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S.Africa: Professor writes: What about an Afrikaner Province?

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  • pbs@iafrica.com
    From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org [Here is an article about an Afrikaner Province. I would like to thank Julie for translating this for me. This is written by an
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2 3:51 PM
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      From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
      [Here is an article about an Afrikaner Province. I would like to thank
      Julie for translating this for me. This is written by an Afrikaans
      professor.

      Of course the Professor totally disagrees with the types of sentiments
      which I wrote about in my own article. He talks of an Afrikaner Province
      within South Africa.

      I have given my reasons as to why the ANC will *NEVER* allow this to
      happen and why I believe that ultimately, nothing will happen unless
      violence and force is used. Of course people will write me off as an
      extreme radical. I will merely say that I am being PRACTICAL and
      REALISTIC! I counter them by saying this: All the moderate paths, such as
      these most reasonable ones espoused by the good professor below WILL
      FAIL. In my view, reasonableness stands no hope whatsoever.

      I once wrote about the Parable of the Unreasonable Man. I think it was
      George Bernard Shaw who wrote about the Unreasonable Man. He basically
      said that in this world, most people are reasonable. Because they are
      reasonable, they conform. And because they conform, they change nothing.
      Then along comes the Unreasonable Man. He does not conform. Instead, he
      FORCES his views on others. Therefore, concluded Shaw, ALL PROGRESS IS
      DEPENDANT UPON THE UNREASONABLE MAN.

      I know that most Afrikaners are indeed very reasonable people. I
      therefore believe that because of their very reasonableness, they will
      fail to get their self-rule. I believe that in the end, the Afrikaner
      will only get what he wants when he learns to become unreasonable. (How
      the heck did the Blacks get their way? ... They did it by being extremely
      unreasonable!)

      But here, for everyone to read is a voice, like many in Afrikanerdom,
      which is reasonable, intellectual and cultured... the very opposite of
      me!!! Jan]

      What about an Afrikaner Province?

      (Background: Art. 235 of the Constitution reads: �Self-determination.
      The right of the South African community to self-determination as
      entrenched in this Constitution, does not forbid within the framework of
      this law, acknowledgement of the concept of the right of any community
      sharing a common cultural and linguistic heritage, self-determination
      within a territorial entity in the Republic, or by any other means, as
      determined by legislation.� (Own emphasis). This article is taken from
      the Constitutional Principles as well as the 1994 Constitution, and is
      accepted to acknowledge claims to territorial self-determination of
      certain Afrikaner parties. To give practical implementation to this
      right of self-determination, a Nation State Council (Volkstaatraad)
      consisting of members of these Afrikaner parties was established.
      According to Art. 20(5)(a) of Annexure 6 of the present Constitution, the
      continuation of the Nation State Council was proclaimed. After five
      years of fruitless debating, the Nation State Council was dissolved in
      1999. At the time of being dissolved, this article was offered to an
      Afrikaans newspaper, but was never published. It is now being presented
      in an edited and more explanatory form to stimulate the debate among
      Afrikaner communities.)

      �This week the Council for Nation-State was dissolved. Nothing came from
      all the Council�s deliberations. It seems that the mountain did not even
      give birth to a mouse. Has that forever destroyed all hope for
      �self-determination within a territorial entity� (As the Constitution has
      put it) for the Afrikaner?

      On the surface the prospects for Afrikaner self-determination within a
      specific territorial entity look rather bleak, the reason being that
      within Afrikaner politics there are still too many people who believe
      that one must look where the largest concentration of White Afrikaners
      reside, and then, based on these statistics, proclaim an Afrikaner
      homeland, or a whole lot of such small little homelands - in other words,
      a White Afrikaner ghetto, or little ghettoes as during the apartheid
      years for various ethnic groups. And yet, while most Afrikaners want to
      be part of the greater South Africa, and as person and citizen he does
      not want to be in conflict against the new overhead state dispensation.

      However, on the other hand we Afrikaners, in all our multicoloured
      variety, are nonetheless extremely worried. Despite all the assurances
      and soothing utterances during the parliamentary debate this past week,
      that the Afrikaner is indispensable and can provide a large contribution,
      we know that the Afrikaans language and culture is officially on the
      downhill road. Despite all the wonderful language and cultural
      festivals, we know there are too many power mongers that have no feeling
      for � or even worse, harbour a deep-rooted antagonism towards the
      Afrikaans language and culture. Unfortunately there are also too many
      government officials � like in the rest of Africa � who think that a
      developing modern state must throw its own existing language and cultural
      possessions overboard. Amid all this cultural barbarism, Afrikaners are
      beginning to feel more and more that they are living in a South African
      diaspora without a single piece of land where the Afrikaans language and
      culture is the dominant one, without exclusion of other languages and
      cultures.

