The parliamentary by-election in Waterberg was of particular significance to both the National Party and the Re-constituted National Party. The HNP knew that it would mean a great deal to them if they could conquer this fortress of the late Adv. J. G. Strijdom, while the NP was also thoroughly aware of what possible effect such a victory for the HNP could have on political thinking in South Africa. Adv. Vorster made use of this opportunity to refute accusations made against the NP which he regarded as calculated to sow suspicion. He stressed the necessity of good relations and co-operation between Afrikaans and English-speaking South Africans to ensure the survival of the White in South Africa. Homeland development and the eventual independence of these territories were also discussed. The Prime Minister furthermore considered it necessary to state his African policy again and pointed out that we were of Africa and that South Africa, had no vague responsibility in Africa. The Prime Minister also devoted attention to the National Party's sports policy, particularly in view of the considerable number of question marks put beside it on the part of the HNP.
Mr. Chairman, for what does the National Party stand? Not only for what does the National Party stand, but how do things look ahead? In this regard everyone of you has his own thoughts, everyone reads newspapers, everyone listens to the news.
You make summaries and you draw conclusions about how things will be for South Africa on the road ahead.
I am pleased that our people think about it. I am pleased that they discuss it, for after all, what is at stake is not two candidates in a constituency, it is not political parties or other monsters. What is at stake is the survival of South Africa and its people.
And the question is - and this is the responsibility of every leader -how must you direct matters to guarantee that survival? And this has become my task, more specifically in the last five years, but also in previous years, and I have now been a minister for 13 years and have had to do with these matters. And therefore I cannot do other than state to you very briefly that in the first instance, the task of the Government is to keep a country like South Africa with its problems as solvent and as economically healthy as possible.
Because of this we have from time to time taken measures of which some were unpopular among you. I know because we had to do this to ensure South Africa's long-term stability and guarantee it. I want to tell you here tonight that I have never played for popularity in my public career. In the light of the insight I have and according to advice I receive, I from time to time take measures even though they may be unpopular: I will have the courage of my convictions and tell our people so.
But we must not only see to it that we are economically stable in the long term. Have you ever thought how they would have broken us in these past years had we not been economically stable? How they would have brought us down with boycotts and threats? But they could not touch us because the National Party made South Africa strong on that front. Not only could they not touch us, but a neighbouring state of ours could continue to exist for all those years because South Africa is there. 1
It is further necessary for every country to be adept as far as its defence is concerned. One must be as militarily defensible as possible. But you know, defensibility alone, without information, often does not mean much. As important as it is to be defensible, so certain must you be about the direction from which your threat comes, and for that you need people, people who often have to go and seek information with their lives in their hands.
And if you look at the Gestigtes now, who is the man - and he cannot defend himself- who attacked them more than any other man? It is General Hendrik van den Bergh. 2 The man who with me exterminated communism here in South Africa. A man for whom I have the highest regard and respect, but Jaap Marais and Hennie Serfontein have to go and attack and criticise him in the Sunday Times.
Apart from that, it is necessary for a country like South Africa that its people, the people living within its borders, live in peace together, live together without friction, that there is good understanding among them.
And I want to repeat it again here tonight, ladies and gentlemen, that it is of the utmost importance as far as the future of South Africa is concerned, that Afrikaner and English speaker must understand each other. That they must understand each other and that they must have a common love and loyalty for this fatherland South Africa and I want to repeat what I have often said in the past, that as far as this issue is concerned, I am an Afrikaner and I am only prepared to co-operate with English speakers in South Africa if I can do it on the basis of my Afrikanerskap.
Only as an Afrikaner, am I prepared to co-operate. And it is implicit in the principles of the National Party that Afrikaner and English speaker can belong to the National Party. It is not necessary for you to sacrifice your language. It is not necessary for the Afrikaner to sacrifice his cultural heritage; it is not necessary for you to sacrifice yours. Mutual respect for each other's language, for each others tradition and common love and loyalty for South Africa will bind us together.
And I want to say to you that you can only have that fruitful cooperation in South Africa within the framework of the National Party and on the principles of the National Party.
