(Embargo teen lewering)

Madame Speaker

As a small boy we visited my grandmothers house near

Krugersdorp. The house was burnt down during the Anglo Boer

war. When the house was repaired after the war, my grandmother

left one wooden doorframe as it was, with its black burning

marks. When you asked her about it, she told us how she had

only a few minutes to take her personal belongings from the

house before the British burnt it down. She then told us how

they were put in open cattle railway trucks and taken to the

Merebank concentration camp near Durban. On the way they had

to endure the hot sun and rain in the open with sick children.

She told us how they had to put their hands over the

children’s mouths when the train went through a tunnel to try

and prevent the children from choking in the train smoke. (In

the camp she had to bury family. When she had to bury from her

family members in the camp, she put a bottle with a piece of

paper with the name of the relative on it, in the grave to

enable her to identify the grave after the war.)

Why was these methods used?

When the British captured Pretoria and Bloemfontein as

capitals of the Boer Republics, the Afrikaners started with

guerilla warfare. The British answered this with a scorched

earth policy. Forcefully removing women and children in open

train carriages from the farms to concentration camps and

burning everything down. For every one Afrikaner soldier that

died on the battlefield, 9 women and children died on the

trains and in the concentration camps. One of the highest

ratios of any war.

But I want to tell you a reconciliation story.

Emily Hobhouse was a British woman who heard of these

atrocities.  She voluntarily came to South Africa and offered

assistance to the Afrikaner women and children. She saved many

lives. Emily Hobhouse kept a diary. In May 1901 she wrote in

her diary:

“I broke my (train) journey at Springfontein. There, to my

horror, still massed on the railway siding I found the same

unfortunate (Afrikaner) people whom I had seen when passing

north ten days previously–their conditions beggars

description; the picture photographed on my mind, can never


The people massed there had no tents. Some crept under the

railway trucks while some had begged bits of sailcloth from

Tommies…thus making a rude shelter.

To such a shelter I was called to see a sick baby. The mother

sat on her little trunk with the child across her knee. She

had nothing to give it and the child was sinking fast. I

thought a few drops of brandy might save it, but tho’ I had

money there was none to be had. I thought of the (British)

Superintendent of the camp – a mile off – and sent a hasty

message to ask him to let me have some for a sick child, but

the reply was that his supplies were only for his camp. There

was nothing to be done and we watched the child draw its last

breath in reverent silence.

The mother neither moved nor wept. It was her only child. Dry-

eyed but deathly white, she sat there motionless looking not

at the child but far, far away into depths of grief beyond all

tears. A friend stood behind her who called upon Heaven to

witness this tragedy and others crouching on the ground around

her wept freely.

The scene made an indelible impression upon me.” End of quote.

I invite you to visit the women’s monument with me in

Bloemfontein, erected for those who died in the concentration

camps. There you will see this scene, as described by Emily

Hobhouse, as the central focus point of the monument.

(When Emily Hobhouse returned to Britain she had little

income. Afrikaners thought of her as an heroin and angel of

mercy. In 1921 poor Afrikaner families started a fund and

bought a retirement house for ms Hobhouse on the Cornwall


Only three Afrikaner war heroes were thought worthy enough to

be buried at the foot of this women’s monument in

Bloemfotnein. Genl De Wet, Pres Steyn and the Reverend

Kestell. When Emily Hobhouse died in 1926 (8 June) Afrikaners

decided that this English woman must become the fourth person

to be buried at this Afrikaner monument. Six Afrikaner girls,

all dressed in white and named Emily, carried her to her last

resting place. The six girls were specifically chosen because

their mothers named them after Emily Hobhouse in the

concentration camps.

This is a story of reconciliation. My question is: “Are we

today moving closer to reconciliation in South Africa or not?

What lessons can we learn from the Anglo Boer war?

1. Lord Milner, as British High Commissioner believed he could

use force to Anglicise the Afrikaners and thus ensure

permanent British supremacy over the entire Southern Africa.

The opposite happened. The British won the war, but lost the

peace. Within a few years boer generals Smuts, Hertzog and

Botha were the political leaders running the country. He

under-estimated the Boers commitment to freedom, to their

independence and the price they were willing to pay for it.

On the eve of the war, the British government estimated that a

war in South Africa might cost 10 million pounds, require a

maximum of 75 000 troops, result in  – at worst – a few

hundred casualties, and be over within three months. In the

event, the war cost some 230 million pounds, involved a total

of 450 000 British and Empire troops, and resulted in the

deaths of almost 22 000 combatants. A war which had been

expected to last for three months lasted for almost three


It has been calculated that, at the end of the nineteenth

century, Britain picked up new African subjects for her Empire

at a cost of about 15 pence each. the Boers cost the British 1

000 pound a head to subdue. And it was not a surrender but a

negotiated peace which eventually brought the war to an end.

Wat leer ons

2. Media hou graag ‘n romatiese beeld van oorlog aan ons voor,

van helde en eer en medaljes. Tog lei almal in ‘n oorlog.

Oorlog raak almal. Man, vrou en kind, swart en wit, Grieke

gesˆ in vredestyd begrawe die seuns hulle vaders, in oorlog

begrae die vaders hulle seuns.

