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The New York Times published a predictable hit piece article this past December pertaining to the fact that many Voortrekker descendents still gather at the Voortrekker Monument on December 16 each year to commemorate the vow their ancestors made with God for protection at a time when a war campaign under Dingaan's Zulu army was attempting to eradicate the entire Boer population camped out in Natal after the Boers had thought they obtained legal permission to settle the region. The Times attempts to inject racism into the gathering & even the actual past event itself while neglecting to truly note the true significance of the date which is grounded in thanksgiving within a religious context. Few would begrudge those Texans who commemorate the Battle of the Alamo therefore it is rank hypocrisy that anyone would begrudge the Boers for commemorating a similar battle of defense from an attacking military-oriented contingent. There were a number of erroneous points made within the article as well. The worst being the erroneous assertion that the battle was over conquest when it was simply a battle of defensive survival against rather overwhelming odds against the Boers. Hence the reason why many Boers continue to commemorate this date as it is simply a mater of thanksgiving to them for being spared the certain death that appeared imminent at the outset of the first Zulu attacks against the Boer civilians at Saailaager & Bloukrans. The ray of sunlight shining on the cenotaph is supposed to symbolize the vow that was taken to God for protection not about some
supposed "will that the land be theirs." [ which land? the Natalia Republic which was founded on the vacant land Dingaan initially promised to the Boers (among others) was ultimately abandoned after the British conquered it ] This is classic hit piece distortion. The Boers are not just "the descendants of white settlers" as they are in fact the descendants of refugees who were seeking refuge in Holland long before being sent to the Cape as servants for the Dutch East India Co. This article attempts to blame the Boers for the development of their own existence & to marginalize their birth in Africa by asserting that they are just descended from a bunch of generic White settlers & purposely omitting their semi nomadic origins on the Cape frontier. Afrikaans author Brian Du Toit notes that: [ The Boers had a tradition of trekking. Boer society was born on the frontiers of white settlement and on the outskirts of civilization. ] This fact moves them out of the realm of generic "settlers" into the realm of a homegrown group tied to the local landscape of the region. The article just mentions in passing the brutal massacre of the Boers by the Zulus [ "hundreds of deaths at the hands of the Zulus." ] which preceded the battle at Nacome River of December 16 which is an important point for context. As too many Westerners have an erroneous impression of the event & often do not realize that this event did not happen in a vacuum & that it was the conclusion of a war campaign started by the Zulus in their then attempts under Dingaan at eradicating the Natal Boers & perhaps even beyond. This is probably why it is often erroneously viewed as "a conquest" because those who presume such are ignorant of the full story which preceded it & are also ignorant to the fact that the Boers did not conquer the Zulus nor Zululand but simply repelled a Zulu attack on their laager in Natal. Though the first problem with this article of course is the obvious perpetuation of the Afrikaner appropriation of Boer history as this vow & entire event is part of Boer history
while the yet to be named Afrikaners of the Western Cape ridiculed the Boers of the frontier for wanting to "leave civilization behind" & thought that their trekking migrations into the interior [ later called the Great Trek by Afrikaner historians who used this event as part of a regiment to appropriate & co-opt the conquered Boer people ] would amount to nothing or whose participants would all end up dead. The Boer people are an anthropologically distinct ethno cultural group / entity from the bulk of the macro Afrikaner population. This is because the Boers are the direct descendents of the Trekboers who began to trek inland starting during the late 1600s & all throughout the 1700s. [ 1 ] While the vast majority of the macro group called Afrikaners are descended from the Afrikaans speakers who developed in the south western Cape region & were often known as the Cape Dutch. [ 2 ] Afrikaans author Brian Du Toit [ French surname as the Afrikaans peoples are significantly descended from French Huguenots ] notes on page 1 of his book: [ 3 ] The Boers in East Africa: Ethnicity and Identity that quote: [ The Boers had a tradition of trekking. Boer society was born on the frontiers of white settlement and on the outskirts of civilization. As members of a frontier society they always had a hinterland, open spaces to conquer, territory to occupy. Their ancestors had moved away from the limiting confines of Cape society to settle the eastern frontier. In time this location became too restricted, and individuals and families moved north across the Orange River. ] (End quote). The term Boer [ which was shortened from Trekboer ] [ 4 ] was used to describe the pastoral Afrikaans speakers who occupied the eastern Cape frontier during the era of VOC administration at the Cape. While Boers might also occasionally have referred to themselves as "Afrikaners" this was meant as "Africans" as the Boers considered themselves Africans quite early on & cut all ties to Europe back in the late 17th cent [ 5 ] when their Trekboer ancestors trekked away from Colonial society & out of the Western Cape region. The problem is that during the late 19th cent the Cape Dutch began to start calling themselves Afrikaners [ after a language rights movement
some of them started in Paarl on the Cape Dutch frontier & the documented capital of Afrikanerdom [ 6 ] at a time when the capital of "Boerdom" would have been at Pretoria ] & attempting to seek political alliances with the Boers: most of whom were independent in their internationally recognized Boer Republics [ 7 ] - thereby as a result of any such association: seeking to place the Boers under Cape Dutch Afrikaner domination.