This has been our view through the years in the National Party. It was Dr. Malan's view, and the view of Mr. Strijdom, Dr. Verwoerd and myself. Ask yourselves where the Herstigte Party stand in this regard. But I say if we are concerned about the future, then we must get maximum co-operation between the Afrikaans and English-speaking, but it must have a firm basis and foundation - not be just a syrupy talking together but real mutual respect for each other. And one displays the best respect for the other man if one speaks his language.
And this applies not only to the Afrikaner who has to speak English, but also to the English-speaking who have to speak Afrikaans.
I believe that we have to some extent already found such a basis, such an understanding in South Africa. I believe that we will ultimately find it, for it must be done in the interests of South Africa.
But it is also essential that there be the greatest peace between White and Non-White in South Africa. You know the position of members as well as I do and the National Party was concerned about this, that was why we brought the policy of separate development to the fore. And what is the basis of the policy of separate development?
It is, in the first instance, the right of the Whites to preserve their white identity. Nobody can deprive them of that right and they will not allow anybody to do so. But what he wants for himself he does not begrudge those of other colours in South Africa. What I demand for myself in respect of my language, I do not begrudge the Tswana or the Xhosa or the Zulu in respect of his language and the things of his spirit.
And you know, people ask me whether, taking into account the numbers against us, we will be able to continue to exist in the future. And then my answer is Yes, I believe we will, I believe this for many reasons, among others that we have never done to the Black man what was done to us in South Africa.
In my time as Minister of Justice I acted against many Black people, and my predecessors and others acted against them, but in South Africa we have never acted against a Black man who said that he wanted to be a Black man, to speak his language and live in his own country. We never acted against him. On the contrary, the success of our policy - and I want to thank Uncle Daan for that - lies in our having encouraged what was his own and our having created respect for it and nobody did that more than my friend here.
We have said that we are different to them and we have the right to preserve that difference. That is why we created the policy of separate development, otherwise we would not have created it.
But in the second instance, we brought this policy because in a country like South Africa, where Whites and a tremendous preponderance of Non-Whites live, it is of cardinal importance that friction be limited to a minimum, and this is best limited by keeping people apart who want to be and should be apart. But these people, the Gestigtes who talk like this, can we afford a second Sharpeville 3 in South Africa? While I am talking about that, I want to say tonight in the full realization of my responsibility, that there are at present people in South Africa, certain clerics, certain people at universities, certain people elsewhere in politics and outside who want to make it their aim to bring about a second Sharpeville here in South Africa.
I want to tell you that I am aware of the plans being made in that regard. I want to tell those people that not only are we aware of what is going on, but we will act with the greatest hardhandedness in the world in this regard. We shall not tolerate or permit it.
I think it is necessary that I should tell these people that the Government has certain powers and will not hesitate to make use of them. I want to add that there are certain dormant powers which I myself raised in 1965. 4 They can be brought back in a second if it should prove necessary here in South Africa.
I hope and trust it will not be necessary. I also do not foresee that it will be necessary. I am therefore not stating a prospect, nothing less than that a government situated like ours has to be watchful at all times; that we are vigilant and that we shall not hesitate to act when we have to.
It is for that reason that we said we would develop the Bantu Homelands. How often have you heard Dr. Verwoerd, Uncle Daan Nel, me and others say that when the Black man comes to us as he has in the whole world and says to us that he is also a human and also wants political rights and then asks what I am going to do in South Africa, then we tell him that he is also a human being created by God, just as we are, for let me tell you tonight, you can do everything in the world, but one thing you have no right to do, and that is to touch the right to human dignity of anybody, be he black or white.
And if he comes to you and says, I want political rights, then I say to him you may have political rights, but not in my territory. You may have them in your territory and only in your territory. And if he asks me how far he can advance in his own territory, and this Mr. Marais now blames me for, then I say to him he can develop into a free independent nation in his own territory.
You can develop in this way, and it is right, it is the God-given right of every nation to be free and independent.
But what is more, had the British not annexed them 100 years ago, these Black people would still have been independent today. It was after all not our policy to make them "British subjects" to bring them under our umbrella. Our whole policy is aimed at leading them to independence, to self-determination and that basis of National Party policy is now being contested by Dr. Hertzog and Mr. Jaap Marais. If it is their policy that the homelands should not be given independence and if they are now contesting it, then they sat in the National Party with lying hearts all these years.
