South Africa’s last Afrikaner President, F.W. de Klerk, has admitted in public that he and his National Party were tricked by Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) when those two parties drew up the first majority rule constitution—and that the ANC had no intention of maintaining minority rights.
In an opinion piece written for the Afrikaans language NETWERK24 news service in South Africa, De Klerk—said in his mea cupla piece that he had come to the conclusion that Afrikaners could not rely on the constitution, but had to once again create their own future by themselves.
De Klerk—widely hailed by western liberals as the “man who ended apartheid,” but equally widely hated by Afrikaners as an ultimate sell-out to the ANC—made his comments after a South African Constitutional Court’s refusal to allow an appeal against a Supreme Court decisions allowing the previously Afrikaans language University of the Free State to adopt an English-language only policy.
That decision, De Klerk wrote, has “stripped away” any protection—as supposedly in the constitution pertaining to the protection of the language, cultural, and property rights of minorities in the country.
“The constitutional court’s attitude is summed up in Chief Justice Mogoeng’s remark—which has far-reaching implications for the future of Afrikaans language schools—that “Afrikaans as a medium of instruction has become an instrument of racial and cultural division, and discrimination.”
This decision means that a language can be held responsible for the historical actions of people who speak it today, De Klerk wrote.
Referring to another case which dealt which rejected objections to the replacement of Afrikaans street and city names with African ones, De Kelerk quoted Judge Chris Jafta as asking how could the “transformation” demanded by the constitution be implemented by “acknowledging cultural traditions rooted in a racist past?”
Jafta went on to say, De Klerk said, that this culture “belonged in the trash can.”
De Klerk continued: “What does Jafta’s remarks mean for the constitutional right to humanity of white South Africans? Their humanity is locked in with their cultural and historical identities.
“Does the [forced] removal of culture also not inevitably lead to their dehumanization? How can people exercise their constitutional right to equality when they are forever condemned to moral inferiority because of their culture and history?”
It is clear, he continued, that the Constitutional Court’s decision that “racial harmony demands of Afrikaners that they surrender their right to be taught in the language of their choice at all public institutions—and that it calls in question their right to enjoy [live] in their culture.
“This approach is in direct contradiction to the constitutionally-entrenched right to multiculturalism ad multilingualism.
“This is an approach which is endorsed by international conventions as necessary to maintain positive intergroup relations in nations with diverse populations.”
De Klerk went on to say that the constitutional court’s recent decision on the rights of minorities has “real implications for the continued viability of the ‘great accord’ upon which the [South African] constitution was based.
“Minorities, who were by definition excluded from political power—are completely dependent on the impartiality of the courts to maintaining their rights.
“What hope do they have of this right if these courts consistently agree with the ideological approach of the majority regarding questions which address the core of their rights?”
De Klerk said that although the constitution contained all these protections, it had proven impossible to predict that the courts would come to oppose these very same rights.
“D It is now clear with hindsight that the ANC negotiators deliberately misled not only Afrikaners—but also all non-ANC parties—with regards to their intentions over the medium and long term.
“It was clear from 2012 that it was never their intention to maintain all the rights contained in the constitution.”
De Klerk went on to say that he had come to the conclusion that the future of the Afrikaner people was once again in its own hands—just as it was so many times in our turbulent past.”
* De Klerk was the last white leader of South Africa, who inherited a state facing a serious internal crisis consisting of an uprising of 40 million blacks against a white government which could only count on an armed force of less than 120,000 military serviceable age men.
Rather than follow the path of Rhodesia and engage in a protracted guerrilla war which the whites would inevitably lose, De Klerk chose to hand over the country to the ANC under a constitution which he—foolishly, as he now has effectively admitted—has proven worthless in that regard.
Hardline Afrikaners who opposed De Klerk unfortunately provided no realistic alternative to his surrender policy—offering only an impracticable and unworkable return to apartheid, and thus De Klerk was able to win white majority support for his policy.
Unfortunately the only practical alternative—the creation of a small Afrikaner state divorced from apartheid, as proposed by the small handful of people who went on to found the now–famous Orania settlement—was ignored by De Klerk and indeed even the hardline Afrikaners.
In that sense, however, De Klerk’s closing comment in his new article essentially endorses Orania’s position—that only the Afrikaners can save themselves, because no-one else will.