3. Om ‘n oorlog te begin is maklik, maar om vrede te  maak en

te volhou is moeilik. Albert Einstein het gesˆ: “Peace cannot

be kept by force, It can only be achieved by understanding”.

Ek is reeds meer as tien jaar in hierdie raad. Ek het gesien

hoe verhoudinge tussen mense in hierdie raad verbeter en

versleg. Ek sien nou weer nuwe gesigte. Gesigte wat met groot

arrogansie beledigings skreeu en optree. Jong ANC

parlementslede wat al die antwoorde het en geen ruimte laat

vir enige ander standpunt as hulle eie nie. Dit is maklik om

haat te saai, dit is moeilik om goeie verhoudinge te bou; dit

is maklik om konflik te veroorsaak, dit is moeilik om vrede te

maak. Iemand wat hier sit en homself ‘n verkose leier van die

mense daarbuite noem, moet verantwoordelik en wys wees. Ek

sien al minder daarvan rondom my en dit voorspel niks goeds

vir ons toekoms nie.

4. Oorlog los baie selde die probleme op wat die oorlog

veroorsaak het. Dit veroorsaak dikwels meer. In 1917 twee

afvaardigings van SA na Versailles.

5. Vryheid is ‘n ingewikkelde begrip. Omdat ek kan stem, is ek

nie noodwendig vry nie. Omdat ek my taal kan praat, is ek nie

noodwendig vry nie. Die Kurde in Turkye en die Boere in SA.

Hulle is adelike titels aangebied. Van die hand gewys. Sir

Mulder. Oxford geleerdheid, Shakespeare kultuur. Hulle het

verkies om terug te keer na Afrika en hier te veg vir vryheid

sodat genl De Wet in 1914 in die tronk beland omdat hy steeds

vir vryheid probeer veg.

‘n Britse soldaat skryf tydens die oorlog in sy dagboek. Ons

kry een sjieling om hier te veg. Ons kan nie wen teen mense

wat nie vir betaling veg nie maar vir hulle vryheid. Afr

probleem nog nie opgelos. Kan as deel van oplossing gedoen


My boodskap aan Afrikaners, wees trots op die verlede, moenie

verlam word deur ‘n skuldige gewete nie, ons het foute gemaak

soos enige ander volk, maar het ook baie om op trots te wees.

Met die dood van pres Kruger het die Franse spesiale hulde aan

hom gebring. Dit was gerig aan: “Die leier van ‘n Klein volk,

wat staan vir ‘n groot idee.”

Ek is trots om deel van daardie volk te wees. Om vandag hulde

te bring aan my voorgeslagte, aan my Ouma en Oupa Mulder vir

die opoffering en prys wat hulle in daardie tyd betaal het.

My answer will be that the truth and reconciliation commission

is not succeeding in bringing reconciliation.  They are

opening all these wounds, leaving them bleeding without any

effort in closing them again. How are they going to conclude

their task. Will they just stop overnight when their term

expires and leave it to us as political leaders to calm people

and convince them against revenge? That is not good enough.

From an Afrikaner perspective we are moving further apart with

a hardening of attitudes. 

At great risk the Freedom Front decided to participate in the

political process and avoid violence as a solution. This was

leadership against the wishes of many of our supporters. In

his opening of Parliament address pres. Mandela told the story

of his White bull, black bull speech that exited people but

did not offer any solutions. When dep. min. Peter Mokaba says

over the weekend that Black people had enough of the Boere and

that they will never stop fighting, he angers me. I am a Boer

and proud of it. He forces me to make a black bull white bull

speech in Ventersdorp on my next visit. That type of speech is

easy to make and I am good at it. I will be popular and get a

big cheer, but South Africa will not be closer to a solution.

Real leaders, in all parties, must always be responsible. So

let us reevaluate the truth commission while we all remain

responsible leaders.

Verlede Saterdag het ‘n aantal dienspligtiges en voormalige

lede van die Weermag byeengekom en in duidelike taal gesˆ wat

hulle van die waarheidskommissie dink. Verlede Dinsdag het ‘n

groot aantal boere op verskillende plekke byeengekom om te

protesteer. Verskeie kongresse en byeenkomste het die laaste

tyd plaasgevind waar Afrikaners oor die toekoms gepraat het.

Daar moet geen twyfel wees dat die Afrikaner polities

rusteloos is nie. Hulle voel frustreerd, voel onmagtig en soek

na antwoorde.

Gister was hier in die Raad ‘n Afrikanergeveg oor die rol van

die Afrikaner in die nuwe SA. Hoe versoen ons die Afrikaner se

ideale met die nuwe SA en die werklikhede van die grondwet.

Demokrasie gaan oor getalle. Afrikaners is minder as 8% van

die stemgeregtigdes. In hierdie Parlement en sy komitees kan

jy elke argument wen maar met demokrasie as teenargument,

verloor jy elke stemming.

