‘Traitors of the volk’ trash AfriForum

Picture: Nicola Joe Bruns

Picture: Nicola Joe Bruns

“There is a demand to conformity to heteropatriarchal white supremacy.”

A movement that calls itself the Volksverraaiers (loosely translates to ‘traitor of the volk’) has emerged at the University of Stellenbosch (SU) with the message that AfriForum and other Afrikaner nationalist movements do not speak for them.

The students put up posters on a statue of Jan Marais on Tuesday, March 15, declaring the Stellenbosch “is not your apartheid museum” and that “Afrikaans does not own SU”.

The movement appears in the midst of protests against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at tertiary institutions around the country. The University of the Free State on Tuesday morning announced Afrikaans would no longer be the language of instruction from 2017.

The group also spoke out against rape culture. One of their posters accused AfriForum of supporting “rape culture”.

Volksverraiers refers to Afrikaans-speaking white people who have historically opposed Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid.

This comes after last week, various speakers from the Afrikaner community gathered at Constitution Hill on Thursday, March 10, to “reimagine” Afrikaner identity.

The dialogue, ‘Reimagining Afrikaner identities’, took place on Monday in Constitution Hill, with the objective of providing a platform to explore and engage with the “ambivalent” position that Afrikaners occupy in democratic South Africa”.

Christi van der Westhuizen, associate professor in the sociology department of the University of Pretoria and former journalist at the independent anti-apartheid weekly Vrye Weekblad, said Afrikaners identity is the condition of thinking the same, whereby to oppose apartheid amounted to treason.

“There is a demand to conformity to heteropatriarchal white supremacy,” she said. “Anyone who doesn’t comform is a volksverraaier.”

She took issue with the media “trying to make it seem like all Afrikaners have always thought the same”.

Tweets from the volksverraaiers:


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