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The Boere Volk






Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State, Transvaal which are together known as the Boer Republics, and to a lesser extent Natal.

 
  Their primary motivations for leaving the Cape were to escape British rule and extract themselves from the constant border wars between the British imperial government and the native tribes on the eastern frontier.  
 

The Trekboers, as they were originally known, were mainly of Dutch origin and included Calvinists, such as Flemish and Frisian Calvinists, as well as French Huguenot and German and British protestants who first arrived in the Cape of Good Hope during the period of its administration 1652 – 1795 by the Dutch East India Company ,Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC .

 
  Lesser migrations of Scandinavians, Portuguese, Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Polish, Scots, English, Jews, Russians and Irish immigrants also contributed to this ethnic mix.  

Though the Boers accepted British rule without resistance in 1877, they fought two wars in the late 19th century to defend their internationally recognized independent countries, the republics of the Transvaal the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, or ZAR and the Orange Free State (OFS), against the threat of annexation by the British Crown. This led the key figure in organizing the resistance, Paul Kruger, into conflict with the British.

 

After the second Anglo-Boer War, a Boer diaspora occurred. Starting in 1903, the largest group emigrated to the Patagonia region of Argentina. Another group emigrated to British-ruled Kenya, from where most returned to South Africa during the 1930s, while a third group under the leadership of General Ben Viljoen emigrated to Mexico and to New Mexico and Texas in south-western USA.

 

The Maritz Rebellion or the Boer Revolt or the Five Shilling Rebellion or the Third Boer War, occurred in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, in which men who supported the re-creation of the old Boer republics rose up against the government of the Union of South Africa because they did not want to side with the British against Germany so soon after they had had a long bloody war with the British.

 
Many Boers had German ancestry and many members of the government were themselves former Boer military leaders who had fought with the Maritz rebels against the British in the Second Boer War, which had ended only twelve years earlier. The rebellion was put down by Louis Botha and Jan Smuts, and the ringleaders received heavy fines and terms of imprisonment. A renowned Boer, Jopie Fourie, was executed for treason in 1914. He was convicted as a rebel when, as an officer in the Union Defence Force, he refused to take up arms with the British.  
 Culture 
The desire to wander, known as trekgees, was a notable characteristic of the Boers. It figured prominently in the late 17th century when the Trekboers began to inhabit the northern and eastern Cape frontiers, again during the Great Trek when the Voortrekkers left the eastern Cape en masse, as well as after the major republics were established during the Thirstland Trek. When one such trekker was asked why he has emigrated he explained, "a drifting spirit was in our hearts, and we ourselves could not understand it. We just sold our farms and set out north-westwards to find a new home."A rustic characteristic and tradition was developed quite early on as Boer society was born on the frontiers of white settlement and on the outskirts of civilization  

The Boers had cut their ties to Europe as they emerged from the Trekboer group.

The separation and declaration of the republics were made out of necessity rather than a personal choice. The Dutch were unwilling to protect the people they abandoned at the Cape of Good Hope.

The Boer quest for independence manifested in a tradition of declaring republics, which predates the arrival of the British; when the British arrived, Boer republics had already been declared and were in rebellion from the VOC (Dutch East India Company).

The Boers of the frontier were known for their independent spirit, resourcefulness, hardiness, and self-sufficiency, whose political notions verged on anarchy but had begun to be influenced by republicanism.Most of the men were also skilled with the use of guns as they would hunt and also were able to protect their families with them.

 
    Nationalism   
The Boers are well known for their strong nationalistic character. Their nationalism was born out of hundreds of years of fighting against imperialism, a continuing struggle for independence battling mainly British expansion into central South Africa, as well as the harsh African climate and a strong sense of nationhood. As with any other ethnic group that has gone from troubled land to troubled land, many of them see it as their duty to educate future generations on their people's past.  
    Calvinism   

The Boer nation is mainly descended from Dutch, German and French Huguenots, who migrated to South Africa during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. The Boer nation has revealed a distinct Calvinist culture and the majority of Boers today are still members of a Reformed Church. The Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk was the national Church of the South African Republic (1852–1902). The "Orange" in Orange Free State (1854–1902) was named after the Protestant House of Orange in the Netherlands.

