We publish the following opinion-piece by South African anthropologist Cor Ehlers, a multi-talented Free State cattle-farmer who chairs the OASE organisation: its goal: to legally re-establish – through the international community – an independent Afrikaner State on 6,5% of the total land-surface of South Africa – the territory where the Boers were settled permanently as independent republicans ever since the Great Trek. We also run advertisements on our pages encouraging people to sign up for the Volksraadverkiesingskommittee – which is electing a negotiation-commission to start negotiating with the ANC-regime about the establishment of an independent republic inside South Africa. Ehlers’ plan is very different from the VVK plan – yet they both have the same ideals. We hope that the two groups will be able to come to an agreement so that these efforts can be combined. We will continue to present all these various viewpoints from Boer- and Afrikaner-Republicans who all strive for a small autonomous homeland: a place where their people can be safe from increasingly violent genocidal hatespeech and the widespread campaign of aggression now being experienced by Afrikaners under ANC-rule. We chose no sides: we also will always continue to support the attempts to charge the ruling African National Congress leaders in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for genocide: two organisations, the Pro-Afrikaans-Action Group and the Verkenners, lodged formal charges in The Hague in April and May 2011 in this regard.
Mr Ehlers is a seventh generation Afrikaner of German and Dutch descent both on his father’s and mother’s side. Paternal great grandfather Christiaan Ehlers fought in the Boers’ freedom wars in 1881 and1899-1902 against the invading colonial forces of Great Britain. Maternal great grandfather Ben Vorster, was a prisoner of war in Ceylon in 1902 and his wife was in a British concentration camp survivor: losing two children due to the horrendous conditions in those British death-camps 1901-1902. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Indigenous Law from the University of Pretoria. He ran a private security firm for 25 years, moving to the countryside to develop a guest farm in 2007 – www.poplargrove.co.za Dutch-born Wife Dineke arrived as a young immigrant in SA with her parents and siblings in 1974. She holds a master’s degree in Afrikaans and Dutch from the University of South Africa; and is a lecturer there. The couple have one daughter, Marieke, who graduated in International Law (LLB)at the University of The Hague. Marieke was born and raised as an Afrikaner in South Africa, but decided to pursue her tertiary studies in The Netherlands, particularly after employment opportunities for whites (especially Afrikaners) were blocked by the ANC government’s anti-white black-economic-empowerment laws. Marieke continues her studies in LLM (International Law) from September at the University of Kent in the UK.
Self-determination for Afrikaners and Boers is essential if they are to survive physically on the African continent…
Mr Ehlers writes:
“Due to my patriotic feelings for my own people and due to Marieke’s studies in International Law in The Hague, I have come to the conclusion that the only way in which Afrikaners will ever survive both culturally and physically in Africa will be through external self-determination and territorial sovereignty.
The concept of self-determination has always been seen as belonging to ‘a far-right minority’ amongst Afrikaners and the media — and ANC propaganda has always succeeded in labelling any gesture in this direction as being ‘extreme rightwing’. The vast majority of Afrikaners, both in South Africa and abroad, are however yearning for a solution and with the correct approach we believe territorial sovereignty for Afrikaners can be achieved in the medium to long term. We have established an independent organisation, OASE (Onafhanklike Afrikaner-selfbeskikkingsekspedisie or: Independent Afrikaner self-determination expedition) which is not linked in any direct or indirect way to any political and/or cultural organisation. We have involved a number of academics and persons across a broad spectrum of Afrikaner society and this has resulted in some excellent research. We believe our endeavours will ultimately pay off since we carry no ‘right- or leftwing political baggage’.
We base our claims on the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Section 1.1 (and other relevant declarations and resolutions) which clearly states:
- ‘All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.’
There are no specific criteria in International Law defining the process which ought to be followed to obtain external self-determination — however, an international law expert – David Raic – conducted an in-depth study of processes pertaining to external self-determination. His findings, together with the Montevideo Convention (1933) criteria for statehood have formed the legal basis of our claims thus far. The Montevideo Convention’s requirements for statehood are:
1. A clearly defined territory.
2. A permanent population of the group within the defined territory wishing to succeed from the unitary state.
3. An effective government.
4. The ability to enter into agreements with other sovereign states.
* A fifth requirement has subsequently developed in International Law, i.e. the new state should underwrite and promote basic human rights.
In the past until June 2010, this uti possidetis iuris principle was a serious obstacle for Afrikaners who desired external self-determination, since secession could only take place if former colonial borders remained intact — which would have meant that Afrikaners would have ended up as yet another minority in one or both of the former Boer Republics (Freestate and Transvaal) which were colonized in 1902 after a vicious scorched-earth war by colonial invader Great Britain. However this changed after the outcome of the Kosovo case in the ICJ in the Hague in June 2010 – and also, due to tremendous pressure from legal advisers since the crumbling of East European states, the uti possidetis rule has become less important.
- This means Afrikaners can now claim territory where they form the majority within a specific region by drawing borders in a way which will exclude millions of blacks – many of whom are migrants from borders north of present-day South Africa. The territory which OASE has identified, based on anthropoligical, archaeological, historical and economic research formed integral parts of the former Boer Republics and is commonly known as the Highveld region of South Africa, linked with a corridor to the Northern Natal coast to include the harbour of Richards Bay and the World Heritage coastal enclave of St Lucia Bay.
Afrikaners will have to make certain harsh sacrifices in the process in order to minimise economic and administrative disruption in the process of seceeding from the unitary state. In accordance with International Law the process of secession must take place in a peaceful manner through negotiations. We doubt whether the ANC and its two political partners (SA Communist Party and Cosatu Trade Union Federation) will accept Afrikaners’ claims for territorial sovereignty. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we appoint a team of International Law experts consisting of lawyers both from South Africa and abroad, since we might ultimately have to go the same route as Kosovo did. Should negotiations with the ANC fail, we shall have no alternative but to declare unilateral independence and this may result in the ANC referring the case to the UN who will in turn refer it to the ICJ – as Serbia did in the case of Kosovo. Afrikaners will have to make sure that they have a watertight case if the process ends up in The Hague.
