Leon Lemmer: ‘n Sielkundige ontleding van Afrikaners

Franse spotprent uit 1915, wat ook in Duits gepubliseer is: 'John Bull - beskermer van die verdruktes'

Hélène Opperman Lewis is ‘n sielkundige wat in Kaapstad en Swellendam praktiseer. Sy is in die jare vyftig in Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië gebore. Teen die einde van verlede jaar is haar boek gepubliseer, Apartheid: Britain’s bastard child (Wandsbeck: Reach Publishers, 2016, 772p, R350; Amazon Kindle $15,96.). Haar hipotese is dat die Britte sedert 1795 die Afrikanerpsige in so ‘n mate beskadig het dat apartheid as gevolg daarvan van 1948 tot 1990 die bose beleid van die Nasionale Party-regering was. In ‘n historiese oorsig verduidelik sy Afrikaners se gedrag en veroordeel sy die latere apartheidsbeleid, asook die Britte se houding en gedrag, wat verantwoordelik vir ernstige sielkundige letsels in die Afrikanergees gehou word. Sowel Afrikaners as swartes het sielkundig en andersins (bv moreel) as gevolg van apartheid gely. Sy meen dat Afrikaners en swartes mekaar op grond van gedeelde historiese smart kan vind. Volgens haar is daar deesdae gelukkig ook talle goeie Engelssprekende blankes. Nieteenstaande ons beweerde afgryslike plaaslike geskiedenis is dit dus moontlik dat die hele bevolking geluk in die huidige grondwetlike bedeling kan vind, des te meer omdat swartes blykbaar alle nie-wittes insluit. Spesifieke verwysings na bruines en Asiërs kom selfde in die boek voor.

Die vraag wat die outeur wil beantwoord (let op haar woordkeuse) is: “What compelled the Afrikaners, a people traumatised by British barbarism, to inflict the legalised racism of apartheid on their black countrymen?” (Kindle 352). Sy kan erg emosioneel oor hierdie aangeleentheid word. Op ‘n bepaalde tydstip in haar navorsing Opperman “was so traumatised that I felt myself descend into a deep depression – and I was angry; very angry. For the first time in my life, I was livid with the British. For a period of about a month, I had a deep sadness with sudden spates of crying” (7621).

Die outeur het haar boek as ‘n Afrikaner geskryf. Daarom verwys ek na haar as Opperman, wat seker haar nooiensvan is. Die roete wat uitgestippel word vanaf smart na moontlike uiteindelike geluk is myns insiens, hoewel stereotiperend, tog ook kenmerkend van sielkundiges. “It seemed to me that psychology was worthless unless it could offer diagnoses and healing to nations as well as individuals” (566). Laat ek dan maar aan die begin van hierdie rubriek bely dat ek temperamenteel en rasioneel geneig is om sielkundige ontledings skepties te bejeen; selfs dat sielkunde as akademiese dissipline myns insiens dikwels mank aan skynwetenskaplikheid gaan. Dit is slegs wanneer ‘n sielkundige voor die hand liggende waarhede kwytraak dat ek heelhartig saamstem.

Ek bespreek hierdie boek omdat die teks nie sonder verdienste is nie. Maar daaruit moet nie afgelei word dat ek die boek as leesstof aanbeveel nie. Dit was vir my ‘n worsteling om daardie honderde bladsye te lees. Opperman se navorsing het vyftien jaar in beslag geneem en het begin as ‘n doktorale proefskrif wat nie voltooi is nie. Die teks is veels te lank en daar is te baie onnodige en soms selfs woordelikse herhaling; iets wat kenmerkend kan wees van ‘n teks wat oor ‘n lang tyd vanweë deeltydse arbeid tot stand gekom het. As die klem deurgaans sterker op die hooftema was, sou die teks bondiger gewees het en sou Opperman haar boodskap doeltreffender kon oordra. Wat tot die omvang van die teks bydra, is die verduidelikings wat sy met die oog op veral buitelandse lesers verskaf.

Die teks steun sterk op wat in bekende geskiedenishandboeke staan met die oog op sielkundige toepassing; “psychohistory” genoem (262). “Psychohistory is a relatively new interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to explore and explain the psychological motives of nations” (601). Daar is ook verwysings na baie ander bronne, sommige waarvan interessante inligting bevat wat nie algemeen bekend is nie. Soms steun Opperman op vertellings en anekdotes waarvan die waarheid bevraagteken kan word. Sy wek nie die indruk dat sy ‘n ensiklopediese geleerde is nie. Dit lyk asof daar vaalkolle in haar kennisarsenaal is en dat ‘n enkele bron soms tot evangelie verhef word terwyl dit nie noodwendig ‘n gesaghebbende teks oor ‘n bepaalde onderwerp is nie. Wat ek pas geskryf het, is algemene, subjektiewe, maar eerlike indrukke wat die boek by my gelaat het. Vervolgens sal ek meer spesifiek probeer wees. Daar is bv elementêre foute, bv dat NP van Wyk Louw in Utrecht doseer het (9606), terwyl sy leerstoel in Amsterdam was; en “University of Pretoria (renamed Tshwane University)” (12236) – sy verwar Universiteit Pretoria met Tshwane University of Technology.

