Orania stays out of the way as Verwoerd’s grandson expects SA to drift further apart

In South Africa’s last Afrikaner-only town of Orania, local leaders warn that Wednesday’s general election could hasten what they see as the country’s inevitable drift apart.

The white separatist town, founded by members of the protestant Afrikaans-speaking minority as an enclave within post-apartheid South Africa, has kept itself to itself during the campaign.

Orania still not interested in assimilating into new South Africa

The 2,800-strong community is a dot on the map in a majority black nation of almost 60 million.

But Orania symbolises the determination of some rural Afrikaners to go their own way – an attitude that their leaders say could be strengthened if this week’s vote sees radical left parties enter government.

Wynand Boshoff, an MP and leader of the Afrikaner FF Plus party in Northern Cape, told AFP that the development of parallel Afrikaner structures could be seen as a “pre-emptive response” to what he sees as the marginalisation of his community.

“I think a process which is busy happening at the moment already is that Afrikaners are becoming all the more self-reliant,” he said, describing how white communities are trying to develop their own services, such as electricity.

orania stays out of the way as verwoerd’s grandson expects sa to drift further apart

Provincial leader of the Freedom Front Plus in the Northern Cape, Wynand Boshoff, poses for a portrait at his home in Orania, on 27 May 2024. Image: Marco Longari/AFP

According to opinion polls, the African National Congress (ANC) is on course to lose its absolute majority for the first time since the advent of post-apartheid democracy.

If this happens, the ANC may be obliged to form alliances with leftist firebrand Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) or former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK).

Malema has, in the past, pushed a hard line on redistributing white-owned land and Zuma’s speeches have focused on black economic empowerment and on denouncing European colonialism.

The centre-right opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has dubbed a possible tie-up between the ANC, EFF and MK a “Doomsday Coalition”, predicting chaos and corruption.

Separate future?

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC insists it is on course for a solo victory without EFF support and accuses the DA, led by white politician John Steenhuisen, of wanting to turn the clock back to the days of apartheid.

But this political ferment has failed to stir up Orania, whose white residents are more than ever convinced that their future is separate from the rest of the nation.

“And I actually expect it not to survive anyhow, because South Africa is an artificial union of quite divergent areas and populations,” Boshoff said.

In 1991, when apartheid was in its death throes, Afrikaners — descendants of 17th-century Dutch colonisers — bought up 8,000 hectares (19,000 acres) of land on the banks of the Orange River.

The privately-owned town has an autonomous status within Northern Cape province and has thrived — its population is now around 2,800 people, with new arrivals needing approval from the town.

This has led to accusations of racism.

Boshoff, the 53-year-old grandson of the assassinated apartheid-era prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd, says the town does not expect South Africa to “explode” but to drift apart.

Nevertheless, he warned that the election to fill the Cape Town parliament — 870 kilometres (540 miles) from Orania — could remind Afrikaners of the end of apartheid.

“It’s as if people don’t realise we lost the country 30 years ago. But if the EFF or MK becomes part of the government, then suddenly they will realise we lost it,” Boshoff said.

© Agence France-Presse

OTHER NEWS

17 minutes ago

Xavi Simons to Barcelona: Lionel Messi was right! Why dream move would be a disaster

17 minutes ago

Manchester United's Ratcliffe Warns Premier League on Spending Rules

17 minutes ago

Angler breaks ‘unbeatable’ 46-year record with Britain’s biggest freshwater eel

17 minutes ago

Leeds Rhinos legend Barrie McDermott names ‘best man’ to replace Rohan Smith

17 minutes ago

Are Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu playing at Wimbledon this year?