      In short, is it possible that the Afrikaner � with his language and
      culture � could still obtain a territorial foothold within our S.A.
      democracy? In my opinion it is still possible if two basic conditions
      are met:

      Firstly, the dream of an Afrikaner nation state, and particularly the
      thought of a White nation state with flying �vierkleur� flags and smoking
      front-loading guns must be finally sworn off. At the same time the silly
      notion of an Afrikaner nation state that can break loose from the total
      South African body politic must for once and all be discarded. Instead of
      harbouring such outdated thoughts and dreams, realistically one must
      think of a specific province within the existing state ordination with
      its own constitutionally legal constitution in which the promotion of the
      Afrikaans language and culture, plainly � but without discrimination � is
      actively and purposefully declared.

      Secondly, decision must be taken in a sober and realistic manner about a
      future provincial area which, as a result of natural demography, is
      already mainly Afrikaans. Such a possible area need not be very large,
      or be endowed with great economic potential. It also need not be a
      future tourist paradise, for there is nothing so detrimental as a
      flourishing tourist industry to rape an indigenous language and culture.
      In the beginning the borders of such an area need not be stipulated in
      absolute detail. All that is required is an area that is historically,
      culturally and demographically earmarked to be the territorial base for
      an Afrikaner province in the future.

      Naturally the burning question is where and how to start to establish
      such a future Afrikaans province? It is unthinkable and far-fetched to
      expect that our central government would proclaim an Afrikaner province
      overnight with its own constitution and government. If the truth be
      told, the government would take a dim view of such an idea, regardless of
      the clear recognition of the principle of territorial self-determination
      as set out in the constitution.

      So � Afrikaners and Afrikaans-disposed people themselves will have to
      take the initiative to create an Afrikaner province. How?

      First and foremost important step is to involve Afrikaner leaders from
      all sides at a constitutional conference where the borders, more or less,
      of the Afrikaner province, its future constitution and government must be
      discussed and negotiated. Naturally our stubborn and contrary Afrikaner
      leaders will not easily reach unity during such a conference. For that
      reason then it would be absolutely essential to first negotiate and
      accept a declaration of intent whereby all the leaders will commit
      themselves to the values of non-racialism and non-discrimination as
      entrenched in the Constitution. In the declaration of intent the aims
      and character of the future province will also have to gain complete
      consensus. After that determining the preliminary borders of the
      province can go ahead, as well as drawing up a constitution that will
      meet the demands of the national Constitution. The most important
      clauses of the provincial constitution will probably be its �citizen�
      clauses. Ideally every S.A. citizen, here or abroad, should voluntarily
      become a �citizen� or enfranchised participant.

      With acceptance of the provincial constitution, an interim body can
      immediately start organising elections and establishing a government; in
      other words, the setting up of a virtual government for a virtual future
      Afrikaner province.

      The election and establishment of the virtual government could provide a
      lot of fun. Political parties, culture groups and organisations would
      have to campaign and organise very widely to register their supporters as
      �citizens� of the province and vote for them. With the technology we
      have today, it is not necessary for �citizens� to physically register and
      vote at specified places. This will be done on the internet.

      After elections the virtual government is established, with
      representatives from the broad spectrum of
      Afrikaners and Afrikaans-disposed � enlightened or ultra-rightwing;
      liberal or conservative, as is the right thing in a democracy. Voter
      support determines the make-up of government. Government begins �ruling�
      the future province by negotiating the borders of the future province,
      but more important, to promote social and economical development within
      such a province, and even more important, to promote Afrikaans language
      and cultural interests within, as well as outside the province.

      Of course, the immediate question is: where does the money come from to
      finance the government of this future province? The legislature of the
      province will � just the same as any other democratically-elected
      legislature � meet once or twice a year to accept a budget and tax for
      their �citizens,� wherever they might be in the world. Expenditure is
      done according to the budget and is debated and accepted in the
      legislature. It is important that during these budget debates, the
      Afrikaans language and cultural needs are discussed and determined.

      A highly important task of the provincial government will be to promote
      the proposed area socially and economically, so that if one day a
      referendum is called to establish the province in real terms, the
      majority will willing vote �yes.� So what happens to all the other
      �citizens� outside the provincial borders? Constitutionally there is
      nothing against retaining this type of extended, associative provincial
      �citizenship� when the Afrikaner province is eventually defined and
      established.

      The eventual establishment of an Afrikaner province through national
      legislation, as provided in the Constitution, is not going to fall from
      the sky. If Afrikaner, and Afrikaans-disposed people, despite their
      varied and even clashing views regarding certain matters � cannot
      identify themselves with the ideal of an Afrikaner province, the
      possibility of a territorial self-sustainable entity, as set out in the
      Constitution, could be lost forever. Then the Afrikaner will then have
      to implement its self-determination in some other manner.

      Should the Afrikaner � the acknowledged pioneer in Africa, manage to
      realise a territorial self-sustainable entity, he can set an example for
      other language and cultural groups to also obtain a solid territorial
      place in the greater South African scheme of things.�

      Marinus Weichers
      Emeritus professor in State and Ethnic Law, Unisa
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