24 March 2015 Leave a comment
The disappearance of Afrikaner Boer Christians in South Africa
23 March 2015 – The spokesman for the last Afrikaner president FW de Klerk warns:
"The Afrikaner heritage is viewed as a ‘source of deep embarrassment which must be eliminated’.
Summary of statement by Dave Steward, of the FW de Klerk Foundation
23 March 2015:
“The traditional Afrikaans-Christiaan character of Potchefstroom and Stellenbosch university’s campuses are plowed under by forced "Africanisation" under the black-ruled regime of South Africa. Historically, Potchefstroom was undisputably an Afrikaans university. Yet, a deadly struggle is under way at the Potchefstroom campus to save its Afrikaans character.’
"Although Potchefstroom’s new vice-chancellor Prof Dan Kgwadi claims that he ‘is a friend of Afrikaans’ (*the language), his determination to bring all three campuses – Mafikeng, Vaal Triangle and Potchefstroom – into line with the racial demographics of South Africa, will cause the death of the Afrikaans character at Potchefstroom’.
"Current developments on the campuses of NWU, Stellenbosch and UCT are raising core questions, not only about the future of our universities, but also about the nature of our multicultural society. The question is whether there should be space for cultural, linguistic and intellectual diversity – and the free academic institutions on which such diversity depends – or whether we must all conform to the ANC’s racial ideology of demographic representivity?
"There is a deadly struggle under way at North-West University to determine whether its Potchefstroom campus will retain its unique Afrikaans character as a semi-autonomous unit of the university. NWU’s new Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dan Kgwadi, insists on introducing a unitary system on the university’s three campuses – Potchefstroom, Mafikeng and Vaal Triangle - and in appointing single deans to run faculty affairs on all three campuses. Prof Kgwadi is determined progressively to bring the student bodies and faculties of all three campuses more closely into line with the (racial) demographics nationwide.
Although he claims that he is "a friend of Afrikaans", his approach would inevitably lead to the demise of the Afrikaans character of the Potchefstroom campus - and in all likelihood to the loss of many Afrikaans-speaking students and faculty. "At Stellenbosch University there has been intense debate on the need to remove the names of DF Malan, HF Verwoerd and BJ Vorster from university buildings and institutions. "There is little disagreement that they all implemented unacceptable policies that make the retention of their names extremely distasteful for multi-racial students and faculty in 2015.On the other hand, there is a view that historical figures should be judged within the context of their times. Few historical heroes would survive scrutiny if subjected to current norms: Napoleon would be viewed as a mass murderer; Churchill as an unreconstructed imperialist and our own (Zulu) King Shaka as a ruthless despot… (although nobody is suggesting that Durban’s international airport should no longer be named after him). Skeptics also warn against the danger of political correctness and double standards. There is no similar debate at the University of the Free State demanding that Bram Fischer’s name should be dropped from university buildings – even though he was a Stalinist
who would have imposed a far more repressive system on South Africa than anything that (assassinated prime-minister Dr Hendrik ) Verwoerd ever contemplated. There is a view that historical names should be retained, not as a mark of approval, but because they are inextricably part of our history.
"History should not be a popularity contest: it should tell us where we have come from – and enable us to learn from the experiences of previous generations. The implications of the Stellenbosch debate go much further than the retention of the names of previous Afrikaner leaders. For most of its existence Stellenbosch University was undisputedly an Afrikaner institution. It was the spiritual and intellectual heartland of the Afrikaner people – where generations of young Afrikaners developed their own unique traditions and intellectual identity. Now, 21 years after (*the official end of apartheid in) 1994, the university’s residual Afrikaner heritage is viewed by many as a source of deep embarrassment. Efforts are under way to eliminate it as rapidly as alumni donors will allow. The goal is to move as unobtrusively as possible toward greater demographic representivity – in expiation of the guilt still felt by many well-intentioned white Afrikaans-speakers – and in compliance with the increasingly insistent demands of the ANC government. That is why the names of Malan, Verwoerd and Vorster are being removed from university buildings.
"However, it is not only the cultural identity of Stellenbosch University that is being challenged. Students at UCT are demanding that the statue of Cecil Rhodes should be removed because of its unacceptable association with "colonialism". Rhodes was a deeply flawed politician – and there is no doubt that he was a colonialist. However, he did donate the land on which UCT was built – and was responsible for instituting Rhodes scholarships. For better or worse he had an enormous impact on the history of southern Africa.