19 minutes ago

Rookie Petar Musa's first career hat trick sparks FC Dallas' victory over Minnesota United

19 minutes ago

Top active NBA players who have never won a championship

20 minutes ago

Blackhawks sign Cole Guttman to 1-year contract extension

20 minutes ago

‘Government of selective unity’: Gift of the Givers founder on GNU

20 minutes ago

Experts slam 'alarmist' study that claims mothers who were stress out during the Covid pandemic had 'stunted' babies with smaller brains

20 minutes ago

Browns player arrested on drunk-driving charge after allegedly crashing his SUV into a Florida RESTAURANT

20 minutes ago

Video: Nathan Wade opens up about having sex with Fani Willis in cringeworthy interview with Marlon Wayans: 'She rub your foot?'

20 minutes ago

Video: Lottie Moss flouts Royal Ascot's strict dress code as she puts on a very busty display in a plunging strapless dress in the Royal Enclosure

20 minutes ago

Video: Roger Stone is caught on tape revealing how he plans to challenge the election results if Trump loses in 2024 in secretly recorded audio

20 minutes ago

Video: 'If you have my son, let him go': Jay Slater's mother breaks down in tears as she pleads for her 'little baby' to come home after going missing in Tenerife four days ago

20 minutes ago

Video: 'Dangerous' thug, 21, armed with 12-inch 'Rambo' knife in his Range Rover led police on thrilling foot chase in the City of London before he was Tasered

20 minutes ago

Video: Lake Merritt shooting: Multiple people gunned down during Juneteenth celebrations in Oakland

20 minutes ago

Video: Baby Reindeer 'stalker' Fiona Harvey is 'afraid to buy groceries' and is 'being harassed' by fans of the Netflix show

20 minutes ago

Video: Moment California Democrat WEEPS when Latina Republican tells him why slavery reparations are doomed

20 minutes ago

Video: Rosamund Pike confirms her status as a Swiftie as she dances in the crowd at Taylor Swift's Cardiff show

20 minutes ago

25% of B.C. renters spend half of income on housing: report

20 minutes ago

Red flags that suggest a job posting doesn't offer a ‘competitive salary' as it claims, recruiters say

24 minutes ago

5 Major League Soccer players taking center stage at Copa America 2024

25 minutes ago

Make like Ayo Edebiri and add a waistcoat to your summer style wish list

25 minutes ago

Gilead’s twice-yearly shot to prevent HIV succeeds in late-stage trial

25 minutes ago

How to watch Slovenia vs Serbia for FREE: TV channel and live stream for Euro 2024 game today

25 minutes ago

France players involved in bizarre mid-tournament friendly ahead of Euro 2024 clash with the Netherlands... as one star nets a hat-trick during dominant 7-0 victory

25 minutes ago

Dallas could have the best, or worst, NFC East LB corps

25 minutes ago

US supreme court upholds Trump-era tax rule on foreign income – live

25 minutes ago

Why KZN Awards removed late actor Mpho Sebeng's nomination

25 minutes ago

Help stop classic cars being wrongly registered with the DVLA

25 minutes ago

Italian firm DR fined €6 million for misrepresenting Chinese cars

26 minutes ago

Nikko Remigio’s chances of climbing the depth chart in training camp

26 minutes ago

'Trade Is One for One': Unofficial Kickoff to the NHL's Summer Frenzy Brings Flashbacks of 2016

26 minutes ago

Teams with the fewest players in Pete Prisco's Top 100 list for 2024: Commanders, Colts get shut out

26 minutes ago

Five college football wide receivers primed for breakout seasons in 2024

30 minutes ago

Manhunt for fugitive suspected of 'multiple homicides' in Oklahoma leads to Arkansas

32 minutes ago

Video: Scottie Scheffler is joined by his wife Meredith and newborn son as he arrives at Travelers Championship... a month on from PGA arrest drama

32 minutes ago

Video: Singer Kacy Hill reveals the six-month ordeal she endured in a bid to break away from Kanye West's GOOD Music label

32 minutes ago

Alvaro Morata to have 2+ shots on target and Alessandro Bastoni to commit 2+ fouls priced at 7/1 - as Spain and reigning champions Italy meet in a Group B blockbuster