Features Australia

Another Trek

7 October 2017

9:00 AM

7 October 2017

9:00 AM

Paul Swart, 86, was a kind man of great compassion and his face mirrored those qualities. Mr Swart helped 30 homeless people with food parcels, helped pay the school fees for his housekeeper and never turned hungry people away from his door.

On 7 March 2016, this great Christian suffered the following: his head was cracked apart as were his ribs and eye banks. His killers kicked him so hard his kidneys burst.The old man also had bruised fists from trying to defend himself against vicious thugs engaging in a blatant hate crime. For all his humanity Mr Swart died in a cruel, loathsome fashion.

Within days of that atrocity young Kayla Meyer, 9, was also the victim of a vicious murder, strangled and bludgeoned to death with a similar fate befalling her parents and grandfather. With almost half a million murders since 1994, and South African farmers being the most endangered workers in the world, with blatant job discrimination against the white minority, the imposition of race-based sporting quotas, the destruction of important icons and monuments, racist comments against whites from the President and ANC politicians, the whites – Afrikaners, in particular – have had enough.

A memorandum by the Volksraad, addressed to the international community, inviting intervention, will probably fall on deaf ears, but nevertheless it is a legitimate appeal under the South African Constitution and in international law.

Section 235 of the Constitutional Principle XXXIV reads: ‘the right of the South African people to self determination, as manifested in this Constitution, does not preclude, within the framework of this right, recognition of the right of self determination of any community sharing a common cultural and language heritage within a territorial entity in the Republic or in any other way, determined by national legislation.’

In 1996 a Constitutional Court concluded that self determination by any community sharing a common cultural and language heritage within a territorial entity (ie SA) should not be precluded from such a goal and that boundaries would need to be negotiated with the existing government (ie ANC).

The Volksraad argues that international law is also on their side, citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, demonstrated by rulings of the ICJ in cases like Cameroon v Nigeria (2002) and the unilateral declaration of independence in relation to Kosovo (2010). Thus, in certain circumstances secession is allowed for, including suppression by state authorities and exhaustion of internal remedies by the suppressed.

The Volksraad Memorandum argues that the RSA is in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – that any person whose rights or freedoms are violated shall have an effective remedy (see s. 2 (3)).

The Volksraad, since being elected in 2011, has repeatedly written to the RSA government on self determination and has been repeatedly ignored until, in August 2014, the acting State President, Cyril Ramaphosa, met with them. However, after conceding that territorial self determination could be achieved through s. 235 of the South African constitution, Ramaphosa reneged on a commitment to arrange for the Volksraad and the Secretary-General of the ANC to meet and no further meetings have been held. However, he was wrong to go down that path. The Constitution also requires that it is the State President and cabinet who prepare and initiate legislation, not a party representative. Having exhausted national remedies the Volksraad is now seeking help from the international community.

Self determination became an issue in the last days of the minority National party government, prior to the 1994 election. Accordingly, a document was signed on 23 April, between Roelf Meyer, Thabo Mbeki, and former SADF chief, Gen. Constand Viljoen. The parties agreed to further discussion on Afrikaner self determination and the formation of a Volkstaat (Afrikaner state or homeland).This writer was told, in Pretoria in March 1994, by a leading SADF general that Nelson Mandela (later first black president) had agreed to this concept. That general spoke truthfully. In earlier private correspondence, Mandela, in a handwritten letter (21/12/93), to General Viljoen, said it ‘enjoys my full support’.

Some of the key points in the Memorandum of Agreement (between the ANC and the Volksfront) agreed that a Volkstaat should be ‘addressed expeditiously, without delaying the current process of transition.’. However, the ANC’s ultimate response was to disband in March 1999 the Volkstaatraad, the sole statutory body that had resulted from the earlier negotiations.

As the fine South African writer-historian, RW Johnson, recorded in a recent opinion piece (An independent Western Cape? 14th June 2017) the Cape is predominantly Afrikaans speaking and there is considerable resentment at attempts to do away with Afrikaans instruction. Coloured Afrikaans speakers have told Johnson that they regard the attempt to make Stellenbosch University an English speaking institution as a ‘betrayal.’

An example of how even children are discriminated against was the Jacaranda Childrens Home case. This home for neglected and abused children was ‘too white’ for the regime (at 75 per cent) so accordingly corporate donors that covered 70 per cent of the R25million running costs had to pull out. Why? Because as the Volksraad Memorandum says, this offends against the BBBEE (Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment). That means that state and private enterprises have to discriminate by government edict. Ironically the BBBEE defines black people to include Coloureds and Indians. However, since no South African is classified in this way anymore the ANC expects citizens to self-classify themselves and decision-makers are expected to override the ‘self-classification’ chosen by individuals if it is deemed incorrect on ‘historical’ and other ‘relevant factors,’ that are undefined. This flies in the face of international law and a decade ago the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination warned the government that affirmative action must not lead to unequal or separate rights.

Ramaphosa’s response is that the ANC has become ‘fanatical about it (the BBBEE) and that the government is ‘hell bent’ on making sure whites lose their position in the economy. According to the RSA Deputy President ‘those who don’t like this idea, tough for you, that is how we are proceeding’. And not a peep from Western liberals.

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