Die dinge wat die Britte die Afrikaner aangedoen het, is (in die woorde van Hennie Aucamp) “opgeneem in die ‘Groot Herinnering’, lééf in die bloedstroom; kleur nóg ons kyk na sake, bepaal nóg ons woedes, hartseer en verydeling” (54). Opperman: “The devastating consequences of humiliation and trauma on nations and groups historically, in this case, Afrikaners, are at the heart of this book” (78). “Fifteen years of research for this book has yielded evidence of at least 200 years of prejudice against Afrikaners” (456), dws sedert die eerste Britse besetting van die Kaap in 1795: “With the ships arrived British disdain for what they considered the ‘lesser races’; the English thought themselves to be a superior race compared to ‘backward and lesser’ early settlers (burghers) and indigenous Africans” (519).

Die vonk vir die skryf van hierdie boek is verskaf deur Allister Sparks (Praag 22.10.2016) se bevooroordeeldheid jeens Afrikaners, soos veral duidelik blyk uit sy boek, The mind of South Africa: The rise and fall of apartheid (1991) (494). Opperman haal spesifiek die volgende sin van Sparks oor “the early Afrikaner” aan: “Having been lost in Africa for a century and a half [1652-1795/1806] and become the most backward fragment of European civilization on earth, the Afrikaners were suddenly confronted on their Arcadian [herderlike/idilliese (HAT)] frontier by the world’s most modern society” [the British] (11850). Opperman: “I was speechless … When I came to my senses, I was furious. These words thus became the prime motivation to research and write this book” (11857). Sparks het geweet hoe om Afrikaners se moer te stook: “It is interesting that Sparks chose ‘mampoer’ as representing Afrikaner culture, rather than their internationally known success in cultivating sophisticated wines in the Cape” (12013).

Kort na die eerste (1795) en tweede (1806) Britse oorname van die Kaap het die Britte buitengewoon in hulle skik met hulleself geword. “In 1815 as the British emerged the victors in the Napoleonic wars, they saw themselves, in the words of English historian Thomas B Macaulay, as ‘the greatest and most highly civilized people that ever the world saw'” (399). Later word hierdie gesindheid in die woorde van Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902) weerspieël: “I contend that we are the finest race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings, what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence” (407).

By sommige hedendaagse Engelssprekende blankes word ‘n soortgelyke ingesteldheid steeds aangetref: “Considering themselves fair-minded, non-judgemental and liberal, these people operate in complacent unawareness of their stereotyping. Their arrogance and sense of superiority, no doubt, partly derive from the tendency of many English-speaking South Africans to disavow any responsibility or culpability for the creation of apartheid” (423). David Yudelman, ‘n historikus, meen egter daardie Engelse is nie “significantly more liberal than Afrikaners on race questions” (436). “He suggests that they were quite prepared to ‘use apartheid as a pretext for indirectly expressing their culturally chauvinistic distaste for the Afrikaners while continuing to enjoy the benefits of white supremacy'” (436).

Joseph Chamberlain, die Britse minister van kolonies, het in 1895 gesê: “I believe that the British race is the greatest of governing races that the world has ever seen” (934). Opperman: “To the British mind, exposing others to the benefits of their ‘superior civilisation’ was, thus, nothing less than a moral obligation – and so annexation of territories was approached with missionary zeal” (934). Die destydse groot, wêreldwye Britse Ryk, wat die resultaat van kolonialisme en imperialisme was, het die Britte se goeie selfbeeld gevoed. Onderliggend was daar die ideologie van sosiale Darwinisme, waarvolgens party rasse en etnisiteite meerderwaardig is omdat hulle beter oorleef en materieel beter as ander vaar (901); ‘n geval van “survival of the fittest” (908). Die rol van hiërargie/ongelykheid, in die sin van sosiale laevorming, speel tradisioneel in Brittanje seker ‘n groter rol as in enige ander land. Dit vind uitdrukking in oormatige klasbewustheid (908).

Opperman toon aan dat die Britse slegsêery van Afrikaners in 1795 tydens die eerste Britse bewind aan Kaap met die publikasies van bv John Barrow (Travels into the Interior, 1797-1798) en in ‘n mindere mate Anne Barnard (Wellesley Papers, 1799) begin het. “It shaped British views of the Boers throughout the Victorian era [1837-1901]. That view … was very mean indeed” (1216). Barrow het bv geskryf: Die Boere “will never become civilised until they are ruled with a rod of iron” (1286). Tog het Barrow met ‘n Afrikanervrou getrou (1318). Robert Percival was van 1801 tot 1802 aan die Kaap. Hy het die Kaapse Hollanders “ignorant, prejudiced [and] indolent” genoem (1328). Thomas Pringle het die Boere as “uncultivated” beskou (African Sketches, 1834) (1348). John Philip (1777-1851) “admired Barrow and often quoted him, mirroring his disdain for frontier Boers” (1400). “Whites should abandon their homes and get out of Africa” (1659). “The native population … were … seen as the ‘rightful owners'” (1667). Philip het onder andere David Livingstone (1813-1873), wat die Boere dikwels belaster het, beïnvloed (1407). Sendelinge soos Philip en Livingstone “consistently exaggerated Boer misdeeds while exonerating the natives, and themselves, doing similar deeds” (1524).

