Volkstaat (Afrikaans for "People's state") is a proposal for the establishment of a homeland for Afrikaners. Outside a possible use of force, the South African Constitution and International Legislation present certain possibilities for the establishment of such a state. The South African regime declared that they would not support a Volkstaat, but "would do everything they could to ensure the protection of the Afrikaner language and culture". What a fine job they are doing.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Interview with Freedom Front

Interview With Freedom Front General-Secretary Col. Piet Uys

David Storobin, Esq. - 5/24/2005

In late 1992, South Africa's Conservative Party, together with other white right wing organizations and three Black Homeland leaders (Mangosuthu Buthelezi of KwaZulu, Lucas Mangope of Bophuthatswana and Oupa Gqozo of Ciskei) founded COSAG, the Concerned South African Group, which promoted the idea of a confederacy on ethnic/tribal basis. In May of the following year, CP and 20 other organizations organized the AVF, Afrikaner People's Front, which merged together with COSAG in July 1993 under the name Freedom Alliance. [Afrikaners are South Africans who lived in the country for several hundred years, and were originally of Dutch, German, French and other West European descent, but have since developed into their own separate ethnic group.]

The head of AVF was General Constand Viljoen, the former leader of the South African Defense Force. Several dozen other generals joined the organization. Within months, the AVF claimed the support of 100,000 out of 150,000 South African commandos, as well as much of the police, while the army remained on the side of the then-governing National Party.

As rumors of Civil War spread, the AVF began preparing for a potential military conflict, in part to protect themselves and in part to achieve Afrikaner sovereignty on at least part of South African land (probably Transvaal and Orange Free State).

Shortly before RSA's first non-racial elections, the government of the Bophuthatswana asked for help from the AVF, but along with Gen. Viljoen's force, extremists from the AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) showed up and began firing on what were supposed to be the Whites' allies among Blacks. Since its founding in the early 1970's, AWB repeatedly was charged with being covert instigators and saboteurs for the then-governing National Party against conservative opposition, created by the NP to embarass the right wing.

As a result of AWB actions, cooperation between Black homeland leaders and conservative Afrikaners was scaled down. As a result, Gen. Viljoen decided not to engage in any resistance, instead choosing to participate in the political process under the new party banner Freedom Front (www.vryheidsfront.co.za/index.asp?l=e). As part of FF's negotiations with the ANC, a clause regarding negotiations on Afrikaner self-determination became part of the RSA's Constitution and government-sponsored Volkstaat Council was formed discuss the idea. It was disbanded in 1999, with no response to any of the Council's recommendations.

The Conservative Party - and other right wingers, including the Reformed National Party (splinter group from the governing NP) - at the time condemned FF's decision to join the political process. In 2003, however, the CP joined Freedom Front and they are now operating under the name Freedom Front Plus.

FF+ currently has 4 seats out of 400 in the South African parliament. In 1999, it had 3 seats and in 1994 it had 9 seats. In 2001, Gen. Viljoen retired and was replaced by Pieter Mulder as the head of FF+.

Today, we are interviewing Col. Piet Uys, the Secretary-General of Freedom Front since 1994, on the current goals and actions of the Freedom Front Plus. Prior to joining the FF, he served in the South African Army for 26 years, retiring with the rank of Colonel.

Q: What is FF+ doing currently to achieve independence or autonomy for Afrikaners?

A: Firstly, we are building the party in terms of organisation and members. The party is slowly becoming the only party in the country, and the world, who speaks on behalf of all the Afrikaners in the world. Our experience has shown that the present government reacts to pressure, and only the strong can exert pressure. We, therefore, participate in every municipal election where we have support, to enable our supporters to cast their votes in our favour. We have seen a steady indicator of growing support.

Secondly, we propagate minority rights and self-determination for all cultural groups as a prerequisite for a prosperous and happy country. This we do, not only for the Afrikaner people, but for al those other ethnic and cultural groups in the country who are starting to feel marginalised or threatened by the majority in the country.

We claim all the rights provided for in the United Nation's 1992 Declaration of the Rights of Minorities.

During the negotiation phase between the previous government and the ANC, in 1992/93, the Afrikaner people managed to arrange an Accord amongst the ANC, the National Party (then the governing party), and the Freedom Front. It was signed on 23 April 1993, and it still stands! This Accord, amongst others, makes provision for a territorial component in the self-determination we seek.

Following this Accord, the party will soon commence talks with the Thabo Mbeki administration, in order to remind them of the contents of the Accord, and that we want the governments answers on these issues.

Q: Would you be satisfied with autonomy in the short-term?

A: We will be satisfied with a system of autonomy that provides for the following :

1. Free and open access to employment - at the moment we suffer under the regulations of Affirmative Action, which effectively prevent young Whites from entering the jobs-market.

2. Control and management of our own Department of Education, and access for our childern to schools teaching in our own language.

3. The preservation of at least two universities where teaching in our language will be allowed.

4. The guarantee that the principle of the rights to private property will be safe.

5. The ability to train, at the university, Afrikaans speaking teachers, who will not only study in our language, but who will also be able to teach that language as a subject.

