Ever since the black Marxist takeover of South Africa was finally completed on the March 27, 1994, freedom-loving Afrikaner-Boers have been involved in many different attempts and projects aiming at self-determination for the Boer nation. The struggle for self-determination, however, has always been an integral part of the Afrikaner-Boer people’s existence. This nation was virtually born out of the desire for self-determination in their own homeland by means of the Great Trek in the early 19th century. It was because of this that the Voortrekkers made their Vow unto God before their victory over the Zulus in 1838.
The fall of the Boer republics following the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902) led to the formation of the Union of South Africa on March 31, 1910. This date can be regarded as the birthday of the imperial British colony in South Africa, which, on the biblical grounds of ethno-nationalism, should never have been a single state. The Boers were now forced to share a single country with British South Africans, the more liberal Cape Dutch Afrikaners, miscegenated Cape “couloreds,” Muslim slave-immigrants from Malaysia (living primarily in the Cape), Muslim and Hindu slave-immigrants from India (mostly residing in Natal), and of course, ten or so different black tribes (residing primarily in the eastern and northern part of the country).1 This led the conservatives within Afrikaner ranks to promote “separate development,” or apartheid, as the best solution to the newly-found problems of this British ruled state.
Apartheid was dissembled in 1990 by then-State President F.W. De Klerk, and the Afrikaner was finally robbed of all political power when the Marxist ANC won the decisive election of 1994. One of the major movements in the Afrikaner-Boer political struggle of the early 1990s was the Afrikaner-Volksfront, which established the People’s Republic work committee, probably the most influential think-tank for the idea of Afrikaner self-determination during that period. On the June 3, 1995, this work committee published a 348-page report entitled “A Land for the Boer People,” in which it discussed the methodology of planning and obtaining an independent sovereign republic for their nation. Eighteen different necessary aspects for the Afrikaner people’s continuing existence and consequent struggle for freedom were also discussed in this report.2
Since the mid-’90s, however, interest in the Afrikaner movement for self-determination gradually faded, diminishing the work accomplished. This occurred partially because the survival in (what seemed to be) the foreseeable future of the permanent state of South Africa deserved first priority among Boer intellectuals. This has changed recently, and within the last couple of years, many movements arose with the goal of Afrikaner self-determination. I will proceed to analyze the most prominent of these movements from a white Christian ethno-nationalist perspective.
Volksraad Verkiesing Kommissie (Electoral Commission for the Election of the Boer-Afrikaner People’s Assembly)
The VVK was founded in 2007 under the leadership of a lawyer from Pretoria, Paul Kruger, as an alternative to the Independent Electoral Commission, to organise an election for Afrikaners as a separate people within South Africa. On September 24 this year, the VVK held its first election (which went smoothly from what I gathered), but the number of people who actually showed up on voting day was rather disappointing. Nonetheless, a council has been elected to represent the Afrikaner-Boer people at an international level, which is certainly a step in the right direction.
The VVK’s aims, to varying degrees, can actually be described as both Christian and ethno-nationalist. This is ironic given that my first criticism of this movement was their failure to follow a solid and consistent Christian ethno-nationalist approach. On its website, the VVK states (translated from Afrikaans): “[Since the white man’s arrival here in 1652, we have always had] a deep awareness in this barren continent of how very dependent we vain men are on God’s grace; at the same time, however, [we have had] the belief that in Africa, according to His will, He will deliver us as long as we obey Him.” This is a very God-glorifying statement, but in the same document Kruger continues to state: “It sounds pious to argue that the God-less power and oppression must be accepted as punishment because ‘we’ have strayed from God and have not humbled ourselves: but it seems a position which is not really tenable. . . . Once there arises things in the elect people of God’s lives that requires repentance, we must at least deal with it on a personal level — it should not be any ‘national matter’ considered to be ultimately an obstacle to our confidence in God’s help to trust for salvation from oppression.”3 This individualistic view of man’s relation towards God is a dangerous, unscriptural, man-made doctrine. Scripture plainly teaches that God relates covenantally and corporately with mankind, and that repentance and salvation are not merely individualistic (Gen. 9:8-9; 17:9; Ex. 6:4-5; Num. 25:13; Deut. 29:1; 1 Sam. 7:3; 1 Kings 8:33-50; 19:14; 2 Chron. 7:14; Jer. 36:7; Hos. 14:1-2; Acts 9:35; 28:27). Indeed, a nation can and must repent of corporate sins and apostasy; this is to be considered a national matter of the greatest importance. The influential reformer Martin Luther also famously stated in the first of his 95 theses that “When…Christ said, ‘Repent’ [Matt. 4:17], He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”4 This would most certainly include our national life. Furthermore, 2 Chronicles 7:14 explicitly connects a lack of corporate repentance to our confidence and trust in God’s help for salvation from oppression.
