Posted on May 2, 2024

White South Africans Face Crime and Torture but Still Believe the US and Europe Face a Darker Future, Says Solidarity Movement’s Ernst Roets

John Cody, Remix, May 2, 2024

What is the current situation in South Africa?

We have some serious problems in South Africa. You can categorize them into two, maybe three categories. One is the government itself failing on every conceivable level. We are talking about crime, economics, service, delivery, infrastructure — everything.

The second is the threat that we see through the media and universities and so forth, which is promoting wokeness and leftist ideology that is taught to students and people, who are being indoctrinated.

And then the third issue is what is resulting from these two trends: lawlessness and crime. The murder rate in South Africa is more than 40 people per 100,000 per year—the farm murders, we have gang-related violence. So, just general lawlessness is becoming a big problem.

So the big story that often comes out of South Africa is the targeting of the farmers. What a lot of critics argue is that these farmers aren’t being targeted because they’re White, they’re being targeted because they’re wealthy. What would you say to this claim?

Well, that is one part of a bigger-picture answer or explanation. Yes, farmers are employers.
They have money and there’s this perception that if you kill a farmer, you will find cash in the safe or something. And unfortunately, in some cases, that is true that some farmers do work with cash and the robbers get that. But that is a very oversimplified, one-dimensional explanation that doesn’t speak to the rest of the realities of South Africa, which includes that many of these farmers are being tortured for hours.

So, if you are just there to get money, you go in, you kill the farmer, and you take the stuff, and you leave. But that’s not what is happening on these farms.

You find that these farmers are being tied up in some of these attacks. The attackers chant political slogans. In some of these cases, they would write political slogans on the wall, like, “Kill the Boer.” In one extreme case, they even wrote, “Kill the Boer” with the blood of the victims on the wall.

And then they would torture them for hours in many of these cases with different methods, strangulation, dismemberment, cutting off body parts and so forth. In some cases, gouging out their eyes, cutting out their tongues, burning them with boiling water, with clothing irons. The list just goes on with the horrific ways in which these farmers have been tortured.

And if you say these farmers are just being killed because they have money that provides no answer or explanation as to why these tortures are taking place and why these political slogans are being used today.

These political slogans, they’re often chanted at rallies involving certain parties. What do you see as the political direction of Julius Malema? Where do you see him ending up in South African politics and do you think his ideology will become more widespread over time?

Yeah, so there’s good news and bad news about him. He’s very well known and he is very influential in a certain sense.

The good news is that his party seems to have stagnated. They are around 12 percent. So, they get much more press coverage than you would think, or you would think that they have more support from what you see or read in the news. They are sort of a marginal party. And it doesn’t seem that their support is growing. A lot of Black people in South Africa really dislike them because they are too radical. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that what is happening in South Africa currently is that the ruling party, the ANC, which is also radical, just not as radical, they are a leftist, black nationalist, socialist party, that’s how they define themselves — they are losing support. They have always had around 60 percent, more than 60 percent support. According to the new polls, it seems like in this next election, they might fall to below 50 percent, which of course is a good thing. We have a multi-party system, but that then opens the door to a possible coalition between the ANC and Julius Malema’s party. So, that is not good news because if that happens, he would probably become some form of minister, perhaps even deputy president. I’m sure that’s what he wants to be.

And the worst-case scenario would be something along the lines of these two parties merging. Because they actually split, the EFF was once within the ANC. And if they merge, then it’s a really bad scenario.

South Africa offers some unique laws that allow for self-organizing or sort of sovereign spaces. One is Orania, which is an Afrikaner community. Is this a model that is looking to be replicated in other parts of South Africa?

Yes and no, so technically there’s not a law that says that they can do it. This is a very good example of this legal principle of de facto versus de jure reality. And people tend to think that the de jure reality or the law as it is written determines what the de facto reality is, in other words, the reality. And it’s actually the other way around, that the de facto reality, the reality on the ground there determines what the law is.

So Orania is a good example because they just started this project. And now it’s a town with 3,000 people and growing by 12 percent a month. And they are very committed to becoming a city. And they will do that. I’m pretty sure they will. It’s really the only town in the whole of South Africa, arguably at least, that has a long-term future prospect of being sustainable. And it’s very sad to say this. But the fact is that it is now a reality. The government cannot ignore it. They cannot close the town. They cannot come in with the police and just close down a town of 3,000 people. They can try it, at least.

Fortunately, even though the South African government is very extreme in their ideology, they are very incompetent in the implementation of their ideas. So, there are actually many such villages in South Africa for different tribal communities, different African communities. There are Zulu towns, and Khoisa towns, and Swazi towns.

