote our goals.

Mutual recognition

The ninth point is that we cannot wait for the government to talk to us or give consent to our demands. If “vertical” discussions with the ANC are not possible in the short term, this does not stop us from having “horizontal” discussions with other cultural groups. We do this not as citizens, but as equal cultural communities based on mutual recognition and respect.

We see that the ANC is centralizing more and more and becoming more autocratic, and therefore we know that well-organized cultural communities that work together are the best defense against power-obsessed governments.

We will ourselves

The tenth point is that the near-hatred that some commentators have spewed against the Afrikaner statement is highly likely to stem from an anti-Afrikaner racism. There are those who thought and hoped that the end of Afrikaner history had arrived in 1994, and they were outraged when they heard that there are still millions of Afrikaners who still haven’t gone to bed.

We do not wait for the government’s permission to advance our legitimate interests. We want ourselves, we can ourselves, we may ourselves, and we will ourselves!