The only way through wich a people can obtain external self-determination which will successfuly result in territorial sovereignty, is if such a new state is recognised by the international community.
- Afrikaners’ endeavours will therefore have to run in tandem with diplomatic processes so that international partners can recognise the new state’s sovereignty, whether it is obtained through peaceful negotiations or through an Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
Recognition by the UN is not a legal requirement since sovereignty is gained even if only one other sovereign state recognizes the new state. However, for purposes of economic and physical survival Afrikaners would obviously have to try and get as many international supporters as possible.
During apartheid the state of Israel was always a strong international partner of Afrikaners and we believe this may well be the case again should Afrikaners gain sovereignty. An Afrikaner agricultural union (TLU SA) has also managed to build excellent relations with Georgia and we have hope that that country will recognise eventual Afrikaner sovereignty.
Moreover, Afrikaners have always maintained strong cultural ties with the Flemish in Belgium which could result in that country also recognising our new state.
The winds of change currently blowing over Western Europe where support for nationalism is growing daily, could result in countries such as The Netherlands and Germany also ultimately recognising Afrikaner sovereignty. Ultimate recognition would obviously come if the USA recognizes our sovereignty and this will probably only happen under Republican rule.
ANC-regime is alienating its Western partners
The ANC government is slowly alienating its western partners by embracing China, as well as rogue states such as North Korea and Libya and Zimbabwe. We believe the strategic location of a western ally (especially with harbour facilities) in Southern Africa would certainly raise the West’s consideration for recognition of an independent Afrikaner state.
International Law clearly prohibits violence as a method to obtain external self-determination, unless the unitary state becomes the aggressor and the minority wishing to secede acts in self-defence – another reason why our endeavours will not result in any success without international support.
Where else could Afrikaners – who now face physical annihilation — survive culturally and physically?
Afrikaners have only one ‘heimat’ and that is South Africa; should the international community not recognise Afrikaners’ right to external self-determination, then they should tell us where else we can survive culturally and physically and issue us with the necessary passports so that we can emigrate to such a country on a mass scale.
OASE will be embarking on a marketing and fundraising campaign within the next few months in order to raise support for external self-determination under the majority of Afrikaners who already reside in the defined territory, but also under those who fall outside the said territory including the more than half a million Afrikaners who have already settled abroad due to the ever-increasing crime rate since 1994 and because they are being deliberately barred from public life, including the job market, by the ANC-regime’s anti-white black-economic empowerment laws. There are currently only two other options for Afrikaner self-determination on the table, namely:
* Orania is a small Afrikaner settlement in a semi-desert area of the Northern Cape but in our view will never become an economically sustainable area for Afrikaner self-determination. In spite of efforts to establish an Afrikaner homeland in Orania over the past two decades, only 900 Afrikaners have moved there since 1990 whilst more than half a million have already left the country since 1994.
The Afrikaners will claim 6,5% of the total land surface – as a minority group they are 6% of the total population…
The option which OASE will be offering Afrikaners comprises approximately 6,5% of the country’s total land surface; Afrikaners as a minority group constitute 6% of the total population of South Africa.
- Afrikaners have lived in that specific territory continuously since the Great Trek in 1836
- The area which we have identified was tamed by Afrikaners who settled there in large numbers since the Great Trek in 1836 and which will include the Afrikaner suburbs of the two predominantly Afrikaner cities of Bloemfontein and Pretoria as well as several other Afrikaner towns of cultural and historical value to Afrikaners. The area is economically sustainable and could be developed further into a wealthy independent state where all Afrikaners (approximately 3 million) can ultimately survive, should this ever become necessary.
‘Volksraad Verkiesings Kommissie campaign is flawed: they want to exclude homosexuals from electoral processes’ : Ehlers…
* Secondly, a group of Afrikaners (the Volksraad Verkiesingskommissie or VVK) have recently embarked on a campaign to have an Afrikaner Council (Volksraad) elected with the purpose of negotiating with the ruling African National Congress for self-determination; we fear that this could damage Afrikaners’ attempts to gain independence within the parammeters of International Law and due to non-recognition of the international community, – especially as a result of the VVK’s approach on basic human rights where homosexuals are excluded from any participation in the electoral processes.
- The VVK also believes that Afrikaners will ultimately succeed in establishing an Afrikaner state based on racial discrimination. This movement has no specific territorial area in mind moreover: which is the most basic shortcoming of their approach, since the bottom line of negotiations with the ANC as per international law will have to be about territory and nothing else.
- The VVK does however lean towards the Orania area in the semi-desert of the Northern Cape where there is absolutely no infrastructure and where so called ‘Coloured people’– who are direct descendants of the first nation of South Africa, the Khoisan (they are also referred to rather disparagingly as ‘Hottentot and Bushmen’) are living scattered throughout the region but are in the majority – these peoples, in particular the Griquas, as the first nations of Southern Africa; and they will certainly have a much stronger claim on the Northern Cape territory than white Afrikaners will ever have in terms of international law — and more so in terms of the UN’s Declaration regarding Indigenous Peoples. Moreover, the present northern Cape where Orania is located,was annexed from the independent Boer Republic of the Free State by the British Cape-colonial government when diamonds were discovered in Kimberley.
Afrikaners/Boers have also never enjoyed sovereignty in the so called Cape Colony or any part thereof prior to British colonization.
COR EHLERS, Chairman: OASE