But the funny thing is, if the media goes — it’s not controversial at all to have a traditional Zulu community — and if the media talks about them, they will say it’s a traditional Zulu community. But when you have a traditional Afrikaans community, they say it’s a “White enclave, it’s a White-only town, and it’s extremist.” So it’s a double standard in how it’s interlinked. And Nelson Mandela actually went to Orania and he recognized the importance of the Afrikaner community to have a cultural community, to have some form of a cultural home, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s Morally perfectly acceptable — unless you buy into this mainstream new narrative, then suddenly it becomes politically incorrect and racist.

Let’s assume this town becomes a city, and reaches 20, 30, 40,000 people at some point. What’s keeping it from just becoming like all the other South African cities that sort of deteriorated over the last decades? If it is prosperous, Africa’s huge pool of poor will want to move there, no?

Yeah, well, for a start, the whole town is built on a private property, so it’s a company, you might say. So you buy shares in the company. So, there’s a bit more control over who comes there. And it’s important to say that it’s not regulated in terms of race. It’s regulated in terms of culture. It’s a cultural community, it’s not a racial community. So if you go there and you say, I’m White, but I don’t really understand the Afrikaner culture, and it’s not mine. Then you would probably not be allowed to stay there because it’s cultural.

So violence has been a real problem in South Africa, and you say that the ANC is increasing in popularity, but a lot of this violence has also been political violence. There’s been a lot of assassinations against politicians — even to the point where the New York Times is writing about this widespread mass assassination trend. If they’re willing to assassinate people over political issues, what’s keeping them from stuffing the ballot or rigging the election, which is less extreme than killing someone.

That’s a very good question. I think, firstly, political assassination is a very big problem in South Africa, but it’s not so much on a national level, it’s more on a local government level. And part of the problem is many of these local government officials are very incompetent and uneducated to the extent that if they don’t work for the government, they’re unemployed. And so then there would be someone else who threatens their position, and one way to win is to campaign and to win on merit. Or the other way is just to take the guy out and to get an assassin to kill the guy. And it really is a problem, especially in the KwaZulu-Natal province, to the eastern side of South Africa. It’s so common that it’s not even newsworthy anymore, that counselors assassinate each other or counselors get assassinated and you don’t always know why.

I think the ANC, the current government. would certainly and undoubtedly cheat to stay in power if they can. That is what happened in Zimbabwe. Everyone knows the elections in Zimbabwe are rigged. I don’t think the elections in South Africa were very rigged to date, except ironically the election in 1994. That was generally known that there was so much maladministration that they couldn’t really determine who won. So, there was the agreement between the parties on what the outcome should be. So that’s ironically the first national democratic election in Africa. But now I don’t think it’s so much of a problem, but we certainly have the risk of that happening in South Africa.

What is keeping a lot of people in South Africa? I understand they’re probably attached to their land and their culture, but at some point, when is it enough? There have been some efforts to say that these Whites in Africa are refugees, but what options do they have and can they even leave if they want to?

Yeah, that’s an important question. So we, the Afrikaners, or the Boers, we descend from the Dutch especially, but also the Germans and the French. And we were very influenced by the British culturally. So what makes us unique is we have developed our own language, our own identity, our own culture, our own tradition in South Africa, and Africa and South Africa are very much part of who we are. So to just leave is in a sense leaving a part of who you are behind.

So many people have left, hundreds of thousands of people have left, if not millions since these problems started happening, but a lot of people can’t leave because they can’t afford it. But there are also a lot of people who just won’t leave because we’re too stubborn in a sense. It’s regarded in a sense as betraying your ancestors and the sacrifices they have made. But it’s not just that, it’s because we really want to have a future in South Africa. And we know it seems that the grass is greener on the other side, but it’s becoming quite clear that coming to Europe is not necessarily coming to a safe place or a prosperous place. And that is something that really motivates us to say, “Well, let’s work for a solution within South Africa.”

And maybe I can just add that we actually did a survey among our members. We asked them, “Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the USA, about Europe and South Africa?”

And it turns out, they were least pessimistic about South Africa. Afrikaners are more pessimistic about Europe and America. And I think the reason why is they don’t think it’s going better in South Africa, but they can see there seems to be a downward spiral in Europe and in the USA. But also, we are sort of rediscovering this thing about community involvement and community institutions. And we are building universities, we’re building schools, we’re building churches. And that, in a sense, gives hope to all.

Ernst Roets is the head of policy for the Solidarity Movement, which is a network of Christian-conservative Afrikaner-speaking organizations with the aim of ensuring a future for the Afrikaner community in South Africa. His organization argues for a safe, free and prosperous future for South Africa by encouraging mutual recognition, respect and peaceful co-existence between communities.