Last week ANC leaders had another braai or luncheon with representatives of Afrikaans organisations. A few vacuous statements were made afterwards but as usual nothing really happened.
Why on earth does the ANC still talk to Afrikaners and Afrikaans organisations when they have absolutely zero political influence? one wonders. King Mswati III of Swaziland has much more clout as he heads up an independent nation with a seat at the UN, even if he has to beg South Africa for a few billion rand to pay his civil servants.
The fact is that Afrikaners were thoroughly beaten during the 1980’s by what I call the Afro-Saxon alliance of the exiled ANC and the English-speaking intellectuals, as well as the Anglican Church and some very influential British people. In the nineteen-eighties, that alliance mounted a superbly orchestrated propaganda campaign against the National Party that toppled it from power and condemned Afrikaners to becoming more or less internal immigrants.
Today most Afrikaners feel alienated, wondering about their role in a country that is increasingly leaving them behind in language, culture and mentality. Even the DA is changing Afrikaner names in Cape Town to more acceptable Afro-Saxon equivalents.
Yet the National Party refuses to die, apparently. Despite being merged with the ANC under Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the many Afrikaner groups and institutions that used to be under its wing are still fighting for standing room on the Titanic.
Just think of the mighty Naspers, South Africa’s biggest media group. Once upon a time strategic decisions at Naspers were made by the cabinet and not the company itself. Despite being commercially successful, Naspers is still having a political identity crisis, unsure whether it should support the moderate faction of the ANC or the DA. Its newspapers like Beeld, Die Burger and Rapport, have abolished the word “Afrikaner” and replaced it with “Afrikaanse”, a term denoting a person of uncertain identity who might sometimes speak a few words of Afrikaans.
You have already grasped that everybody in South Africa is in some sense an “Afrikaanse”. Whenever you say “boerewors” or “lekker”, you are promoted – or perhaps demoted – to this rather lowly species of humanity.
There is also the publicity-hungry Solidarity trade union, run by some ex-Conservative Party Youth members. However, the Solidarity and Afriforum boys now despise their former right-wing ideas and are more or less in line with Naspers’s flight from identity. They are short on ideas and long on complaints about corruption, farm murders, service delivery and the other seemingly insoluble ills that plague postapartheid South Africa.
Mr. FW de Klerk, who is no longer popular with Afrikaners, still attempts to keep a hand on the tiller by means of his eponymous foundation that sometimes issues strongly-worded reprimands whenever the ANC threatens to change the constitution.
Like a vampire leaving his coffin after dark, the National Party and its brand of compromising, opportunistic politics still haunt the disparate and squabbling Afrikaner groups that hold incessant meetings and issue statements that the media routinely ignore.
But while South Africa has lurched to the left since 1994, fraternising with and subsidising Cuba, odd things are happening in the rest of the world. When I lived in France two decades ago, only two percent of Frenchmen voted for the right-wing National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen. In last Sunday’s presidential elections, his daughter Marine Le Pen polled a whopping twenty percent. Clearly, nationalist politics has suddenly become mainstream in France, as it has in many other European countries. Russia, too, has become a hot-bed of nationalism and young Russians engage in some form of “white pride”.
Like Marie-Antoinette’s death under the guillotine, the Afrikaners’ abject fall from grace – with radical land reform still to come – has become a kind of symbol. The news is out in the USA, in Holland, Italy, Russia and other countries, that this is what happens when whites become a minority in their own country. You have violence and permanent affirmative action.
Farm murders are probably not a white genocide, but certainly many people internationally already believe that, which is enough. Afrikaners have now become the victims of ANC rule and many books are being written about their plight.
One such volume is Ilana Mercer’s Into the Cannibal’s Pot – Lessons for America from Postapartheid South Africa. Ms. Mercer, a resident of Idaho but having grown up in SA, is highly intelligent and writes in a brilliant polemical style. She is worth ten or twenty FW de Klerk Foundations.
Another American who has taken up the Afrikaner cause is Jared Taylor of the American Renaissance group. His book White identity – racial consciousness in the 21st century will shortly be published in SA too. It deals with American racial identities, but resonates deeply with South Africa where 94% of black people vote en bloc for the ruling ANC. This is according to a recent Ipsos-Markinor poll.
As ever, South Africa finds itself at the heart of the world’s problems when it comes to racial and ethnic coexistence. In the past it was to the detriment of Afrikaners and white South Africans generally. Perhaps this time we could take solace from that inescapable fact.