And what kind of morality is it - while it was the cornerstone of Dr. Verwoerd's policy - that now you are contesting it, because you think you can incite White people against Black people.
I have stated my view to the Black leaders very clearly. I have done so repeatedly and will continue to do so in future whenever I see them. For I hold discussions with them, it is my duty as prime minister of this country, and I have never hesitated to say to them; Look, we are different to you, we have our land and you have your land, you will have no say whatsoever over my land and my children. But what is more, I am not prepared to integrate with them on any basis whatsoever. And this is also the view of the Black leaders. Indeed, anybody with self-respect will take such a view, whether white or black.
And Mr. Marais should not think we belong to the Re-constituted National Party that runs away. We will lead those homelands to independence. You heard me say in Parliament last year, and I did not say it only to you but to the whole world, that if a Black leader can and said, I no longer want to stand under you, I want to go way, he may come to me and say it and I will talk to him about it. What other view can one take? Do these brave heroes now want to tell me that, should the Transkei come tomorrow or the day after and say to us we feel we have developed enough, now we want what you have promised us over the years, namely our absolute freedom, sir then say to them, no we were playing with you. We never had serious intentions?
One cannot rule a country like that, one cannot walk with people like that, one cannot deceive people like that. And if they are independent, then I want to tell you again tonight and Mr. Marais thinks he uses it against me when he quotes me in Hansard where I said in Parliament, "When I use the word 'independence' I use it in its ordinary sense of the word." Now they think they will frighten us with the story that they will go to the UN and seek representation there. Of course they will seek it and what is more, I shall welcome that, for at least there will then be Black people who will tell other nations of the world the truth about South Africa.
We live in a strange world. I have seen White governments fear nothing as much as a Black leader. We in South Africa are actually very fortunate that we do not suffer from the colour complex which the rest of the world suffers.
After all we grew up with it and lived with it for generations but that in itself is not necessary, and if this aspect of our Bantu policy or our Coloured policy is not clear to you, I can spare the time and will be grateful if you ask me questions about it, but I do not want to up too much of your time when it is not necessary. After all, I have there are people who are paid to ask me questions and they should at least earn their money.
At his meetings, Mr. Marais makes jokes about the way in which we are situated. To me it is not a laughing matter, it is one of earnestness. Communism is a danger to us. The communist penetration in the Indian Ocean is a tremendous source of danger to us. One is thankful that the British in Europe understand this and that it is starting to make an impression on the Americans.
But that is not the largest single threat facing Africa and South Africa. The largest single threat facing South Africa is the bridgehead forged by Red China in Tanzania and being forced in Zambia. 5 Mr. Marias jokes about it, saying that everyone knows they have been building a railway line since 1964.
But it is not a matter of building a railway line. It is a matter of Africa becoming a springboard for millions of Red Chinese. 6 It is a matter of an unexploited Africa which, if correctly utilised, its land and water, could become a springboard for the millions of superfluous Chinese that they did not know what to do with. And if that railway from Dar-es-Salaam to Lusaka has been built and the Chinese technicians have come in their thousands and they decide to remain, have you looked at the map of Africa? If you control the Dar-es-Salaam-Lusaka line it is easy to obtain control of the Benguela line and then you cut Southern Africa off from the rest of Africa.
Then you come down systematically to push South Africa against the sea. Have you already considered that it is one thing to fight Black terrorists on the Zambezi, but another thing to fight Red Chinese on the Limpopo? But you joke about it if it suits you. To me it is a serious matter because I have lived with this problem for many years and because of that I told myself on the day I gained this office that I had to proceed rapidly on the road taken by my predecessors in this regard. I have to bring about an understanding between South Africa and other African states. For that reason I began diplomatic relations with Dr. Banda and Malawi. For that reason I seek the peace and friendship of all non-communist states in Africa and I do not apologise for this. I owe it to you. I owe it to my children. I owe it to this fatherland which God in his mercy gave to me and my people.
Could you imagine looking at the map of Africa again? Had Malawi not taken the attitude to us that it has, had it taken the same road as Zambia and Tanzania, how long could Rhodesia have stood where it stands tonight? How long would Mozambique and Angola have remained standing? But this does not count when petty political advantage is sought.