6. The freedom to run our own local affairs via our own municipalities, where Afrikaners are concentrated in significant numbers. (We have lost all our municipalities, except one - Orania.)

7. The freedom to establish our own Afrikaner Council, who will be our own Representative Body.

8. The freedom to arrange our own cultural affairs, like own TV, own Radio, etc.

Q: Would the ANC potentially agree to autonomy?

A: Yes, if it is to their benefit. They will be surprised at the large amount of goodwill that will be generated when Afrikaners regain autonomy!

Q: The idea of Afrikaner self-determination has been attacked as racist and unfair to Blacks. Is FF+ respected in the RSA or is it considered a marginal, extremist organization?

A: The Freedsom Front Plus is well respected in the country because we honestly state our case. Many do not agree with us, but still respect us because they know where they stand with us. We believe in the rights of minorities and in self-determination, not only for the Afrikaners, bur for all the groups in the country.

Q: Following the demise of the National Party (joined the ANC) and the Conservative Party (joined the FF), which were the two primary parties in the RSA during the era of apartheid, the Democratic Alliance became the largest predominantly-white party. However, unlikely the FF, it is mostly aligned with Anglos, Jews and other English-speakers, not Afrikaners. What is their position on Afrikaner self-determination?

A: The DA is openly against group rights, and will never support Afrikaner independence, but they might agree to some other form of Afrikaner self-detemination.

Q: What about other parties?

A: Your question is complicated, but I should mention the following:

1. The National Party has died, and they were fierce opponents of our ideas.

2. The Conservative Party has joined the Freedom Front.

3. Our strength regarding supporters has grown - we are literally the only party in the world fighting for the rights of Afrikaners .

4. For what it is worth, we still have a written Accord with the ANC, which makes provision for self-determination; they still owe us an answer.

Q: Are you optimistic about gaining independence for Afrikaners in part of South Africa?

A: If you ask whether we are optimistic abour the future, I must confess that we can see the hand of experienced Communists in everything the government does. And that is a problem.

Q: When it became clear that Afrikaners will no longer be able to govern the RSA and Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) will likely take over reigns of the country, a group of Afrikaners bought an abandoned, remote village of Orania and ever since have tried to create an Afrikaner-only autonomy, refusing to hire others, namely Blacks, to do their labor, and even issuing their own money. What is the FF+ view of Orania and do you cooperate with their leadership?

A: The Freedom Front has a direct interest in the success of Orania, and also assists their information "desk" with a small financial contribution. Orania has growed considerably over the past 10 years, and has also increased in size. The secret of its success lies not only in money, but also in sustainable projects, and in the principle of Afrikaners doing their own labour, whether it be highly skilled scientific work, or manual labour! Never again must we rely on another ethnic group to do our work! You are invited to visit their website at www.orania.co.za

Q: There have been claims that the AWB was set up a provocateur organization by the NP and the RSA intelligence to discredit the Afrikaner right as neo-Nazis. AWB has been plagued with terrible leadership, constant scandals, over-the-top statements and actions, and most of all, has a Nazi-like symbol. Do you know if they are indeed a provocateur organization?

A: We always heard rumours that the AWB was a Security Police set-up. The organisation surely had agents of the Security Services inside, but this is a normal thing for a government to do. But will they ever admit that openly, especially at this late stage? I think not. As long as we do not have any proof, these charges remain mere rumours.

The AWB is a spent force. After 1994, and especially after their leader, Mr. Eugene Terre Blanche was jailed for assaulting a black petrol pump attendant, the movement fell apart. Mr. Terre Blanche is now out of jail on parole, and has very strict rules that he has to adhere to. We do not liaise with the AWB at all, as they simply do not exist anymore. The subject AWB is actually dead in this country.

Q: There have been recent reports about the Freedom Front working to free prisoners jailed for political and/or resistance/terrorist activity.

A: Unfortunately, at this very moment, there still are several men in jail who were imprisoned because of actions they took before 1994, and even after 1994, that were regarded as terrorism. (We know of 18 still in jail).

We are trying our best to have them released with amnesty, in accordance with the whole process of reconciliation. Not only do we want the ex-AWB members released, but also those members of the PAC (DS: PAC is the Pan African Congress that broke away from the ANC in 1959) and even ANC who are still left in jail.

On May 5, 2005, the Citizen newspaper in South Africa had a report called "Escape hatch for struggle villains", which referred to the situation. This report gave us some hope that the government is working on on a way to resolve the problem. But until we see them walk free, they remain in jail.

Meanwhile, the top leadership of the ANC has received blanket amnesty, without even appearing in court!

Q: What has Freedom Front done about the recommendations of the Volkstaat Council that have been ignored by the ANC?

A: They [ANC] still have not yet given any answer! We are still waiting for a response. The FF+ will follow this matter up - we cannot allow them to spend all that money, with no clear answer at all.

David Storobin is a New York lawyer who received Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law. His Master's Thesis (M.A. - Comparative Politics) deals with the historical causes for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. He is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Ibn Khaldun Center for International Research (www.centroik.ufm.edu.gt) at the University of Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala. He's been interviewed on radio and cited in books as a political expert.



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