 

The Calvinist influence remains in that some fundamental Calvinist doctrines such as unconditional predestination and divine providence remains present in much of Boer culture, who see their role in society as abiding by the national laws and accepting calamity and hardship as part of their Christian duty.

 
 

A small number of Boers may also be members of Baptist, Pentecostal or Lutheran Churches.

 
  Modern usage 

During recent times, mainly during the apartheid reform and post-1994 eras, many more white Afrikaans-speaking people, mainly with "conservative" political views and of Trekboer and Voortrekker descent, have preferred to be called "Boers" or Boere-Afrikaners, rather than "Afrikaners". They feel that there were many people of Voortrekker descent who were not co-opted or assimilated into what they see as the Cape-based Afrikaner identity which began emerging after the Second Anglo-Boer War and the subsequent establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Certain Boer nationalists have asserted that they do not consider themselves a right-wing element of the political spectrum. 

 

They contend that the Boers of the South African Republic (ZAR) and Orange Free State republics were recognized as a separate people or cultural group under international law by the Sand River Convention which created the South African Republic in 1852 ,the Bloemfontein Convention which created the Orange Free State Republic in 1854, the Pretoria Convention which re-established the independence of the South African Republic 1881, the London Convention ,which granted the full independence to the South African Republic in 1884, and the Vereeniging Peace Treaty, which formally ended the Second Anglo-Boer War on 31 May 1902.

Others contend, however, that these treaties dealt only with agreements between governmental entities and do not imply the recognition of a Boer cultural identity per se.

 

The supporters of these views feel that the Afrikaner designation or label, was used from the 1930s onwards as a means of unifying ,politically at least, the white Afrikaans speakers of the Western Cape with those of Trekboer and Voortrekker descent ,whose ancestors began migrating eastward during the late 17th century and throughout the 18th century and later northward during the Great Trek of the 1830s, in the north of South Africa, where the Boer Republics were established.

 

Since the Anglo-Boer war the term "Boervolk" was rarely used in the 20th century by the various regimes because of this attempt to assimilate the Boervolk with the Afrikaners. A portion of those who are the descendants of the Boerevolk have reasserted this designation.

 
  The supporters of the "Boer" designation view the term "Afrikaner" as an artificial political label which usurped their history and culture, turning "Boer" achievements into "Afrikaner" achievements.  
They feel that the Western-Cape based Afrikaners whose ancestors did not trek eastwards or northwards  took advantage of the republican Boers' destitution following the Anglo-Boer War and later attempted to assimilate the Boers into a new politically based cultural label as "Afrikaners".  
 

In contemporary South Africa and due to Broederbond propaganda, Boer and Afrikaner have been used interchangeably despite the fact that the Boers are the smaller segment within the Afrikaner designation as the Afrikaners of Cape Dutch origin are larger.

 
Afrikaner directly translated means "African" and subsequently refers to all Afrikaans speaking people in Africa who have their origins in the Cape Colony founded by Jan Van Riebeeck. Boer is the specific ethnic group within the larger Afrikaans speaking population  
  Politics 
The Freedom Front was founded on 1 March 1994 by members of the Afrikaner right under Constand Viljoen. Viljoen was widely regarded as a moderate right-wing personality. At this stage, none of the Afrikaner right-wing parties had registered for the 1994 elections and had refused to do so on the grounds that they viewed the election as unconstitutional. In a move that surprised other right-wing parties,  

Viljoen registered the Freedom Front with the Independent Electoral Commission IEC ,on 4 March 1994 to take part in the April 1994 general elections. This date has also been given as 7 March. On 12 March 1994 Viljoen handed in a list of candidates for the FF to the IEC, confirming that his party would take part in the elections.