I say to you that we do not only have a duty to ourselves, but we have too long described ourselves as Europeans to the outside world. We are not Europeans, we are of Africa as any other person is of Africa. Africa is the land of our birth. We will die here in Africa. And Africa and Providence have been good to us. We have come a long way in the years that have passed. It is not only for the sake of our interests, but it is our Christian duty to return in some measure what Africa has given us. And therefore I am not apologising tonight for the technical and other aid I have given African states. I did it because I believe it was good and right and Christian to do so. They may exploit it as much as they like, but I did it in a way that was the right way to do it and the right way to do a thing is the way in which it has until now been carried out. Many years ago an elderly philosopher said: "If you give a man a fish you have a meal, but if you teach him to fish he will always eat." It is on that basis that I wish to help. It is on that basis that I gave aid and will give aid in future.
But, my friends, where do we stand tonight thanks to the National Party? Let me say in all modesty, thanks to my efforts, where do we stand tonight when there is dissension about South Africa in Addis Ababa, 7 when there was no unanimous fight against South Africa but when it went so far that one group wanted to fight with South Africa? What are you playing at if you condemn these things? What are you seeking when you do not want to understand, because you know what the problems are. I heard them say: We'll shoot them. Let me put it to you very clearly. I have said it to Africa many times. Just dare to attack us and see what happens. But it is a fool who would try to provoke this.
But you know, I have also seen it, and - as you know people as well as I do - I think it is worthwhile that I should tell you this little tale. I was camp leader in the Koffiefontein internment camp and there was a man who accused me of being a coward because I refused to strike the camp commander with whom he had had trouble. One fine day I said to him: My good friend, it is after all not my trouble, but I'll tell you what I'll do with you. I'll give you the opportunity to do the hitting. I then asked the camp commander to come and see me in the camp. He agreed and I made it known that the commander was on the way. I stood and watched. The man came out of his house and flexed his muscles, but I was not afraid because I know people, and when he got to the camp commander he took off his hat and said: "Good morning, Colonel."
I know people like that and you know people like that. As the leader of this nation it is my duty, because of these things I have mentioned and many others, to make peace where possible with African states, while retaining South Africa's self-respect.
I am now blamed for saying I would discuss separate development with them. Good gracious, what do the Americans talk to me about but separate development? What else do the Germans or French or British discuss when they come and see me? Separate development, of course, and then I explain it to them. Should I now evade my duty of explaining to Black Africa what separate development is?
I am after all, prepared to be hanged for what I am. I am not only prepared to be hanged for what I am, but I will welcome the opportunity to tell other heads of state that this is my policy as I have so often done in my political career. I will welcome it for this policy of mine was moulded by the South African electorate and they are the people who can mould it.
As leader of the party and as prime minister of South Africa, it is my duty to let South Africa take her rightful place in the world. After all I want you and you want yourselves to be able to raise your heads proudly in the whole world. That is what I am striving for, and just as it is essential that the Afrikaans and English-speaking understand each other, that White and Non-White understand each other, that Africa and South Africa understand each other, so it is essential that South Africa and the world understand each other.
And now you know the world. When we and Africa understand each other, we will have no problems with the world outside, because after all, the world docs not want to fight us: they are not fighting with us because they want to, but they are climbing on to the band wagon or cause that is popular with the UN and in other places.
That is why it is my duty to go about things in this way. But I have often publicly stated my view to the world outside and I must do so again tonight in a single sentence. I said it in Oudtshoorn shortly after I came to power when all the diplomats were present and I told them I wanted to forge the friendliest relations with all non-communist countries in the world on one condition: you must take me as I am.
If you are not prepared to take me as I am, then leave me. I am not afraid and I never was afraid in my political career to stand alone if I had to. I am also not afraid of the day that I will have to say to South Africa: Look, now I tell you we are standing alone. But only a fool stands alone if there is no reason to do so. Only a fool seeks isolation when friendly relations are obtainable by virtue of one's policy and one's principles.
But South Africa is a growing country. South Africa must have export markets for her products and the first people to squeal are those who say we must cut ourselves off from the world. They are the first who will come and kick up a fuss. And because of that see my task as I have sketched it for you tonight.