Tydens die Bataafse bewind aan die Kaap (1803-1806) het Jacob Uitenhage de Mist en Heinrich Lichtenstein na binnelandse reise gunstige indrukke van die Boere gerapporteer (1413). Dit geld ook William Burchell (aan die Kaap 1815-1818): “I am convinced that many incorrect and absurd things, which have been written about this colony, would never have been said, had the writers been sufficiently acquainted with the language to converse with every class of its inhabitants” (1420). Selfs Charles Somerset het na sy binnelandse reis in 1817 geskryf oor die kontras tussen wat hy verwag en wat hy eerstehands ervaar het: “I was not prepared to meet, as I have done throughout an energetic, hardy and active race of men, courteous to each other and hospitable to strangers far beyond what our habits induce us to expect” (1428). Maar Somerset se verengelsingsbeleid (in die woorde van Dunbar Moody) “‘struck at the heart of Afrikanerdom.’ Scottish missionaries were brought out to serve in Dutch Reformed churches, and Englishmen to teach in country schools” (1744). Moody: “All official posts were reserved for the English-speaking, and after 1825, all official documents were required to be written in English” (1752).

Samuel Cronwright (1863-1936), die eggenoot van Olive Schreiner, het die Britte se afkraking van Afrikaners beskou as “an outgrowth of the Englishman’s ingrained sense of his own superiority” (1483). Opperman: “As old prejudices tend to stay stuck, these negative views are still doing the rounds in the minds of the arrogant English, having been passed on from generation to generation. To this day, you hear the viciousness even from the mouths of many young white English persons in South Africa. It has become second nature to them; they don’t even notice. Yet they claim that they are open-minded, reasonable and non-racist people … but Afrikaners are free game to them” (1536).

Die vrystelling van die slawe was as sodanig nie die rede vir die Groot Trek nie (1730). Die hoofrede was veel eerder “the cold indifference with which they [Boers] were treated by their [British] rulers, and the consciousness that they were regarded as a subject and inferior race” (1737). Andries Stockenström (1792-1864), die magistraat van Graaff-Reinet, “concurs that the Englishman was inclined to treat Boers in an insulting manner, as if his ‘accidental possession of official power’ entitled him ‘to domineer over his fellows as if they belonged to an inferior species created only to tremble at his frown'” (1758). Byvoorbeeld, in die Sesde Oosgrensoorlog teen die Xhosas (1834-1835), Harry Smith “drafted the Boers into the army (they were, after all, British citizens). In the long columns of troops, they were placed in front, having had to bring their own guns and horses” (1775). “The Boers were outraged when livestock recovered during the campaign was not returned to its original owners, but auctioned off by the British Army to defray the costs of the war” (1792).

“To make matters worse, the war failed to settle the underlying conflict. For several years afterwards, looting continued, ‘sustained by vagrants who were spread over the country, subsisting on flocks and herds of the plundered farmers; their [the farmers’] real condition was shamefully misrepresented’. [Robert] Godlonton [editor of the Grahamstown Journal] went on to observe that, when Boers took up arms to defend themselves against these marauders, ‘they were held up to the scorn and abhorrence of the world, as the oppressors of the poor and defenceless'” (1805). “The protection of the frontier farmers was not a priority” [of the British government] (1814). “In addition, there was the government’s sluggish payment rate for grain and other products that the farmers delivered” (1814). Baie Boere het besluit om te trek. Teen 1845 het die Groot Trek bestaan uit “about 15 000 burghers (a total of 2 308 families), accompanied by about 5 000 servants” (1869). In die woorde van Franz Kafka (1883-1924): “Out of here – that’s my goal” (1854). “The British Government … was dismayed about the people leaving and reminded them that they were still British citizens and could be prosecuted” (1876).

In 1837, in die aanloop tot Bloedrivier, “Allen Gardiner, an Englishman, had … written to Dingane to warn him not to trust [Piet] Retief, because the latter allegedly planned ‘to take possession of the country inland of Durban and would establish their own government'” (1964). “Three of the Port Natal settlers, one Garnett, John Stubbs and one Blanckenberg, consulted with Allen Gardiner, after which they wrote to Dingane ‘neither Retief nor his party had any king or government and that they were deserters'” (1978). “They [Garnett and Stubbs] then visited Dingane and allegedly asked him ‘what punishment he doled out to unfaithful deserters’, to which Dingane replied that his laws ‘dictated that deserters would be put to death’. The two Natal settlers then pointed out to Dingane that the Voortrekkers were indeed ‘bad people’, because they were deserters” (1986). ‘n Trekker, Herklaas Malan, het Retief gewaarsku: “There is evil in the air. Dingane will betray us and I sense that the British will play a role in this” (1994). Retief en sy manskappe en talle ander Voortrekkers is in die omgewing van die Bloukransrivier vermoor: “600 souls: 110 men … 56 women, 185 children and 250 loyal servants” (2048). Na die Slag van Bloedrivier in 1838 het 160 families in 1840 uit Natal getrek (2054). Ander het later gevolg. In 1843 het Brittanje Natal geannekseer.

Maar Britse gesag het die Trekkers agtervolg. “On 31 August 1848, the Trekkers engaged the British in the Battle of Boomplaats (near Bloemfontein)” (2108). “After the proclamation of the Orange River Sovereignty [1848], Britain was experiencing financial problems. As a result, it was decided to give the two Boer republics their independence [Zuid Africaansche Republiek (ZAR)/Transvaal in 1852 and Orange Free State in 1854 (2135)]. This step had the advantage for Britain that the Boers could now act as a buffer for the Cape Colony against tribal attacks from the north. Yet independence would not happen without British conditions, among which was the reservation of the right to enter into any foreign and native negotiations” (2128). Maar na die ontdekking van diamante (1869) en goud (1886) was dit weer “raw Empire predation – power and never-ending greed” (2159).