 
In the election, under the leadership of General Viljoen, the Freedom Front received 2.2% of the national vote ,with 424,555 votes cast, and nine seats in the National Assembly.The party performed especially well in the northern parts of the country, earning 4-6% of the votes in the Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.  
 

In the 1999 election their support dropped to 0.8% ,127,217 votes cast, with three seats in the National Assembly and between 1-2% in their stronghold provinces. In 2001, Viljoen handed over the leadership of the Freedom Front to Dr. Pieter Mulder.

 
 

In 2003, shortly before the 2004 general election, the Conservative Party, the Afrikaner Eenheids Beweging and the Freedom Front decided to contest the election as a single entity under the name Freedom Front Plus (FF+), led by Dr. Mulder. Later, also the Federal Alliance joined the VF+/FF+.

 
 

In the 2004 general election, support for the Freedom Front rose slightly to 0.89% ,139,465 votes cast . The party won one seat in most of the provincial legislatures, and four seats in the National Assembly.

 
 

In the 2006 municipal elections, the Freedom Front Plus received 1% of the popular vote 252,253 votes cast .

 

In the 2009 general election, the party received 0.83% ,146,796 votes cast, and retained its four seats in the National Assembly. The party also enjoyed a landslide win in the Afrikaner enclave Orania. After the elections, the Freedom Front's leader Pieter Mulder was appointed as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries by the new President Jacob Zuma.

 
  Political goals 

The Freedom Front Plus is closely associated with the Afrikaner settlement of Orania, whose long-term goal is to establish an independent state for Afrikaners.

 
 

The Freedom Front Plus wish to represent the voice of the Afrikaner in all spheres of government. As such, it cannot count on the attraction of large number of votes. Instead, it seeks to produce results for the Afrikaner in the way in which they approach the governing party.

 
 

It is also looking at ways beyond normal parliamentarian politics to benefit Afrikaners. This forms part of their strategy of being "More than just opposition". For example, the Freedom Front-affiliated website SA Talent , states its purpose as follows:

 
President Thabo Mbeki recently announced that the government intends to source skilled people from foreign countries in order to reverse the downward trend in levels of service delivery. However, there are many skilled South Africans locally and overseas who would be happy to work in their country but are prevented from doing so by affirmative action.  
 

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) accepted the Afrikaner people unanimously as a member during its IX General Assembly on 16 – 17 May 2008 in Brussels, Belgium. The Freedom Front Plus leader, Dr. Pieter Mulder, accepted membership of UNPO on behalf of the Afrikaner people.

 
    Herstigte Nasionale Party  
 

The Herstigte Nasionale Party van Suid-Afrika ,Reconstituted National Party of South Africa, was formed as a right-wing splinter group of the South African National Party.

 
      Formation   
The party was formed in 1969 by Albert Hertzog ,son of former Prime Minister General JBM Hertzog, in protest against the decision by Prime Minister BJ Vorster to authorize the presence of Maori players and spectators during the tour of New Zealand rugby union team in South Africa in 1970, as well as his re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Malawi and that country's appointment of a Black ambassador to South Africa.
The name was chosen to reflect the initials of the earlier Herenigde Nasionale Party ,Reunited National Party, the name used by the National Party in the fateful election of 1948. Seeking a return to Calvinism as the basis of South Africa, the party advocated complete racial segregation and the adoption of Afrikaans as the only official language.  
 

The bulk of the membership of the new party was made up of rural and small town working and lower middle class Afrikaners who resented what they saw as the National Party devoting their attentions to the concerns of urban Afrikaner elites.

 

The party contested the general election of 1970 although its campaign was the subject of government crackdowns and its rallies targets for attack. The party's 78 candidates were all defeated, including its four MPs, all of whom had been National Party members before defecting to the new group.