Die NP het met magsdeling en wigte en teenwigte die logika van

die demokrasie probeer beperk. Dit het nie gewerk nie en dit

is in die onderhandelinge afgemaak as die minderheid wat op

ondemokratiese wyse die meerderheid permanent probeer

frustreer deur vetoregte vir die minderheid in te bou. Die NP

se nuwe missie is om met getalle die ANC by die stembus te

verslaan. Die onhaalbaarheid daarvan wil ek nie nou

argumenteer nie maar selfs al sou dit slaag, hou so ‘n

oplossing min in vir die Afrikaner wat ‘n onbeduidende

minderheid in so ‘n nuwe beweging sal wees. As demokrasie

simplisties toegepas word is alle minderhede permanent tot

magteloosheid gevonnis.

As internasionaal na antwoorde vir die Afrikaner se probleem

gesoek word, is die antwoord selfbeskikking. Selfbeskikking is

die internasionale antwoord waardeur ‘n minderheid se taal, sy

skool en kultuur met spesiale maatre‰ls teen die verswelging

deur die meerderheid se getalle, beskerm word.  Het u al die

Volkstaatraad se vierde verslag gelees waarin hulle meer as 30

internasionale  voorbeelde bespreek waar selfbeskikking as

oplossing gebruik is? (Die Vryheidsfront glo dat

selfbeskikking vir die Afrikaner die lang termyn oplossing vir

versoening en samewerking sal bring.)

Die Vryheidsfront sien selfbeskikking as deel van die

grondwetlike oplossing. Nie selfsugtige selfbeskikking wat die

Afrikaner bo ander wil verhef en glo dit is ‘n oplossing nie;

Nie isolasionistiese selfbeskikking wat ‘n laer wil trek en

glo die Afrikaner kan deur selfbeskikking ontvlug van die

werklikhede van Afrika waarvan hy nie hou nie. Nie oneerlike

selfbeskikking wat eintlik net ‘n dekmantel vir verskuilde

apartheid is nie. Selfbeskikking het niks met rassisme te doen

nie maar selfbeskikking is nie bang om die werklikhede van

etniese verskeidenheid aan te spreek nie. Die Vryheidsfront

glo in realistiese selfbeskikking, geskoei op die

internasionale voorbeelde. Selfbeskikking wat aan die

Afrikaner sekerheid gee oor sy taal, kultuur, onderwys ens. en

dit vir hom dan moontlik maak om uit te beweeg om ‘n groter

rol in Suider-Afrika te speel.

Een derde van alle Afrikaners mag tevrede wees met individuele

regte soos in ‘n menseregte akte; een derde sal tevrede wees

met kulturele selfbeskikking wat taal, kultuur en groepsregte

verskans en een derde sal met niks anders as territoriale

selfbeskikking of ‘n volkstaat tevrede wees nie. Die grootte

van hierdie drie Afrikanergroepe sal wissel soos die Afrikaner

meer of minder onderdruk voel.

Internasionaal word tussen minderheidsgroepe en

minderheidsvolke onderskei. Die Duitsers in Rusland sal as ‘n

minderheidsgroep beskou word omdat daar wel ‘n moeder

Duitsland is wat na hulle kan omsien. Die Kurde in Irak en

Turkye word egter as ‘n minderheidsvolk beskou omdat dar nie

‘n moederland vir die Kurde is nie. Hulle het wel volle

politieke regte in Turkye met 22 parlementslede in die Turkse

Parlement van 450. Tog is dit nie genoeg nie en veg hulle tans

vir territoriale selfbeskikking. Hiervolgens is die Afrikaner

ook ‘n minderheidsvolk sonder ‘n moederland wat na ons kan


Ek is ‘n trotse moderne Afrikaner. Ek het in die VSA gestudeer

en kan waarskynlik maklik in die buiteland werk kry. Ek gaan

egter hier bly en veg vir die Afrikaner. Ek glo in

territoriale selfbeskking en ‘n volkstaat. U kan van my

ontslae raak, u kan van die VF ontslae raak. Ek wil u egter

verseker dat die idee van territoriale selfbeskikking en ‘n

volkstaat nie daardeur gekeer sal word nie. Inteendeel, as ek

na die internasionale voorbeelde kyk, sal die idee dan juis

sterker word en waarskynlik meer gewelddadig. So kom ons pak

die probleem en los hom op. Wegskram gaan nie help nie en net

die uiteindelike oplossing baie moeiliker maak.

International Covenant on economic, social and cultural

rights, Mandela geteken 3/10/94

art 1(1) All peoples have the right of self determination, by

virtue of that right they freely determine their political

status and freely pursue their economic, social and culture


I want to tell you of Afrikaner hate and reconciliation in our

history: Let me quote from the newspaper “Ons Land”. The date

is 24 November 1900, during the Anglo Boer war. Under the

heading “Women fired upon” the newspaper carried the following


“On one farm General French had five cannon directed at a

(Afrikaner) homestead into which several families had fled. A

soldier said ‘But General, there are women and children in the

house, too.’ He cursed and said: ‘I don’t care. Shoot the

beggars. Afrikanerdom must be wiped off the Earth’. With the

five cannon they shot the house to pieces, the bombs driving

the women and children out of the house, and (they) let them

lie without ascertaining whether there was one left alive

among them.” In todays’ terminology-a gross violation of human rights.