When explaining its mission, the VVK states:
Increasingly, the dwindling opportunities of our age lead to insecurity and anxiousness — even in “rich” states which are homogeneously populated. All the more so in democratic states with multicultural populations, where the competition for opportunities and resources reaches yet further intensity under majority-government, which obviously rather satisfies its own specific constituency and necessarily does so at the cost of minorities (already because of the scarcity of resources and opportunities, and even discounting possible malicious intent). Moreover, the nation-state as we know it was “designed” as a system of the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary on first (national), second (provincial) and third (local) levels of government – by Western political philosophers like Rousseau in environments of cultural uniformity. The modern state did not take on its current shape with multicultural societies in mind – and this poses a vital problem to the multicultural national states of today, since “culture” entails much more than language and determines much more than outward appearances.5
The point being made about insecurity and anxiousness in multicultural societies is a very legitimate argument and certainly cannot be ignored, but to propose the Jacobin egalitarian philosopher’s ideal of a modern nation-state as the solution clearly reveals a secular-modernist approach to nation-states. Though its short-term ideals might overlap with the biblical doctrine of race and nationhood, the VVK ‘s two conflicting principles are ultimately irreconcilable because of the vast differing presuppositions and worldviews.
During a VVK meeting I attended, Paul Kruger stated that the VVK would immediately terminate the term of any elected official who proved not to carry the interests of the Afrikaner people any longer. At one point, he was asked if the same would apply to an official who ceased to work for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom. He answered that this could not be done, since it is impossible to know the will of God among the vastly differing interpretations of the Word. He made two serious errors here: firstly, Scripture is not independently interpreted by Christians (2 Pet. 1:19-21) but revealed to His children by God (Ps.119:25-29); and secondly, civil magistrates must be judged according to God’s Law (Rom. 13:3-4; Belgic Confession, article 36; Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 23)
OASE (Independent Expedition for Afrikaner Self-Determination)
OASE (which is an acronym meaning the same as “oasis” in English) explains its main objective as follows on its home page:
All Afrikaners who strive for independence in their own territory and who are prepared to serve under a constitution representing Afrikaner cultural values, with Afrikaans as the official language, are welcome to join OASE, irrespective of race, gender, or religion. OASE is not associated in any way with any extremist right-wing movement, and the organisation does not strive to attain any apartheid-style homeland for Afrikaners.6
Without wasting too much time and energy in refuting their liberal mindset, I think it would suffice to comment that, despite the fact that this philosophy is much closer to home that the current environment in which Afrikaners find themselves, OASE’s civic-nationalist, religious-pluralist, and gender-egalitarian approach, combined with overly politically-correct rhetoric, immediately disqualifies this movement from being seriously considered by any Bible-believing Christian ethno-nationalist. The major practical difference between the approach of OASE and the VVK is that OASE aims at attaining self-determination for Afrikaners by means of an internationally acceptable process on the basis of a clearly defined territory for the future Afrikaner republic.
OASE’s proposed territory for Afrikaner secession can be seen here:
Geloftevolk Koördinerings Komitee (Covenant Peoples’ Coordination Committee)
The CPCC was initially formed during a “Volksvergadering” (national assembly) of the Boer people held during 2009, and gets re-elected annually at every national assembly. The chairman of the CPCC is Dr. Ronnie van der Merwe.7
Through 2010, my father was actively involved in this movement. He also served as the chairman of the theocracy committee, a subcommittee of the CPCC whose task was to draw up some ideas for a theocratic constitution of a future Boer Republic. The proposed theocratic constitution distinguishes itself from the Christian Reconstructionist approach to theonomy in its excessive emphasis on the use of the lot as a sufficient alternative to universal suffrage. While universal suffrage is both impractical and unbiblical, I also oppose the lot as the only alternative, both on the grounds of the sanctification of regenerate man’s reason (Rom. 12:2) and due to the command to make use thereof in the election of civil officials (Ex. 18:21). Despite some very good ideas also coming out of this committee that year, the large representation of some very aggressive Christian Identity adherents in this movement caused certain problems. They made for a lot of irreconcilable views, especially on foreign policy and international relations. Moreover, in many instances, this movement is heavily influenced by anti-Trinitarian sentiments.