In 1871 is beslis dat die diamentvelde nie deel van die Vrystaat is nie, maar van Griekwaland-Wes (2364), wat in dieselfde jaar deur die Britte tot ‘n kolonie verklaar (2432) en in 1879 formeel geannekseer is (11455). In 1877 is sowel die ZAR (2412) as Swaziland (2432) deur die Britte geannekseer (2412), voorafgegaan deur Basoetoland in 1868 (2432). Zoeloeland het in 1887 gevolg (10952). Die ZAR-Boere het die Britse owerheid nie gelate aanvaar nie en in 1880 te Paardekraal besluit om oorlog te verklaar (2439). Die Boere het die oorlog in 1881 danksy die Slag van Majuba gewen (2446). “There seems to be general consensus amongst Afrikaner historians that Afrikaner political consciousness, a consciousness of being a separate group, was born in reaction to the annexation of the ZAR [1877] and as resistance to the British” (2458). “After Majuba Hill (1881), when the Boers reclaimed their independence, was the start of the transformation into what would eventually be called the Afrikaner Volk (nation)” (9774).

Die vernederende nederlaag wat die Britte in die Eerste Anglo-Boere-oorlog (1880-1881) gely het en die ontdekking van goud was die tweeledige oorsaak van die Tweede of eintlike Anglo-Boere-oorlog (ABO, 1899-1902). Koningin Victoria “wanted ‘revenge first and peace later'” (3777). Die Uitlanderkwessie is as vyeblaar vir oorlogvoering misbruik. In ‘n Indiese publikasie is die doel van die ABO beskryf as: “to blot the Boers out as a nation, and turn their land into a vast shambles, and remove their name from the muster roll of South Africa” (3844).

Volgens Anthony Thomas, die outeur van die boek, Rhodes: The race for Africa (1996), “it is impossible to understand Southern African history without understanding the treacheries of Cecil Rhodes between 1872 and 1902. Thomas says the message he received as a child, in reference to the unblemished English, was that ‘it was this fatherly concern, this sense of justice and decency that set us [the English] apart from the brutal Afrikaners, who were turning our country into an international pariah.’ In 1996, Thomas wrote that this was not so. In his opinion, if anyone could be accused of laying the foundations of apartheid, it was ‘that most English of Englishmen,’ Cecil John Rhodes, referring to Rhodes’ 1894 Glen Grey Act” (2909). Dit “introduced and legalised the first segregation laws in the Cape Colony” (3024).

Hierdie wet “imposed evening curfews in all cities and towns. There were separate locations for Africans and Asians, as well as the requirement to carry a pass to prove they were authorised to live or move through an urban area outside their designated ‘locations'” (11001). “Non-whites … suddenly experienced segregation in schools, sports, prisons, hospitals, theatres and on public transport” (10980). “Race segregation on trains was a given in the two British colonies in Southern Africa; the Cape and the most English of English colonies, Natal” (11009). “Train segregation was introduced in Natal in 1877 and in the Cape by at least 1893” (11018). “The racism pot was hottest in Natal” (12269). Die spoorweë het Bloemfontein en Johannesburg eers in 1890 bereik. Anthony Thomas skryf: “Anyone familiar with the theory and practice of apartheid in South Africa will recognize that all the essential elements were put in place by Cecil Rhodes in 1894, fifty-four years before the Nationalist government came to power” (10971).

Allister Sparks onderskryf Thomas se standpunt oor apartheid deur te sê: “Much of the legislation covered was already social practice. Segregation of the races had long been the convention in all spheres of South African life” (11105) en “It was the British who prompted Afrikaner nationalism into existence and that sacral nationalism in turn evolved the theologized ideology of apartheid” (11113, 12296). Opperman: “The Afrikaner’s religion … was not its [apartheid’s] cause: religion was apartheid’s vessel, serving as a container for the unprocessed trauma and fears of survival after the war” (9905). Op sy kenmerkende manier gaan Sparks soos volg voort: “”Though they [Englishspeaking South Africans] had gone along with the old-style segregation and regarded it as part of the natural order of things, the crassness of putting it all into law and proclaiming it to the world offended their traditional pragmatism and sense of decency. It was so graceless, so boorish!” (11132).

Die Glen Grey-wet “compels natives to work” (4646). Dit “sought to end black self-sufficiency by confining rural Africans to tribal reserves and imposing a tax on every hut. To survive, Africans would have to enter the cash economy and sell their labour to whites” (2948). Rhodes se motivering vir “the Glen Grey Act came from Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace’s famous book, Russia, in which Wallace discusses … the issue of how Russian peasants held their land. It was this book that gave Rhodes the idea of how to solve what he referred to as South Africa’s ‘native problem'” (2980). Reeds in 1887 het Rhodes in die parlement gesê: “These are my policies on native affairs, and these are the politics of South Africa … The native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise … We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works so well in India, in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa” (2940). Die historikus Shula Marks skryf: “The establishment of African reserves and the survival of African chieftaincy as central elements of segregation originated not in the Boer Republics, but in Natal, the most British of colonies” (10960). Reservate vir swartes is deur Rhodes ook in Rhodesië geskep (10990).