 
The party also contested 50 seats in the 1974 election but failed to make an impact in an election where reformists advanced.During this election the HNP boycotted the English language press, refusing to release any information to them, as the party opposed the use of the language in South Africa.  
  It contested three by-elections in 1975 and 1976 and during these enjoyed a growth in its vote, taking second place ahead of the United Party in the two seats that that group contested.It captured 3.3% of the vote in 1977 before increasing this to 13.1% in 1981 but on no occasion did they win any seats  
    Emergence in the 1980s  
Under the leadership of Jaap Marais, who replaced the retiring Hertzog in 1977, the party emerged as a notable force amongst white South Africans. In 1979 the evidence of its potential was demonstrated in a series of by-elections when it suddenly began to threaten the position of the ruling party.

Despite eventually obtaining a non-negligible amount of support ,13.1% in 1981 elections, the HNP never managed to gain seats in the South African parliament at a general election although they registered a by-election success at Sasolburg in 1985,and soon became a voice of external opposition.
 
The HNP effectively became the chief voice of the far right opposition at this time, particularly in 1989 when both the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging and the Boerestaat Party declared their support for Marais.

The group's only previous contact with other parties had been in 1985 when it briefly co-operated with the Conservative Party to oppose the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Amendment Act by P.W. Botha
 
  Notable Boers 
 
Voortrekker leaders
 
  • Sarel Cilliers
  • Andries Hendrik Potgieter
  • Andries Pretorius
  • Piet Retief
Great trek
  • Racheltjie de Beer
  • Dirkie Uys
 Participants in the Second Anglo-Boer War
  • Koos de la Rey, general and regarded as being one of the great military leaders of the Second Anglo-Boer War.
  • Danie Theron, soldier
  • Christiaan Rudolf de Wet, general
  • Siener van Rensburg, considered a prophet by some.
 Politicians
  • Louis Botha, first prime minister of South Africa (1910–1919) and former Boer general
  • Petrus Jacobus Joubert, general and cabinet member of the Transvaal Republic
  • Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal Republic
  • Eugene Terre'Blanche, founder of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging
 Spies
  •  
  • Fritz Joubert Duquesne, a Boer Captain known as the Black Panther, served in the Second Boer War. Captured in Mozambique, he escaped prison in Portugal and returned to South Africa as a British officer. In 1901, he was caught planning to sabotage strategic British installations in Cape Town and sentenced to life in prison; however, he escaped and was re-captured several times again throughout his life.

  • In World War I, Duquesne spied for Germany, earning the Iron Cross for allegedly sinking the HMS Hampshire thereby killing Lord Kitchener in 1916. He also served as a Nazi spy in the United States and, in 1941, he was caught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the largest espionage case in U.S. history: The Duquesne Spy Ring.
 
    Afrikaner   

Afrikaners ,including the Boer subgroup, are a Germanic ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from Dutch ,including Flemish, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.

Their ancestors were Dutch Calvinists and French Huguenots, with smaller numbers of Frisians, English,and Germans, and with minor numbers of other European groups ,such as Dutch Jews, Scandinavians, Portuguese, Greeks, Italians, Spaniards, Scots, Irish, Polish .

Most Afrikaner families have between 5% and 7% non-white ancestry, such as Khoi African, Indonesian and Indian, as the early Dutch settlement at the Cape allowed inter-racial marriage.During the Apartheid era, race classification was based on appearance and there were many borderline cases.

South Africans of British descent are considered a separate ethnic group from Afrikaners, and their first language is English.

 
    Language   
The Afrikaans language changed over time from the Dutch spoken by the first white settlers at the Cape. From the late 17th century, the form of Dutch spoken at the Cape developed differences, mostly in morphology but also in pronunciation and accent and, to a lesser extent, in syntax and vocabulary, from that of the Netherlands, although the languages are still similar enough to be mutually intelligible.

Settlers who arrived speaking German and French soon shifted to using Dutch and later Afrikaans.
 

The process of language change was influenced by the languages spoken by slaves, Khoikhoi and people of mixed descent, as well as by Cape Malay, Zulu, English and Portuguese.

