Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) is a right radical movement of the Boers in South Africa. Eugène Terre'Blanche founded this organization in 1973. The goal of this paper is to investigate this organization. To achieve this goal, the paper has been organized into several sections, in which the segregation policy (apartheid) in South Africa as a prerequisite for AWB, the history and the aim of AWB, program provisions of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging and its short characteristics, symbolics, farther development of AWB, end of apartheid, Eugene Terre'Blanche as a leader of AWB will be explored.
AWB proclaimed principles of Christian nationalism, anti-capitalism, anti-globalization, sought the division of South Africa according to ethno-racial grounds and establishment of independent Boerestaat (Boer State) following the example of pre-existing states of the OFS and Transvaal.
The policy of apartheid, which was the prerequisite for its development, also should be described.
The segregation policy (apartheid) in South Africa as a prerequisite for AWB
Group Areas Act was accepted in 1950. It separated 10 Bantustans in South Africa, which coincided with the historical centers of living of autochthonous people. It laid the legal basis for apartheid.
The National Party came to the election in 1948 already with a well developed doctrine of apartheid, or separate development. This doctrine was developed in Stellenbosch University in 1943 and provided a rigid racial segregation. So, all the essential elements of white domination and physical segregation had already existed, when in May 1948 the United Party lost the elections and Boer nationalists got the power. All nationalist governments (D. F. Malan (1948-1954), I.G. Streydoma (1954-1958), X. F. Verwoerd (1958 - 1966), B. Vorster (1966-1978) and P. Boty (1978)) carried out a segregation policy (apartheid).
Nine racial laws were approved from 1949 to 1953 in South Africa. Mixed marriages, coeducation of black and white people in schools and in higher education institutions were banned. The right to strike was denied for black men, mulattoes and even octoroons. They were ordered to live in a special ghetto, surrounding large cities, which were provided exclusively for white population. African population could appear in such cities only with written permission from employers, and only during business hours. The appointment of an ideologue H. F. Verwoerd on the position of Minister of Native Affairs in 1950 forced a new special phase. He was an intellectual and a professor of social psychology in Stellenbosch. He was born in Holland and got his education in Germany. He gave a new order for the whole system, especially after the moment he became prime minister. His Bantu Education Act of 1954 imposed government controls on all African schools, subdued mission, introduced segregated curriculum and the educational system, specifically designed for the preparation of the Bantu-speaking to their place in society. The systematic creation of segregated regions for living ("Bantustans") had begun. Segregation has penetrated every area of life, including sports, culture, and religious services. In 1959 the government also had successfully segregated high education.
The main plan of the apartheid was explained in the Tomlinson's report of 1956. It was probably the most detailed description and justification of large-scale social engineering which has ever been held. It argued that "the dominant fact of the South African situation" was "the absence of any hint that would cause us to believe that the European population will want to forego its own character of national identity and European racial group." Then it was said that the country should be executed in accordance with this factor.
Reasons were the following: the number of black population is five times greater than that of white, in the case of racial mixing the extinction of the white race would happen. In addition, proponents of apartheid claimed that blacks are not accustomed to a civilization. Without strict guards they can kill each other. As evidence they cited bloody clashes between the "IFP" (Inkatha Freedom Party, Zulu political organization) and the ANC. Mass struggle against apartheid was led by the African National Congress.
After coming of the Nationalist Party to power, special Commission for Social and Economic Development of the Bantu justified the need for new administrative units – “bantustans”, or national Bantu homelands. Bantustanization was the most important part of apartheid. According this point, South Africa was divided into “black” and “white” territories. In 1951, a law was approved “About Bantu Authorities” and in 1959 the law “About the development of Bantu Self-Government”, according of which Africaners were limited in political rights. In the white areas (87% of the country) the Africaners were deprived of many civil rights and actually had the status of foreigners. Instead, they had been promised “full political freedom” in the Bantustans created by the authorities on the basis of pre-existing reservations. Later, according to the law “About citizenship of homelands” all Africans in South Africa, regardless of their place of residence were assigned to one of the 10 bantustans, each of which has been declared a “national home” of any African nation. According the apartheid policy in these formations, black populations live according to their ancestral traditions. They were offered to have complete self-government and then independence. The ultimate goal of this program was to create a group of states of South (one "white" and 10 "black" states). Bantustan area occupied 13% of South Africa, which was inhabited by 47% of Africans.
UN officially condemned apartheid and imposed sanctions against South Africa. In 1961, the country was expelled from the fellowship of the UK and its former colonies. In 1961, the Republic of South Africa was proclaimed (April 21) and a new constitution was accepted. The government of the ruling Nationalist Party carried out a law reform. Political parties, including the South African Communist Party and the ANC were legalized. But on the election in 1961, racial segregation got its ultimate expression in a variety of laws: the Law "About the resettlement according racial groups" (1950), the Law "About bantu education" (1953), the Law "On arbitration in Industry" (1956) etcetera.
