Professor Carel Boshoff

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People category:

Biographical information

Synopsis:

Academic and Afrikaner cultural leader

Title: 
Professor
First name: 
Carel
Last name: 
Boshoff
Date of birth: 
9 November 1927
Date of death: 
16 March 2011
Location of death: 
Orania, Northern Cape

Carel Boshoff was born on 9 November 1927, a second child from the second marriage of his father. He spent his early life on a cattle farm in the Waterberg. During this time he had met J G Strijdom and H F Verwoerd who frequently visited his father. In 1954, he married Anna, H F Verwoerd’s daughter.

In 1948 he was awarded a BA, and in 1951 a B Divinitatis by the University of Pretoria. After completing his studies he became a missionary for the Dutch Reformed Church in Lebowa and Soweto. While working as a missionary he completed his MA degree in 1961with the University of Pretoria. His dissertation was titled Streeksontwikkeling in die Sekokoro-, Mamathola- en Mametsa-gebied deur die Departement van Bantoe-Administrasie en -Ontwikkeling, sosiologies en volkekundig beoordeel. (English: Regional development in the Sekokoro, Mamathola and Mametsa area sociologically and anthropologically evaluated by the Department of Bantu Administration and Development). He also served as Secretary of the Dutch Reformed Church in Southern Africa.

In 1967 he became member of the Theology Dept. at the University of Pretoria. He later left there to join the South African Bureau of Race Relations. The South African Bureau of Race Relations was formed to advance research of race relations, a research project that Carel Boshoff wanted to pursue in his academic studies.

Carel Boshoff believed in the self-determination of different racial and ethnic communities. He was concerned that in South Africa, Whites was not the majority and could not achieve self-determination because the majority would come to rule. He advocated the creation of Black ‘homelands’ creating in the rest of SA territory an apparent White majority to effect their self-determination. Racial mixing was not acceptable to him because Black and White people represented two worlds, one African and the other European.

In 1980 he became the chairman of the Afrikaner Broederbrond, but later because of his support for SABRA opposition of the 1983 constitutional reforms he stepped down as chairman and resigned his membership. In 1984 he played a prominent role in the formation of the Afrikaner Volkswag, a conservative organisation that hoped to rescue Afrikaner cultural identity from the political crisis that followed the constitutional bill of 1983. The crisis was a reflection of serious tension within the higher Afrikaner establishment. These crises were related to race relations and reforms relating to race relations. The Afrikaner Volkswag believed in complete political and cultural independence of the Afrikaner community.

The Afrikaner Volkswag evolved into Afrikaner-Vryheidstigting (Afrikaner Freedom Foundation, Avstig), currently still headed by Professor Carel Boshoff. The movement did not participate in the Convention for Democratic South Africa (CODESA) in the 1990s. They were isolated for wanting a White homeland within South Africa. Considered by many as racist for their concept of a White homeland, they replaced White with Afrikaner to emphasize the cultural rights of Afrikaners. In 1993, Nelson Mandela met Carel Boshoff and discussed the question of Afrikaner identity and a homeland in the new South Africa. Nelson Mandela expressed sympathy with Carel Boshoff’s concerns and invited him to submit their proposal to the Convention for Democratic South Africa.

Realising that the new South Africa was not going to accommodate an Afrikaner homeland, Professor Carel Boshoff retreated with his following to a small town in Orania, Northern Cape where they hoped to create an Afrikaner homeland that would protect the Afrikaner cultural heritage. 


References:
• Grobler, F. (2004). The Afrikaner homeland - a fading dream

Last updated : 15-Aug-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011

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