While the Dutch of the Netherlands remained the official language, the new dialect, often known as Cape Dutch, African Dutch, "Kitchen Dutch", or "Taal" ,meaning language in Afrikaans, developed into a separate language by the 19th century, with much work done by the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners and other writers such as Cornelis Jacobus Langenhoven.

In a 1925 act of Parliament, Afrikaans replaced standard Dutch as one of the two official languages of the Union of South Africa. There was much objection to the attempt to legislate the creation of Afrikaans as a new language. Marthinus Steyn, a prominent jurist and politician, and others were vocal in their opposition.

 
They perceived that legalization of Afrikaans as an official language would only serve to isolate the Afrikaners, as they would be the only people in the world to speak Afrikaans. Steyn, who died before 1925, had been educated in Holland and England and was a worldly cosmopolitan figure.

Today, Afrikaans is recognised as one of the eleven official languages of the new South Africa, and is widely accepted as an appropriate means of communication for a large number of South Africans.
 
  Literature 

Afrikaners have a long literary tradition, and have produced a number of notable novelists and poets, including Eugene Marais, Uys Krige, Elisabeth Eybers, Breyten Breytenbach, André Brink, C. J. Langenhoven and Etienne Leroux. See section on South African literature

 
    Arts   

Music is probably the most popular art form among Afrikaners. While the traditional Boeremusiek (Boer Music) and Volkspele  ,literally. People Games, folk dancing enjoyed popularity in the past, most Afrikaners today favour a variety of international genres and light popular Afrikaans music. American country and western music has enjoyed great popularity and has a strong following among many South Africans.

 
Some also enjoy a social dance event called a sokkie. The South African rock band, Seether, has a hidden track on their album, Karma and Effect, that is sung in the Afrikaans language.

It is titled, Kom Saam Met My, which is translated as Come With Me. There is also an underground rock music movement and bands like the controversial Fokofpolisiekar have a large following. The television Channel MK ,channel also supports local Afrikaans music and mainly screen videos from the Afrikaans Rock genre.Also see section on protest music South African.
 
    Sport   

Rugby, cricket, and golf are generally considered to be the most popular sports among Afrikaners. Rugby in particular is considered one of the central pillars of the Afrikaner community. The Springboks won the 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cups.

"Boere-sport" also played a very big role in the Afrikaner history. It consisted of a variety of sports like tug of war, three-legged races, jukskei, skilpadloop ,tortoise walk, and other games.

 
    Political   

An estimated 82% of Afrikaners supported the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition party, in the 2009 general election, and this figure is estimated to have increased to over 85% in the 2011 municipal elections.

Smaller numbers are involved in nationalist or separatist political organizations. The Freedom Front Plus is an Afrikaner ethnic political party in the Republican tradition, which lobbies for minority rights to be granted to all of the South African ethnic minorities. The Freedom Front Plus is also leading the Volkstaat initiative and is closely associated with the small town of Orania

 
  Past-Apartheid 
  It joined the Afrikaner Volksfront of General Constand Viljoen in 1991 although the front collapsed in 1994 when many of the members refused to participate in South Africa's first multi-racial elections.  
 

The HNP drifted away from Viljoen and did not join his Freedom Front. As a result, it has become something of a marginal force in contemporary South Africa, arguing for the self-determination of the white Afrikaners and a return to Verwoerdian Apartheid.

 
  The party motto is "Dié Land is ons Land" This land is our land.  
 

It re-emerged in 2004, when the party lodged an official complaint against SABC 3 when it broadcast a play entitled 'ID' which satirized the killing of Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd.

 
  Although the HNP argued that it portrayed Verwoerd and his supporters unfairly, the complaint was rejected by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa.  
 

Jaap Marais died in 2000, and was replaced as leader by Willie Marais. Willie Marais died in December 2007, and was replaced as leader by Japie Theart.The present leader is Andries Breytenbach.

 
     
     


       












        



 



















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