Die outeur verduidelik die rol wat mense soos Rhodes, Joseph Chamberlain, as Britse minister van kolonies, Alfred Milner, as Britse hoëkommissaris in die Kaapkolonie, asook Frederick Roberts en Horatio Kitchener, as die militêre bevelvoerders, in die ABO gespeel het. William Butler, die vooroorlogse Britse militêre hoof in Kaapstad, het in die aanloop tot die oorlog geskryf: “Nearly all information sent from Cape Town to England, is now being worked by … a colossal syndicate for the spread of systematic misrepresentation … more and more the conviction grows on me that the small and noisy group of men who have got all the telegraphic and most of the press power in their hands are steadily intent upon the production of friction, and nothing but friction, in the country … backed by enormous means and quite without conscience … to produce a war in South Africa for selfish ends” (3741). Die Brit Joshua Rowntree het geskryf: “A lying press in South Africa and a reckless press at home have done their work” (4321).

“Milner saw Afrikaners as üntermench (subhuman) and openly despised blacks” (3602). In 1903 het Milner gesê: “A political equality of white and black is impossible. The white man must rule, because he is elevated by many, many steps above the black man; steps which it will take the latter centuries to climb, and which it is quite possible that the vast bulk of the black population may never be able to climb at all” (11034). In 1901 het Milner geskryf: “The Boers must be completely beaten – if only because that is the sole means of absorbing and ultimately getting rid of them as separate, exclusive caste” (5350, 7387). “The Boers who refused to surrender frustrated Kitchener no end, resulting in him calling them ‘sly and cute’ and ‘uncivilized [Afrikaner] savages with only a thin white veneer'” (5883, 7300). Opperman: “The British considered Afrikaners to be mentally and physically underbred – hence, the desire to annihilate them or deport them from their own country” (7558).

“The British – represented by Milner and Chamberlain – did not want peace; they wanted war” (5562). Die voorstel van FW Reitz, gesteun deur Louis Botha, dat die Britte die Witwatersrand met sy goud en Uitlanders kon kry, is deur die Britte verwerp; “refusing the option of a state within a British protectorate” (7525). Die Vrystater Abraham Fischer het voor die oorlog die situasie soos volg opgesom: “We have honestly done our best and can do no more – if we lose our independence … leaves us at least the consolation that we did not sacrifice it dishonourably” (5602). Kan dieselfde enigsins van die Nasionale party se grondwetlike onderhandelings in 1992/94 gesê word? Ek dink nie so nie. Dit was gewoon ‘n skandalige, mandaatlose, algehele magsoorgawe. In teenstelling daarmee was die Boere-bittereinders se standpunt: “To die with honour is preferable to surviving in dishonour” (5696). Aan die einde van die oorlog was die leiers van die Boere steeds “spiritually undefeated” (7454). Dit geld ook die Bittereinders. Maar kan dit ook van die meerderheid hedendaagse Afrikaners gesê word?

Daar is diegene wat van die Boere-oorlog pleks van die Britse of Engelse oorlog praat. Hulle speel in die hande van die Britte deur Britsgesentreerd te dink. “It is a curiously British habit to name their wars after their opponents” (5632). Opperman skryf: “The important thing of the history we’ve been told is the utter inability of these high-born supremely well-educated others to see the Afrikaner people – the author’s people – as being anything other than backward imbeciles. To learn how ruthlessly the Boers were treated, made the author’s blood boil; the brutality, the incessant harassment, deliberate efforts as well as manipulation and lies by Milner in order to incite a terrible war, all for Britain’s gain – is beyond any reasonable person’s comprehension” (5632). “Britain has never seen the need to apologise to Afrikaners” (6222; ook 10664).

Naas Butler was daar ander Britte wat nie anti-Boer was nie. Leonard Courtney, ‘n Britse parlementslid, het in 1879 “the Dutch” tereg as “the real pioneers of European civilization in South Africa” genoem (4165). ‘n Ander Britse parlementslid, GR Bethell, het reeds in 1900 die visie gehad om te vra: “Do you not see that instead of a British there may be a Dutch, or more strictly, an Afrikaner, South Africa, not under the British flag?” (4090). “British philosopher Sir Herbert Spencer [1820-1903] said that the Boers deserved sympathy for their resistance to political extinction. He saw the Uitlanders as ‘a swarm of unwelcome intruders’ and ‘proved traitors’. With regard to the annexation of the Orange Free State, Spencer said that it was ‘nothing more than a continuance of our practice of political burglary'” (4230).

‘n Joernalis van The Times in Londen, Francis Edward Younghusband, het plaaslik kennis geneem dat Indiërs van 1860 af as arbeiders vir die Natalse suikerplantasies ingevoer is (4058). “In January 1898, two shiploads of Indians from Bombay were prevented from landing in Durban” (4003). Britse settlers het aan Younghusband verduidelik “they wish to hand the colony down to their children and not a semi-Asiatic country like Mauritius … the Indians were different, ‘in religion, customs, and ideas and principles'” (4009). Younghusband skryf: “The two groups ‘will always remain separate'” (4009) [and] “concludes … ‘the law of self-preservation is the first law of being'” (4025). Opperman: “The Anglo-Boer War … left Afrikaners with lasting fears of survival, which were the root of apartheid; a survival imperative” (5251). “In 1924, the very same Natallers demanded … from the … government to repatriate the Natal Indians” (4084).

