Afrikaners need ‘Devo Max’ too

It is clear that SA is in dire need of an honest debate about what it means to be ’South African’

Scotland wasted an opportunity to become fully independent of the UK, yet the resultant national debate and soul-searching during the referendum had lasting effects on both Scottish and British identity. I was struck by septuagenarian designer Vivienne Westwood’s declaration: “I hate England. I like Scotland because somehow I think they are better than we are. They are more democratic.”

roodt_dan4Looking at the kind of ethnic discourse dished up by Jonny Steinberg and Nomalanga Mkhize on what they see as white or Afrikaner identity, it is clear that South Africa is in dire need of an honest debate about what it means to be “South African” (if such a thing exists) and whether we would not relate better at a greater distance from one another. “Devo max” was the term coined during the “Indyref” and Afrikaners definitely require it, at least as far as our schools and universities are concerned.

As I have argued recently in my ebook essay, Raiders of the lost Empire: South Africa’s ‘English’ identity, this society apes everything that Britain and the British do. Even Mandela said that he aspired to be a black Englishman. As Hendrik Potgieter expressed to the Natal governor circa 1840, I can think of no fate worse than becoming English, yet so many people here are absolutely besotted with the British royals and regard South Africa as a Little Britain, smelling of bacon and eggs, especially at the breakfast table. Robin Cook’s speech on multicultural “Chicken tikka masala Britain” would also define how this Little Britain sees itself, although its national dish is probably a Spur flame-grilled hamburger, with that touch of American ambience.

From the English point of view, Afrikaners may be a moribund minority best forgotten about unless they can be slurred with perennial caricatures of apartheid or seeing Oscar Pistorius as an Afrikaner, despite the fact that only his surname is Afrikaans. However, just like “wee Scotland”, we have a right to exist, to speak our language and not to be murdered by the thousands every year.

Until now, our Afrikaans state schools have managed to avoid the depth of the crisis in education, triggered by all the fatal experiments with “outcomes-based education” and other English or Commonwealth fads. Before it gets any worse, control over Afrikaans education at all levels must handed over to us. The notion that an English person could decide what my child should be taught, how and in what language is absolutely preposterous!

As American author Jared Taylor said, there is no such thing as “white identity”. Whites are too browbeaten by constant accusations of racism to have a racial identity. But the Afrikaner nation has a strong and enduring cultural identity, much more so than that of the Scots, in fact.

Great Britain and its leaders were at equally great pains to “embrace” Scotland, lest it flees the union. Locally, Little Britain is so contemptuous of Afrikaners, Afrikaans, boerewors, Steve Hofmeyr, Die Stem and everything that goes with it, that there seems to be a mutual feeling that more separation is not only desirable, but inevitable.

We also want Devo Max, and the first step would be to return our schools and universities to us. We made them, paid for them and still administer them. They do not belong to Little Britain.

A shortened form of this column appeared as a letter in Business Day under the title Afrikaans identity needs autonomy.

  • Alan Joseph Secrève

    I’m not too sure whether the Scots “democratically” wasted the opportunity.

    • Derrick Scott

      you cannot have a homeland where you dont belong why are you afraid of europe why dont you want to go back home home is home didnt god gave you a piece of land europe dont get the eff more upset than they are

      • Joseph

        The Hugenots (forefathers of the Afrikaners) were kicked out of France because the heightened level of general prosperity they created formed a threat to the existing elite. So when they went to SA and did the same there, the result from Europe was the same. “Apartheid” and human rights were the excuse they used while their real aim was to destroy the Afrikaners to save their own sanctimonious asses.

  • Piet Bylevloek

    I support self determination for Afrikaner /Boers.
    If the English want to stay behind with Mmusi Maimane & the D.A , that is also ok with me.

    • Rob Lottering

      Hierdie soutie stem saam.

      • Piet Bylevloek

        Lottering = soutie ?
        Are you sure you are not an anglicized Afrikaner from the wes kaap ?

  • eduard

    The Scottish have lost the guts and courage to vote for an independant Scotland. The should have freed themselves from those Sassanach thieves. Hendik Potgieter was right. And that bitch on the throne, who is nothing but a whore to the Rothschild brigands, is jumping with glee now that she keeps her castles. Scotland should have proclaimed themselves a republic

    • Sick of it

      Look into the so-called royal family’s ancestry. They’re related to the Rothschilds, if you know what I mean.

  • Laager

    Dan Roodt makes a compelling point. The world seems to have been brainwashed into believing that “British is Best”. [What a legacy – Palestine/Israel, Ireland/Ulster, Zimbabwe, South Africa?] and many – particularly the SA English – slavishly ape the UK. One of the issues that seems to escape these Afro-Brit clones is that the United Kingdom is comprised of 4 distinct and ethically diverse nations – each with their own language, culture and traditions. Moreover the boundaries of these different entities is recognised. Thus we have England, Scotland, Wales and Ulster [Northern Ireland] Furthermore, devolved government is granted to these territories. Freedom of association and protection of native languages is respected. Peculiarly England / Great Britain has no written constitution; but that is the subject of another debate. What binds them together is that they are white caucasians sharing the same territory – a small island – and conversing in a common language, English – with a multitude of dialects and accents. Now what relevance does this have to South Africa? Well we have the isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebela, IsiTsonga, Setswana, Sepedi, Sesotho, Tsivenda, isiSwati – all black negroids but equally diverse from one another as the English, Scots, Welsh and N Irish are. Then we have the white caucasians split into the majority Afrikaners and the minority English – as different from one another as the English and Dutch are in Europe. Add to this two more independent ethnicities – the British imported Indians and the SA Mulattos / Coloureds; the product of every miscegenation permutation between black, brown and white possible. After military conquest between 1806 and 1902 Britain waved its magic wand in 1910 over this original multi-culti melting pot and declared them all “South Africans”. Just how on earth is this supposed to work? Over the last 50 years Britain has had 4 prophets that have warned of the impossibility of such a homogeneous union within it’s own boundaries – Winston Churchill [opposed to Muslims], Enoch Powell [Tory], Nick Griffin [BNP] and Nigel Farage [UKIP] Over the last 5 years the following European heads of state have declared that multi-culturism is a failure within Norway, Spain, France, England, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The EU, Israel, The Netherlands, Canada and the USA have issued similar statements which include reactions to the inroads of Islam. The evolving issue in UK politics is “immigration”. British PM David Cameron is on record that “good immigration” is acceptable – i.e. educated skilled professionals [ he does not say he is opposed the 3rd world Somalians or dispossesed white Rhodesian farmers or white South Africans escaping racist persecution] For some reason Europe supports the Rainbow Nation illusion. The National Party recognised the ethnic differences in this false construct and worked at redressing the injustices of the past by developing the Native Reserves [1913 Land Act] = Bantustans = Homelands to be on a par with Lesotho and Swaziland which are quite acceptable to the international community. However this same community [lead by Britain and the Christian Churches] lobbied at the UN to have this policy declared “A Crime Against Humanity”. This is the injustice that the Afrikaners have to endure. The issue is not going to go away – and rightfully so. The Afrikaners have every right to their self determination within Africa. Meanwhile the Afro-Brits delude themselves that the Britain will come to their rescue if needed. They need look no further than Zimbabwe for inspiration. An American President once said – “Never trust the English” How right he was.