Earlier this year at a CPCC gathering at Paardekraal, some of the attendees resorted to “violent behaviour” towards each other, when they differed on issues of mere terminology — whether our nation should be referred to as “Boers” or “Afrikaners.” Such behaviour bears the witness of unregenerate hearts. To the CPCC’s credit, however, they did afterwards publicly denounce the behaviour.8.
Vryheids Front Plus (Freedom Front Plus)
The Freedom Front Plus is the major Conservative Afrikaner political party in South Africa. It participates in national elections, though only with dwindling success. The party is quite compromised: although it advocates ethno-nationalism, it has a lot of neoconservative leanings, is extremely pragmatic in its approach, openly praises Marxist leaders such as Nelson Mandela, and promotes enlightenment egalitarianism as a superior paradigm to the pre-modern biblical worldview. Also advocating Afrikaner secession, the Freedom Front has proposed the formation of a ‘Volkstaat’ in the Northern Cape.
The Freedom Front Plus is also closely associated with the Afrikaner settlement of Orania, whose long-term goal is to establish an independent state for Afrikaners. Dr. Pieter Mulder, the FF+ leader, has also accepted membership on behalf of the Afrikaner people in the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) at its 9th General Assembly on May 16-17, 2008, in Brussels, Belgium.9
Boerevolk Vryheidstigting (Boer People Freedom Institute)
The purpose of the BFI is to coordinate all planning, actions, and documentation concerning the Boer people and its struggle for independence. It holds a register of the members of the Boer people. The BFI is staunch in its assertion that “Boer” is the only term by which our nation may be defined and the consequent necessity that Boers distinguish themselves from “Afrikaners.” The institute also has its own electoral commission, like the VVK, yet with differing methodology, based on Exodus 18:21 and denouncing modern democracy. It divides all registered members into “wa-laers” (a term originating during the Great Trek denoting a small Boer settlement), each consisting of 8-15 members, or approximately 2-3 families. Each wa-laer elects a leader, and 4-7 “wa-laers” form a “trek-laer,” which then in turn elects a combined trek-leader. This electoral system is good and should serve as a foundation towards greater independence. In principle, the BFI leans heavily in the direction of pre-modernism, which is encouraging, but they also fail to consistently apply biblical principles in their actions as they vigourously work towards Boer-unity.10 In this, they essentially err in the same way the Belhar Confession does: both view unity as something to be achieved by man (which is almost always artificial), rather than by the work of the Holy Spirit, as Scripture teaches (Eph. 4:3-4). Unfortunately, this forceful attempt at unity leads the BFI to (unwillingly, to be fair) oftentimes embrace some forms of accomodating pluralism that goes further than the Christian view of tolerance allows.
Of the five contemporary movements analyzed above, which all aim towards Afrikaner self-determination, I personally consider OASE to be the least worthwhile from an Afrikaner Christian ethno-nationalist perspective. The other four movements all have certain positive and negative aspects, with the Freedom Front probably being the least preferable and the Boer people Freedom Institute probably the closest to promoting a thoroughly kinist worldview. None of them truly fall into a category of being solidly theonomic, and all of them in differing ways fail to completely escape modernist anthropocentrism, which is always a hindrance to our mandate to ultimately seek God’s glory with all our actions (1 Cor. 10:31). Yet, all of them can be considered valuable for the Afrikaner-Boer people’s cause for self-determination in their own homeland.
- Lubbe, W.J.G. et al., 1983. Witman, waar is jou tuisland? Pretoria: Oranjewerkers Promosies (Edms) Bpk ↩
- Snyman, W.J.; Hartzenberg, F. et al. 1995. ‘n Land vir die Boerevolk. VRWK ↩
- http://www.vvk.co.za/172852/index.html ↩
- http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/history/95theses.htm ↩
- http://www.vvk.co.za/8927.html ↩
- http://www.oase-ekspedisie.com/doelwitte ↩
- http://www.volksvergadering.co.za/?page_id=47 ↩
- http://www.volksvergadering.co.za/?p=830 ↩
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Front_Plus#Political_goals ↩
- http://www.boerevryheid.co.za/forums/content.php?174-Wie-is-vandag-n-BOER ↩