“In a report in 1902, General Smuts described how the British recruited black Africans to fight against the Boers on Britain’s side: ‘In the Cape Colony, the uncivilized Blacks have been told that if the Boers win, slavery will be brought back in the Cape colony. They have been promised Boer property and farmsteads if they will join the English; that the Boers will have to work for the blacks, and that they will be able to marry Boer women'” (4425). Deesdae insinueer iemand soos Danny Titus, nogal die ATKV se kultuurhoof, steeds dat Afrikaners slawerny sou terugbring en geen haan kraai oor sy anti-Afrikanergesindheid nie (Ons kom van vêr, geredigeer deur WAM Carstens en Michael le Cordeur, Tygervallei: Naledi, 2016, p 195).

In Julie 1900 het die Boere hulle taktiek van konvensionele na guerrilla-oorlogvoering verander (5696). Die Britte het in reaksie ‘n beleid van verskroeide aarde gevolg. Plase (huise en ander geboue, vee, oeste) en huise en kerke in dorpe is vernietig sodat hulle nie as hulpbronne vir die Boere kon dien nie. Die vroue en kinders is in bedenklike omstandighede in konsentrasiekampe aangehou, waar ‘n kwart (7144) gesterf het ten einde die Boere in die veld te ontmoedig om die stryd voor te sit (7210). Hierdie taktiek is by die Spanjaarde geleer in hulle stryd teen die Kubane in 1896 tot 1898 (6643). Die vroue en kinders van Bittereinders is slegter as dié van hensoppers en joiners/hanskakies behandel (7716). In die kampe is gepoog om veral die kinders te verengels (6810). Die kampbewoners is met minagting behandel (6978). Die konsentrasiekampe is deur die Britte vlugtelingkampe genoem, al is die inwoners onder dwang daarheen geneem, wat beteken dat hulle eerder gevangenekampe was (7285).

Die Bittereinders is deur die Britte afgedreig; dat al hulle eiendom gekonfiskeer sou word en hulle vir altyd uit die land verban sou word as hulle nie voor die sperdatum oorgee nie. Java, Fidji, Brasilië of Madagaskar was hulle voorland (7317). Kitchener het aan Roberts geskryf: “If I could threaten them with being all permanently banished from the country they would, I believe, give in” (7331). Die proklamasie is op 7 Augustus 1901 uitgereik met as keerdatum 15 September 1901, maar die Bittereinders het hulle nie hieraan gesteur nie. Milner se standpunt was: “Anything that diminishes the proportion of Dutch to non-Dutch in the SA colonies can only be of advantage to us” (7317). Kitchener het geskryf: “Change their country and they may become civilized people fit to live with” (7324). Charles Aked het in 1901 in Liverpool gesê: “Britain cannot win the battle without resorting to the last despicable cowardice of the most loathsome cur on earth – the act of striking at a brave man’s heart through his wife’s honor and his child’s life” (6234).

Die molestering en verkragting van Boervroue was nie beperk tot die blanke Britse soldate nie. Bruin en swart soldate en selfs joiners/hanskakies het hulle hieraan skuldig gemaak (6284). Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) het teen sy beterwete alle sodanige voorvalle heftig ontken. “In 1902, he wrote: ‘Now no case of rape has actually occurred in the whole campaign. If one did, the offender would be instantly shot'” (6467, 7668) en later: “The soldiers … have behaved beautifully and been cruelly slandered” (6474, 7668). Nadat ek die hoofstuk gelees het waarin beskryf word hoe die Britte plaasdiere vermink en gedood het, het ek nie kans gesien om dadelik die hoofstuk oor die behandeling van die Boervroue en -kinders te lees nie.

Die sielkundige gevolge van die Anglo-Boere-oorlog vir Afrikaners word soos volg deur Opperman verwoord: “Their fear [despair] of surviving as a people culminated in a virile nationalism, and, ultimately, apartheid – a dysfunctional and untenable survival strategy [? – kyk hier onder] … the Afrikaners acted out on psychological wounds that were passed on transgenerationally” (7615).

Na die oorlog “the British declared thousands of Dutch officials [in the Transvaal] … as ‘undesirable elements’ who had to return to the Netherlands. The most amazing was the decision by the Johannesburg Council in 1903 to give voting rights only to British civilians. In addition, all schools had to conduct lessons in English, even if the majority of children were Afrikaans. Afrikaans street names were renamed” (8125). “A monument in honour of Boers who died at Perdekraal was demolished” (8132).

Hermann Giliomee skryf: “One of the most remarkable features of the public debate between 1902 and 1934 was the public silence about the Anglo-Boer War. Participants found their personal memories too painful to want to talk about it publicly” (8290). Sedert die 1990/94-verraad is daar ook grootliks verswyging van die lot wat die blankes onverdiend getref het en eintlik geen diepgaande besinning oor die (myns insiens) onwettigheid van die huidige Grondwet en die ANC-bewind nie. Gaan daar ook in hierdie geval ‘n geslag (30 jaar) verloop, dus stilswye tot 2024, voordat daadwerklik tot besinning gekom word, dus tot wanneer die hoofoortreders moontlik nie meer persoonlik tot verantwoording geroep kan word nie?

