CP tends to support secessionist movements in the West. Maybe we think of it as a natural extension of healthy localism/nationalism. But it isn't just about Catalonia, Flanders and Padania. That the 3 million Afrikaner should have their own homeland seems self evident. We recently interviewed Jan Cornelis who is one of the European representatives of the Orania Movement - a movement to build a viable and stable homeland for the Afrikaner similar to the ethnic enclaves of the countries of Lesotho and Swaziland.
This is the second part of a two part interview with Jan Menger of the Orania Movement.
CP: Are there other towns like Orania in South Africa?
JCM: There are three well-known places in South Africa where Afrikaner farmers or ‘Boers’ have been trying to combine their forces and build regions that are only for Afrikaners - Orania, Balmoral and Kleinfontein. This is understandable. Since the ANC took power in South Africa and apartheid ended, many Afrikaners don’t know what to do. Some of them had very good jobs and are now working on plantations or don’t have a job at all. Land has been taken from whites over the past years and given to blacks in South Africa. Sometimes the people who are given the land don’t even know what to do with it.
Balmoral is a small town in the Mpumalanga province. There are significant differences between Balmoral and the other Afrikaner communities. One of them is that non-South African politicians did a lot to help Balmoral grow, both physically and with its administration. This is something you will not see if in Orania or Kleinfontein, because those towns want things to be done only by Afrikaners.
Kleinfontein, Afrikaans for “Small Fountain,” is a settlement near Pretoria. It was founded by Afrikaners in 1992 as a cultural settlement. The Afrikaners who founded it are descendants of the Voortrekkers, or Boers, who seek self-determination in an autonomous state for Afrikaners. This settlement is more like Orania, but still there are differences.
The criteria for living in Kleinfontein are based on cultural, linguistic, traditional and religious beliefs. This is almost the same as for Orania, but I think Orania does not make an issue of religion. In contrast to Kleinfontein, in Orania you can believe what you want, as long as you define yourself as an Afrikaner. Kleinfontein goes a bit further; its people associate themselves with the Voortrekker history, the Blood River Covenant and other historical facts relating to the Afrikaner struggle for independence.CP: What is the Orania Movement's connection to Europe?
JCM: Many of the people who follow my organization aren’t from my country, the Netherlands. Outside of South Africa, people who find my organization interesting and want to be a part of it tend to come from Belgium or eastern Europe. They come from the countries with a greater sense of patriotism and nationalism.
For example, in Belgium you have Flanders and Wallonia. In Flanders the people mainly speak Dutch, but they live in a country where they feel the need to protect their language, because there is another part of the country, Wallonia, where people speak French. This gives the people in Flanders a much greater sense of pride towards their language than the Dutch in the Netherlands, which lends a better understanding for the work of organizations like AfrikanerHart and the Orania Movement Europe. I think this is why I feel more supported and understood in Flanders and other countries than here in the Netherlands. In my own country, AfrikanerHart and Orania Movement Europe are often depicted as right-wing movements or even dangerous and racist.
In the Netherlands, the PVV (Party for Freedom) is sometimes considered a right-wing party. The head of this party is well known, Geert Wilders. Martin Bosma, one of the important members of the party and a member of parliament, has given much attention to the deplorable situation for Afrikaners in South Africa.
In 2015, Bosma wrote a book about the situation titled Minderheid in Eigen Land—“A Minority in Their Own Country.” In it he compares the emerging danger of migration to Europe with the South African experience, and predicts that Europeans could get in the same situation as Afrikaners today if they do not pay attention to migration.
At his book launch, to which I was invited, Bosma said, “Apartheid was a terrible time in history for many people, but nobody deserves this after building up a country.” His point: the Afrikaners built South Africa, and the ANC don't really appreciate that. If migrants take over the Netherlands or even Europe, they will thank us for all our good works the same way the ANC does.
In Flanders, you have a party with the name of Vlaams Belang. This party occasionally brings attention to the situation of Afrikaners in the parliament and they compare, as Martin Bosma does, the imminent danger in Europe with what happened to the Afrikaners in South Africa. I feel great support from the PVV and Vlaams Belang.CP: What do you see for the future? JCM: A different time is coming. People are dissatisfied today and they dare to express it. A great example is the people of Great Britain voting to leave the European Union. Another example is Hungary closing its border with Croatia to stop the flow of migrants. Donald Trump has been chosen by the people of America to be their 45th President. In my country, Geert Wilders is currently very high in the polls.
People are choosing for themselves. The Americans chose for themselves, Hungary chose for itself, and I hope that the Netherlands will do the same in the upcoming elections. In that regard, I see a bright future for Orania Movement Europe and AfrikanerHart. I think political correctness will be rejected more and more, and people will no longer be afraid to sympathize with our ideas.
As countries become more concerned with their heritage and their future, the history of countries will become more important. South Africa is an important part of the history of the Netherlands, and I hope that the awareness of the situation of Afrikaners today will be important in its political agenda. With political change in Europe, Orania Movement Europe’s work will become easier and we will be able to work ever better with politicians.
CP: Thank you for your time and words, Jan. We wish you great success.
JCM: You're welcome. And thank you.
Jan Cornelis Menger is founder of founder of AfrikanerHart and co-founder of Orania Movement Europe. You can find out more about his work at AfrikanerHart and Orania Movement Europe.