"The protests against Rhodes are, however, only a salvo in a broader battle for the radical transformation of the university and the replacement of what is regarded as its excessively "white, Eurocentric ethos. " The University of Cape Town’s ethos is, however, not just about the remnants of its colonial origins: it centers on the pursuit of academic excellence – in which race plays absolutely no role. It is committed to achieving the highest standards within an environment of untrammeled academic freedom. These values have enabled UCT to become the most highly rated university in Africa and one of the top 125 universities in the world. Now it is being confronted, once again, by a government and protesters who view its culture as inappropriate and insist that race should be the primary consideration in the appointment of faculty, the admission of students and the determination of the university’s culture.
– It is quite understandable that black students, who now comprise a 60% majority at UCT, should want the university to reflect (only) their values and culture.
Don’t English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking minority-students also have rights under the Constitution?
– However, do the white English-speaking students – who used to predominate on the UCT campus – and the Afrikaans-speaking students at Stellenbosch and Potchefstroom not also have a right to study in a non-racial environment that accommodates their cultures, their values and their heroes? In our multicultural society, is it expected that minorities must conform with the values and language and cultural preferences of the majority wherever they might find themselves? Should there not be space for universities that cater on a non-racial basis to the special cultural and language needs of minorities – as there are in other multicultural societies?
– " Is there not a place for universities like UCT that, in their pursuit of academic excellence, focus on merit rather than race? Demographic representivity will inevitably result in the imposition of what the (ruling African National Congress party), the ANC calls ‘(*black) African hegemony’ in all our universities. It will negate the constitutional right to education in the language of one’s choice – and, because faculty will be appointed on the basis of race rather than merit, will in all likelihood have a very negative impact on academic standards. "Our Constitution recognises our right to academic freedom; to use our cultures and languages and to receive education in the language of our choice. We should insist on these rights with all the vigor with which liberal universities defended academic freedom and non-racialism under apartheid."
link to original statement:
The history of Potchefstroom University:
- founded in the Boer Republic of the Transvaal in 1869 with funds raised with interest-free shares amongst the Boer congregations of the Reformed Church of South Africa by Reverend Dirk Postma.
The university’s Afrikaans name used to the "Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys (Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education). It was founded in 1869 in the formerly independent Boer Republic in the Transvaal (‘ZAR’: up to 1902) as the ‘Theological School of the Reformed Churches in South Africa; ("Theologische School van de Gereformeerde Kerken van Zuid-Afrika." – ref: http://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirk_Postma
– In 1951 it was officially recognised as an autonomous university.
– However under ANC-hegemony since 1994, it merely became part of the "North West University’ as a sonamed ‘semi-autonomous’ campus joined up with its campuses in Mafikeng, Mankwe, Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle. It’s ‘Afrikaner-Christian" educational aspect ended at Potchefstroom.
In total, North West university by 2006 had 33.000 students. By 2015 sixty percent of North West University’s student body and 70% of its educators and staff were black-African.
– From 2006, Its ‘traditional Afrikaner’ aspect started eroding rapidly when Potchefstroom lost its autonomy and many of its Afrikaner educators lost their jobs under the black-economic-empowerment laws. For a while it maintained its ‘Afrikaans-language’ character but in 2015, under its new (black) vice-chancellor Prof Dan Kgwadi, whiling claiming to be ‘is a friend of Afrikaans’ (*the language),
also publicly stated his determination to bring the remaining three campuses – Mafikeng, Vaal Triangle and Potchefstroom — under ‘black-African’ control, or as he described it, ‘into line with the racial demographics (6 percent Afrikaner and 94% *African (under current SA law this refers to Chinese, Black African, Coloured and Indian minorities). The spokesman of South Africa’s last Afrikaner president, David Steward, warned in a statement on 23 March 2015 that ‘this will cause the death of the Afrikaans character at Potchefstroom’.
By 2006, the university had 8 faculties: (Afrikaans titles: Letteren en Wysbegeerte (founded in 1921); Natuurwetenskappe (1922); Theology (1930: headed by the in Dokkum, the Netherlands born Rev Durk Postma); Pedagogiek (1935); Economiese en Bestuurswetenskappe (1942); Regte (1966); Techniese wetenskappe (1983); and Gesondheidswetenskappe (1999).
Each jaar at the start of the academic year at Potchefstroom, a uniquely ‘Afrikaner’ festival is held. The ‘Aardklop Festival’ is similar to the ‘Oeral’ festival on the Dutch island of Terschelling north of Amsterdam.
Pictures: The Student Memorial at Potchefstroom University of Boer students who died in the British Invaders’ Second war against the Boer Republics’ – their Second Freedom War — at the Theological University Potchefstroom: They were commandants Karel David Coetsee, Calman Efraim Lion Cachet, Jacob Philippus Maré, Johannes Abraham Venter and Jan Christoffel Kruger.