While the negotiations took place that led to first free multiracial elections in South Africa, AWB threatened war. During the Battle of Fentersdorp in August 1991, AWB fought against police near the Town Hall. At that moment, President was delivering a speech at the Town Hall. Many people were killed or wounded. Later AWB militants had clashes in World Trade Centre where the talks in Kempton Park. They broke the glass of frontage by an armored vehicle.
The history and the aim of AWB
AWB was created in 1973 in Heidelberg (on July 7) in the Transvaal. Terre'Blansh, a former police officer, was disappointed in the "liberal ideas" of Prime Minister Vorster. He realized that those ideas carried communist influence on South African society. Terre'Blansh decided to create the AWB with six supporters, and he was chosen a leader of this organization. He held this position until death.
The purpose of the organization was the formation of an independent Boer state (Boerestaat) - state for Boers (Afrikaner people), which would be separated from South Africa. The organization wanted to set back the independent Boer republics - the Republic of Transvaal and Free State Orange. AWB wanted also to regain territory which was lost after the Second Anglo-Boer War.
Program provisions of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging and short characteristics
Program provisions are based on the racist concepts and focused against the formation of a new political order and non-racial society. Declared objective is the creation of public formation (including through armed struggle) on the territory of South Africa. According several attributes AWB can be described as neo-Nazi movement. Eugene Terre'Blansh was the political leader of the organization (he was sentenced to prison in 2000). Tiny Gryuyvagen was the commander of the military forces. The size of the military structures is unknown.
The main part of the militants was formed from the former members of South Africa and Rhodesia Sun with combat experience in Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Angola. Organizational structure contained up to 300 teams of commandos. Each of them consists of 3 - 5 people. Groups have full autonomy in operational planning, intelligence support, and logistic support.
The organization had significant mobilization capabilities (up to 2000 people in every large city). Arms material of AWB consisted of automatic small arms, vehicles (including all terrain vehicles), and communication. AWB used dual-channel radio system SA MARNET, which was created on the farms of white community in rural areas. Mainly the big cities were operating areas.
The highest activity was fixed in the provinces of the Transvaal, Orange areas, less significant activity was fixed in the East, North West Cape, Natal. Operational parameters can be characterized by terrorist attacks, using explosives, and incendiary bottles.
During December 1993 - March 1994 (in the pre-election period) 40 acts of sabotage were provided against the following categories of facilities: airports, electrical, rail facilities, institutions of African National Congress party and the trade unions, municipalities. 21 people were killed. Current operational activity of the organization is not tracked. Financing was performed by donations of friendly business organizations of white community, owners of companies, cafes and supermarkets. Internal communication was made from sympathetic police services, members of the army, and intelligence services. The right-wing organizations were Afrikaner People's Front, the Afrikaner Freedom Front, and the Afrikaner student federation. The AWB movement helped Inkata Freedom Party in training of militants. External contacts included International Forum of freedom. Controlled Mass Media are radio stations “Radio Pretoria” and “Radio Freihaid” Internet site is www.lantic.co.za / awb.
Describing the AWB we should also describe its symbolic.
AWB launched the Voedingskema in the middle of 1980s, (which was aimed as food program), to help the poorest families of Afrikaners. Some farmers donated vegetables almost weekly. Only in the last three months of 1986 there 300 tons of donated food was supplied. AWB supplied daily food for 14,000 poor children in Pretoria. Members AWB (who owned mines and farms) organized jobs for unemployed Afrikaners in mines and on farms.
Symbolics of AWB
Resistance movement uses mostly swastika red flag, emblem with a white eagle, holding a red circle in its claws. Three “sevens” are located within this circle, which is similar to the figures on the flag. The flag and the emblem are reminiscent of the state attributes of Nazi Germany, although officially they have a different explanation. In particular, the presence of an eagle is explained by protection of "our Lord Jesus Christ" and using a symbolism of the eagle by Christians for many years. Three sevens is a biblical symbol, signifying a final victory over the Antichrist, using “three sixes”. The presence of the circle on the flag symbolizes progress and eternal life, and the red color represents the blood of Jesus Christ, and the blood of Christians, and in particular, the blood of Boers shed for freedom. White color symbolizes "purity of their ideals”, black color symbolizes courage.