This attempt was later successful during the brutal aftermath of the Anglo-Boer War in which 50 % of the Boer child population had died in the British concentration camps & many Boers were chased off their farms & forced to look for work in the cities where they often encountered Afrikaners. [ 8 ] The program of forcing the Boers to be linked to the Cape Dutch [ what the Afrikaner Nationalists called "uniting" the White Afrikaans speakers ] ended up marginalizing the Boers in the process as the Boers are the smaller segment [ 9 ] of the Afrikaans speaking group under such a designation.
Therefore to keep this tenuous Afrikaans coalition together
the Cape Dutch leadership [ which ran the Broederbond ] had to appropriate some key events of Boer history like the Great Trek [ which they named as such ] & reformulate it to conform to the Afrikaner Nationalist agenda to secure the British created macro State of South Africa while omitting or minimalizing other key events such as their Trekboer origins & the significance of the Boer adoption of the red / white & blue horizontal tri colour at their first Boer Republics in 1795 while the Cape Dutch dominated Afrikaner Nationalists would adopt the orange / white & blue horizontal tri colour believed to be first used in the region by the Dutch East India Co. Even the inscription "Ons vir jou Suid Afrika" on the cenotaph at the Voortrekker Monument appears to be an Afrikaner Nationalist usurpation of the Boers as it suggests a loyalty to a "South Africa" which was imposed & set up after a genocide against the Boers during the second Anglo-Boer War.
The Boers were not on a "divine mission" to conquer & this ignorant assessment shows the author of the article as a lazy researcher because the cause of the Great Trek was over British Colonial oppression & the constant Xhosa attacks & killing on Boer farms. The Boers debated what to do & initially decided to trek north until realizing the the dessert conditions were too inhospitable then later decided to trek north east into the depopulated [ due to the Difaqane of Shaka ] regions north of the Orange River. This day is in fact a "day of thanksgiving" to those of Boer & Voortrekker [ another term the Afrikaner Nationalists coined
as part of a program to appropriate Boer hist ] descent. The Boers would be commemorating this day even if they had defeated Germans or British as the race of those who were attempting to wipe them out was not a factor. Furthermore: the Boers reconciled with the Zulus when they exchanged rocks of peace in 1840 & gathered again later in 1866 to stack rocks on the Nacome River in a gesture of reconciliation. [ 10 ] It is a crying shame that the Afrikaner Nationalists had to hijack this sacred Boer event in order to promote their teleocratic agenda because they have left the false impression to the rest of the world that it was about conquest or to the right to control the later emerging macro State of South Africa & that there was no reconciliation. The whole point of this commemoration is about the remembrance of the vow the Boers made with God [ some Boers in fact abstained fearing the consequences [ 11 ] should their descendents break the vow ] for deliverance & to commemorate the date as a Sabbath if He were to deliver them while the later battle they won on the 16th against overwhelming odds is viewed as the fulfillment of the vow. This article also attempts to portray a false impression with racial income disparity as well because it should be pointed out that the Rapport newspaper noted that 1 million White Afrikaans speakers live under the poverty line now & that this affects the Boer descendents much more as they have traditionally been part of the working class. The Boer people are a homegrown ethno cultural people who speak a language historians classified as Eastern Border Afrikaans [ named after the Cape frontier where they developed ] - Therefore the Boers are not only under South African occupation since the establishment of the macro State of South Africa in 1909 but - as a result of past Afrikaner colonization since the establishment of the State are also under Afrikaner domination. Therefore this New York Times article not only distorts the
event in question with their erroneous assertions but they also perpetuate a falsehood over whose history it is as they parrot the propaganda of conflating the Boer descendents with the bulk of the Afrikaner population. Notes. 1. South African History at History World. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.a sp?historyid=aa62 Quote: [ By the 1770s the Dutch nomads have penetrated as far as Graaff-Reinet, some 400 miles northeast of Cape Town. They become known as Trekboers (Dutch for 'wandering farmers'), a word subsequently often shortened to Boers. ] <p> 2. Christianity in Central Southern Africa Prior to 1910. http://www.ucalgary.ca/ %7Enurelweb/papers/irving/ELPHINK.htm#_ftnref41 Quote: [ The majority of the original white settlers, known as Cape Dutch, or in frontier regions Boers, maintained a nominal loyalty to the Dutch Reformed Church. ] 3. The Boers in East Africa: Ethnicity and Identity. Brian M. Du Toit. Page 1. http://www.questia.com/PM .qst?a=o&docId=27642806# Quote: [ The Boers had a tradition of trekking. Boer society was born on the frontiers of white settlement and on the outskirts of civilization. As members of a frontier society they always had a hinterland, open spaces to conquer, territory to occupy. Their ancestors had moved away from the limiting confines of Cape society to settle the eastern frontier. In
