The Long, Long Trek of the Afrikaners

Slowly, led by “wonder boy” Anton Rupert, the Afrikaners began making their breakthrough.  Apart from the Rupert empire, we saw the rise of Sanlam, Volkskas, Federale Volksbeleggings, General Mining, Perskor, Nationale Pers and many more.  Today, in their conquest of the “commanding heights” of banking, industry, mining, commerce, there is little to choose between the Afrikaner and his Anglo counterpart.

We will end on another quote from Dr Leistner: “The Afrikaner did not receive ‘development aid’ from a solicitous world community.  They wasted little time or energy indulging in self-pity for being victims of British imperialism.  Rather did they activate a spirit of national pride and cohesion among their downtrodden but highly individualistic people.  Enthusiastic young intellectuals and businessmen set up financial institutions to mobilise Afrikaner savings.  Today giant corporations testify to the determination and acumen of these pioneers…”

For the ANC the lesson surely is: “Go, and do likewise.”

Originally published November/December 1990; republished October 2011

Aida Parker was a highly articulate, conservative South African journalist, whose Aida Parker Newsletter was read around the world before she passed away in 2002.  Her excellent writings should not be forgotten.  This article is taken from The Aida Parker Newsletter, Issue No. 140, November/December 1990, published by Aida Parker Newsletter (Pty) Ltd., Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.  Consent was granted for the use of this material, providing acknowledgment was made of the name of the copyright holder: Aida Parker Newsletter (Pty) Ltd.  It has been slightly edited for publication here.



[1]. “once intensely conservative”: Parker uses the term “conservative” in the negative sense that at one time the Afrikaners were virtually isolated from the rest of the western world, not in the sense of being politically conservative; for she herself was a political conservative.

[2]. “Calvinist”: Parker uses this term in the negative sense here.  Christians, believing in the wonderful doctrines of sovereign grace (including election, particular redemption, and irresistible grace), are often referred to as “Calvinists”, after the Protestant Reformer John Calvin, who taught them; but this is an unfortunate term, not only because these doctrines are biblical, and were not invented by Calvin, but also because Calvin also held to various false doctrines, so that the term is often used to mean much more than merely an adherence to the doctrines of grace.  In South Africa, the Afrikaners’ once widely-held belief that they were a special, divinely chosen people, and their particular theology of God, which was often a misrepresentation of the biblical doctrines known as “Calvinism”, caused the term “Calvinist” to be applied to them in a negative sense.  Their interpretation of Calvinism, and their particular interpretation of the Old Testament revelation of God, caused them to often emphasise the justice and terror of God more than His love and mercy, thereby developing a theology of God that all too frequently left people with the impression that God was a stern, cold, distant, joyless God.  Sadly, this faulty theology had serious practical ramifications; and in South Africa to this day, when the term “Calvinist” is mentioned, it is understood by the man in the street solely in this incorrect sense.  And it is in this sense that Aida Parker makes use of it here.

[3]. See endnote 2 above.

[4]. Tragically the Broederbond was more than this: it was a secretive, almost Masonic-type organisation with political objectives and operated behind the political scenes as a shadowy force within Afrikaner politics.


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