Eugene Terre'Blanche as a leader of AWB
Supporter of racial segregation policy in the spirit of the murdered in 1966 South African Prime Minister Verwoerd, Terre'Blanche sharply fought against the dismantling of apartheid (though he considered it a departure from the hard-line ideas of Verwoerd). He assumed that the regime of the Nationalist Party, led by President Peter Willem Botha and de Klerk, gave the country protection from international communism, liberalism, Zionism and black racism. He warned of a bloody race (civil) war in case of the coming to power of Nelson Mandela (with African National Congress), who was infiltrated, according the opinion of the AWB, by Marxists and terrorists.
Eugene Terre'Blanche was a talented orator and a great organizer, reliable and uncompromising ally. His ideas managed to inspire the people of Africa to long struggle for their rights. The leader of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging was not only one of the most famous and bright figures of the Christian-nationalist forces throughout the world. With a strong, rich timbre and tone of voice, charisma and unquestionable artistic talent, Terre'Blanche is an outstanding speaker and reciter.
For many years during rallies and demonstrations, he collected a much larger audience than any leader of the white community in South Africa.
Terblansh was born on January 31, 1944 in the town of Ventersdorp. He was brought up in the spirit of nationalism and racial pride. After school for compulsory service in the military forces, he joined the South African Police. As a volunteer, he wanted to go to the hot spot (South West Africa or Namibia), where he would be able to complete dangerous and responsible missions (mostly in the border patrol). During the service, he was assigned to a group of young policemen, specially selected from 20,000 candidates for personal security of the Head of State and Government of South Africa, Vorster. However, liberal views and policy of Forster extremely disappointed Eugene Terre'Blanche. He retired and got actively involved in political activities. However, he soon decided to establish a true nationalist, uncompromising, militant and radical movement to fight for the rights and freedoms of the Boers against the power of political parties and the British colonialism.
On July 7, 1973, seven friends and associates with Eugene Terre'Blanche proclaimed the establishment of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging.
At the beginning AWB consisted of only seven people, then at the peak of its evolution during the apartheid era it included over 70,000 Boer patriots (both men and women). However, the white government did not take into account the pieces of advice and gave the priority to African National Congress.
“My people will not kneel before the regime, which allowed to kill more people in peacetime than in all wars. But we will never escape. This place is the land of the Boers. God brought our ancestors here”, said Terre'Blanche.
“Our ancestors had a hard life”, he said. “They fought to give us own country”.
Terre'Blanche took part in all received international attention promotions of AWB:
- People’s Court of left-liberal professor Floors Van Yaaarsveld on March 28, 1979 with the tar and feathers;
- mass demonstration against the visit of President F. De Klerk to Ventersdorp in 1991;
- attack of the World Trade Center in Kempton Park during the "treacherous negotiations" between the authorities and the opposition on June 25, 1993;
- armed raid on the Bophuthatswana bantustan etcetera.
In 2000, criminal case was fabricated against Eugene Terre'Blanche. He was accused of murder of 2 black men. He was released in 2004.
Almost immediately Terre'Blanche began to organize groups for self-defense of white citizens from attacks of the black members of ethnic groups. AWB team-mates established a network of groups for self-defense, which may be partially or fully mobilized via SMS alerts, if any of the white farmers needs help.
“Everyone in this country has the right to defend himself, if he or she is under attack,” said Terre'Blanche.
In March 2008, the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging was revived. “The conditions in the country demanded AWB. White men in our country should understand that salvation is in the local government in the areas left by the ancestors,” said Terre'Blanche. Eugene encouraged all white people to fight for their right to self-determination.
He was killed on April 3, 2010 at his farm in Villan. 69-year-old citizen was beaten by two African workers. He was beaten by wooden club "nobkierri" and machetes during his sleep. According to members of AWB, his murder was provoked by public performance of the song "Kill the Boer". Court in South Africa sentenced Chris Mahlanga to life imprisonment.
Today, many South Africans say that due to the AWB and such team-mates as Teriblansh they have hope, and they will continue his work to defend decent future for white humanity.
Farther development of AWB
In the 70-80-ies AWB grew to several thousands of white South Africans. During the 90's they opposed to changes of laws of apartheid, doing obstacles against liberal policies and providing crowded political rallies and demonstrations. Terre'Blanche skillfully used his extraordinary oratorical skills and strong character to gain new followers. He opposed to the repeal of many laws that weakened the apartheid regime, such as: the law that prohibits intimate relations between black and white population and interracial marriages, laws limiting political rights of Indians and the colored. At a time when it was declared a state of emergency (1984-1986) many reports of violence from AWB about unarmed non-white population were received. AWB was especially intolerant against African National Congress (ANC was banned at that time). The ruling National Party considered AWB as more than a marginal group, but it has not officially decided whether the organization can operate unhampered. After all, white police officers in 1986 took an unprecedented step. They used tear gas against Terre'Blanche and his followers when they broke the action of the National Party. In 1988, the organization, according to various estimates, had the support of 5 to 7% of the white population of South Africa.