time this location became too restricted, and individuals and families moved north across the Orange River. ] 4. Noted also on the Bowdoin College Page. Quote: [ Their contact with the local Dutch government became more and more tenuous and most of them lived hard rural lives, moving farmsteads frequently, and quite independent of government and education. By 1745 they were known as Trekboers, which means "wandering farmers," a term which was later shortened to Boers. They were unaware of the changing politics in Europe. ] 5. The Devil's Annexe. A Continent in Agony by Sidney & Shirley Robbins. Page 59. http://www.commissionforafrica.org/french/consultation/sub missions/ro/sb-nov-dec04-068.pdf Quote: [ The trekboers are a product of Africa. They broke all connection with Europe and their homeland Holland. The Afrikaner and his language grew out of this movement, and this could be considered as another of the migrations of Africa but by a white African tribe this time. ] 6. Cecil Rhodes & the Cape Afrikaners by Mordechai Tamarkin. Page 57. Quote: [ The jubilee year of Queen Victoria in 1887 offered Cape Afrikaners an outlet for amazing manifestations of love and loyalty, in town and country, in verse and prose. The Afrikaner Bond congress in its official address to the Queen gave the lead: We the undersigned, representatives of the Afrikaner Bond of the Colony... wish to approach you with our heartiest and most sincere congratlations on this blessed occasion... We assre you humbly and respectfully [of] our true loyalty to your throne, and we feel proud that in the great British
Empire there are not more loyal subjects than those we represent. It was signed by 'the humblest, loving and most loyal subjects of Your most Blessed Majesty'. In Paarl, the capital of ' Afrikanerdom ', representatives of the Genootschap van Regte Afrikaners and the Afrikaner Bond were present at the local celebration with their flags, while the main speaker expressed his joy at the impressive presence of the burghers which proved Paarl's loyalty to the Queen. The local Dutch newspaper ran a special supplement including a long poem, full of praises for the Queen, by Oom Jan. Such celebrations were not restricted to major urban centers. ] 7. The Story of the Boers by C W van der Hoogt. Page 96. Quote: [ The Republic was now in possession of a Convention, which from the nature of its provisions seemed to promise a peaceful future. In addition to Great Britain it was recognized in Holland, France, Germany, Belgium, and especially in the United States of America. The American Secretary of State at Washington, writing to President Pretorius on the 19th November, 1870, said: "That his Government, while heartily acknowledging the Sovereignty of the Transvaal Republic, would be ready to take any steps which might be deemed necessary for that purpose." ] 8. Boer / Afrikaner or White: Which are you? by Adriana Stuijt. http://web.archive.org/web/20050123033712/http://www. stopboergenocide.com/29301/index.html Quote: [ But we don't know how these so-called Afrikaners have also actively participated in the steady removal of the Boer nation's identity before these current events. And that's what makes a lot of people confused about their own identity. It's a little-known part of history which started shortly after the end of the Anglo-Boer war in 1902, when
the Boers were a defeated, poverty-stricken people who had been chased off their farms and whose towns had been destroyed by the British. They were dirt-poor and plunged into an unprecedented famine. Many had to flee to the cities to survive - places which were totally alien to them, places were only English was being spoken, places where their churches were being run by people who referred to themselves as Afrikaners. ] 9. New Coffins, Old Flags, Microorganisms And The Future of the Boer. http://www.pology.com/article/051213.ht ml Quote: [ In a country of 45 million, the Boer, with a total population of fewer than 1.5 million, are politically insignificant. ] 10. This was also noted by Pieter Mulder in an address to Parliament in 2005. Quote: [ Go and read about the relationship between the Afrikaners and the Zulus in Natal. How... in 1840 they handed rocks of peace to each other and in 1866 came together... and stacked rocks as a symbol of peace. How Cetswayo gave land to the Boers after they helped and protected him. The Republic of Vryheid dates from that period. ] 11. The Great Trek. Oliver Ransford. Chapter 9. http://www.ourcivilis ation.com/smartboard/shop/ransford/chap9.htm Quote: [ It is interesting to note that Alexander Biggar and the other Englishmen in the commando joined in making the vow, but that five Boers abstained for fear of God's vengeance on their descendants if in years to come they
broke the promise. ] Post Script. The history of the Boers is rarely ever told from the perspective of the actual Boer folk. Composed on Jan 15 2010. From: Ronp5. To learn more about the Boer people / nation visit www.republicantrekkervolk.blogspot.com.
Repu blican Trekker Volk.
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