Opperman borduur voort: “Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger commented at the time that they were too ‘ashamed of the way in which women and children of a brave nation had been treated’. After the war, those who remained went into survival mode; their pain was internalised. In the dark, depression, fear and anxiety festered. Their anger grew and was expressed, at times, in cruel and self-destructive ways” (8290), waaronder Opperman veral apartheid reken. Deesdae is Afrikaners myns insiens skaam, nie soseer oor apartheid nie maar oor hoe die blanke “onderhandelaars” sonder meer oorgegee het. Nou moet Afrikaners oorleef te midde van ‘n vyandige regering en ‘n oorweldigende swart bevolking.

Boere-generaals, soos Louis Botha en Jan Smuts, het na die ABO die guns van die Britte gesoek (8304). Dit het geskied op ‘n manier soortgelyk aan die baie blankes, insluitende eens voorbeeldige Afrikaners, bv lede van die Afrikaner-Broederbond, wat die ANC deesdae werklik of met lippediens steun. Die gewelddadige geskiedenis van die ANC bly onvermeld. Wat die kamerade gedoen het, word eerder geloof en die belhamels word vereer met poste, monumente, straatname en ere-doktorsgrade. Let op hoe soortgelyk ons huidige situasie is aan omstandighede kort na die ABO. “After the war, an indifferent English majority continued to publicly humiliate the destitute Afrikaners, while denying the horrors of the camps. There was a strong tendency among the Afrikaners to stick to their own socially and culturally, although a high level of acrimony characterised political differences between them. The English establishment liked to mock the Afrikaners, often referring to them as being in the ‘laager'” (8326).

Drie of meer dekades na die ABO het ‘n redelik ewewigtige politieke verdeling tussen Sap (Engelsgesind) en Nat (Afrikanergesind) gekristalliseer. Vergelyk dit met die huidige opset waar die twee hoofpartye, die ANC en die DA (oftewel ANC-lite), soortgelyk, bv Afrikaner- en Afrikaansvreemd, is en enige pro-Afrikanergeluid as verregs afgemaak word. Geen goeie woord mag oor bv kolonialisme en apartheid geuiter word nie. Kortom, eintlik mag niks goeds van blankes gesê word nie; ook niks slegs van swartes nie.

Afrikaner-identiteit het na die ABO geleidelik, en vinniger veral na die 1914-Rebellie, begin vorm aanneem. Soos deesdae, Afrikaners “had to speak a foreign language – English – like a conquered race” (8839). Oud-president MT Steyn van die Vrystaat het Cicero na verloop van twee millennia in 1913 soos volg aangehaal: “The language of the conqueror in the mouth of the conquered is the language of slaves” (9125). Die historikus EA Walker skryf: “Far from dooming the national idea, the strain of war and shock of defeat made the Afrikaners a people [volk]. For them these things were a greater spiritual experience than the Great Trek and, almost at once, they began to draw together on a cultural basis, in the Cape Colony first, and then in the North. They challenged Milner’s English education policy … They launched a second language campaign [ná die Eerste Afrikaanse Taalbeweging van die Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners] which was destined to make Afrikaans a literary language so fast that by 1925 it had superseded High Dutch as the other official language of the Union alongside English” (9108). Opperman: “For the Afrikaners, their language became a national and political weapon, a symbol of their survival” (9300). “Language carries much of the emotional memory, heritage and identity of a people. Denying a people their language, is denying who they are” (9361).

“Afrikaans, ‘their’ language, for which they tirelessly fought to be used in schools, became the core around which Afrikaner identity was built. The more correctly (or purely) it was spoken, the better an Afrikaner one was considered to be – by that was mainly meant – don’t use English words” (8349). “The attack on their language, which the British forbade them to speak in schools or elsewhere, ultimately became the core around which they developed their sense of identity and culture as a people” (546). Weens die verregaande beknoeiing van die grondwetlike onderhandelings het baie Afrikaners in die jare negentig hulle selfrespek verloor, asook agting vir hulle moedertaal. ‘n Afrikaans/Engelse mengeltaal het hoog mode geword. Hierdie ongesonde neiging word versterk deur die misleide Afrikaanse Taalraad wat hom doelbewus daarvan weerhou om taalsuiwerheid te bepleit en om opportunisties-politieke redes eerder die mengeltaal Kaaps as Standaardafrikaans bevorder. Opperman noem dat die Grieke, wat na ‘n verblyf van eeue uit Turkye geskop is (1919-1922), hulle taal van alle Turkse woorde gesuiwer het (10030). Waarom nie daadwerklik Standaardafrikaans bevorder en dit so suiwer moontlik van Engelse invloed hou nie? Dit is eintlik ‘n noodsaaklike oorlewingsmeganisme vir Afrikaans.

Baie Afrikaners wat die ABO oorleef het, “were confronted with extreme poverty as a result of the enormous destruction of the scorched-earth policy, the deadly flu epidemic of 1918, the worldwide economic depression (1929 to 1934), and a severe drought in the 1930s [1930-1938 – 8733]. Above all these hardships, English businesses discriminated against Afrikaners, denying them job training or loans to start their own businesses. Homelessness and hunger prevailed, along with daily humiliation inflicted by an unrelenting English press and public” (8559). “Ultimately, it was Milner’s arrogance that strengthened the embittered Afrikaners; Anglo-Saxon cultural, economic and constitutional oppression fed Afrikaner nationalism” (9243).

Na verloop van ‘n eeu is die Groot Trek in 1938 herdenk. “This event served as an important symbol, a psychic container for their [Afrikaners’] fragmented selves, as well as a search for identity … This memory was celebrated, giving birth to a sense of pride to counteract the humiliation suffered since 1795, and the shame and loss of the Anglo-Boer War that had brought them so close to extinction” (8565). “‘n Volk red homself” (8709) is al hoe meer as slagspreuk gebruik en het as motivering en rigsnoer gedien. In die 1930’s het die Carnegie-kommissie die armblanke-verskynsel ondersoek. Meer as 80% van die armblankes was Afrikaners (8724), maar verblydend is bevind dat “intelligence tests conducted on the poor whites indicated that their intelligence was on a par with the rest of the population” (8862). “A staunch Calvinist work ethic would have an enormous impact on the upliftment of the Afrikaner” (8913).Van 1948 af was daar volgens Opperman “affirmative action programmes” ten bate van Afrikaners. Maar daardie programme het verskil van die huidige “regstellende aksieprogramme”: “One difference between the current regime and the Afrikaner regime is that the latter didn’t claim a share of the English and Jewish businesses. They built up their own businesses from scratch” (8933).

Opperman kom onder meer tot hierdie gevolgtrekkings:

“The psychological disposition of Afrikaner survival, as a collective fear, was at the root of the founding of apartheid in 1948” (12465). “Apartheid, after 1948, was primarily a result of the Afrikaners’ umprocessed grief after the Anglo-Boer War as well as the humiliation that followed; this led to a profound fear [despair] for their survival and a need to protect their identity” (12325).
“Apartheid was a humiliating, racist system introduced by whites over a very long period. It was crude racism, whether covert or overt. It deserves all of the vile names it has been called, because it dehumanised people. It robbed them of their dignity. Its intent was clear: white superiority, cheap labour and land in the interest of Afrikaner survival fears and English economic greed” (11181).
“In all but name, the English created apartheid” (12351). Sy haal AJR van Rhijn, ‘n vorige Suid-Afrikaanse hoëkommissaris in Londen, soos volg aan: “We are grateful that the British discovered apartheid for the Afrikaners” (12429). Desnieteenstaande “the myth of English innocence and assumption of English decency persists” (12471). “I have come to abhor and detest the Empire” (12532).

“This book was an attempt to understand what compelled the Afrikaner, a people traumatised by British barbarism, to inflict the legalised racism of apartheid – one of the most disreputable policies in modern history – on their fellow black South Africans” (12458). “Through understanding our own pain, I hope that we Afrikaners can come to a better understanding of what we have in common with black South Africans: the shared experience of many years of humiliation at the hands of others, and a common struggle against this” (12502).

Breyten Breytenbach se versugting is dat “jou bloed … iewers moet bly blom” (12550). Maar ek kan kwalik voorsien dat ‘n bloeityd kan voortvloei uit Afrikaners se samewerking met en onderdanigheid aan swartes. Dit is wensdenkery. Eintlik kies Opperman die maklike mode-opsie: Apartheid was so sleg dat dit sonder meer verdoem moet word en hartlike sameswerking met swartes, wat sy in geen opsig kritiseer nie, is nie net wenslik nie, maar moontlik. Gedeelde vernedering en pyn kan myns insiens nie werklik ‘n effektiewe grondslag vir die saambestaan van Afrikaners en swartes wees nie. Die kulturele verskille tussen blankes en (die meeste) swartes is en bly myns insiens te onoorbrugbaar groot.

Ek aanvaar ook nie Opperman se argument dat Afrikaners weens ongeprosesseerde trauma, dus weens verwondheid van gees, apartheid ingestel het nie. Apartheid was duidelik ‘n voortsetting van die Britse beleid van rassesegregasie. Daardie ongenuanseerde koloniale beleid van rasseskeiding is deur Afrikaners evolusionêr aangepas om dit rasioneel meer sinvol te maak, bv deur die skepping van onafhanklike of selfregerende etniese tuislande. Die rasionaal was die skepping van bv kulturele en ekonomiese ruimte vir elkeen van die groot etniese groepe. Hierdie idee van afsonderlike ontwikkeling (eerder as die gebrekkige uitvoering daarvan weens kieserweerstand en finansiële beperkings) is so voortreflik dat egte Afrikaners steeds na ‘n eie etniese tuisland hunker. Die swartes wil egter nie aan die blankes gun wat die blanke politieke bewind aan hulle gegun het nie.

Opperman se historiese uiteensetting maak dit baie duidelik dat die fundamentele rede vir apartheid blanke selfbehoud was. Die lewensnoodsaaklike mat is mandaatloos onder die blankes uitgetrek toe ingestem is tot ongekwalifiseerde algemene stemreg in ‘n eenheidstaat. Dit het al die plaaslike blankes in die vaarwater van onderdanigheid, as oorwonne mense uitgelewer aan swart mag, laat beland. Die gevolg hiervan sal aanvanklik die vernietiging van die etniese groep, die Afrikanervolk, en mettertyd van die individuele Afrikaners wees – tensy daar spoedig ‘n kentering kom, geïnspireer deur bv die historiese leuse: ‘n Volk red homself.

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