I believe that South Africa will succeed in that purpose. I believe that despite the confusion the Herstigte Party has brought and despite the suspicion they have sown, despite the incitement Party and its press, healthy relations between the Afrikaner and the English-speaking in South Africa will come about. I believe that peaceful relations can exist between Bantu Homelands which become independent and South Africa. The spectre the United Party presents in this regard is that it will make communists infiltration that much easier. And you know, to me the irony of the Dr. Hertzog and Jaap Marais rejected these argument." you now read this pamphlet of theirs you will see that they UP argument against us: "The Russians and Chines Black leaders for these Blacks and are providing them with arms". And they go on to tell us what these threats will be.
If these Black territories become independent run the risk with them that any other independent any other independent state. The same risk the Netherlands runs with Belgium and Belgium with Germany or France with Italy; but what is more, we are now running the same risk with Botswana with Lesotho and with Swaziland.
But as you know us, do you think we should be afraid of running that risk? Do you for one moment think it contains a danger for us? But what would contain a danger for us would be our withholding of the lawful rights of those people. Then it would not only constitute a danger for us, but would be an immoral deed on our pa not prepared to act immorally in politics.
My leader and your leader. Dr. H. F. Verwoerd, gave the White man's word to the Black man. As long as I am here that world honoured.
That view of the National Party concerning separate development will be carried by us to its logical consequences. We will not carry it through only on the international front as far as White states are concerned, but we will also carry it out in respect of states. We will carry it out in the political sphere, we v out in the sphere of sport. And therefore not only in 1967, but recently I stated our sports policy in that regard. I notice that the Herstigte Party have little to say about that. If I called to mind the Maori thoughts I would also not talk about it if I were in their shoes. But, just as we attribute to ourselves the right - and in that lies success of our future policy -just as we demand for ourselves the right to traffic internationally with other states, we must not begrudge them this. It is the only moral and viable policy. And that is the basis of my sports policy. When the British come to play rugby here next year they may play against a Black team and a Coloured team, but as far as sport in South Africa is concerned, there is separate play by the various sports groups. Play is separate at club level. There is separate play at provincial level, there is separate play at international level. But every sport has developed on its own and I have kept account of that development and I have kept account in my sports policy and I have taken my stand - which will be exploited - but I want to account to you tonight. And if you do not agree with me, tell me so. Just as international athletic meetings are held in Europe, in France, Germany, or England, where all nations may compete, why should I deny my White South Africans that privilege? I have said that in that same way I could organise an international meeting in South Africa because it flows from my multinational policy that I follow here in South Africa and I am not violating a single principle or item of policy. On the contrary, it is the execution of my policy of separate development in its full consequences. But what happened to the Herstigtes was that they shied away from the consequences of our policy. I am not prepared to shy away and I am pleased that my friend adds: "We are also not", because that is how I know our people. I know that one thing can always be found among our people and that is an honest political standpoint. Then it is not a question of setting your sails to the wind, but a willingness to look squarely at your policy and its consequences.
And I tell you that on the road ahead, what South Africa needs, is not the action of the United Party and its leaders which says nothing, it is not the dangerous policy advanced by the Progressive Party at present, it is not the opportunism of the Herstigte Party that still remain, but it is the policy and principles of the National Party. And it is that party whose candidate on Wednesday will be Dr. Treurnicht, it is that party that you will support on Wednesday. For let me ask you this: If things go wrong in Waterberg, can you imagine the delight in Addis Ababa? If things go wrong in Waterberg, can you imagine what will be said in the UN? Not to speak of the locals here in South Africa. But I have faith in you.
I have told you that followers should know what they have in their leader and where he is taking them. I am leading you on the road that will ensure that as an Afrikaner, you will remain an Afrikaner. I am taking the road that will ensure that as a White man you will remain. I am taking you on the road that will ensure that the Republic of South Africa will remain your fatherland. And I can tell you that it is the road on which I am taking you because it is the road of the National Party.
In 1965 Rhodesia made a unilateral declaration of independence. The Republic's policy of good neighbourliness faced a stern test. As in the term of office of Dr. Verwoerd, the Republic's policy of normal relations was very successfully maintained by Adv. Vorster.
General Hendrik van den Bergh is the Director of the Bureau for State Security.
On 21 March 1960 the police clashed with Blacks in Sharpeville. Feelings ran high and the police were forced to use arms. Sixty-nine Blacks were killed and 180 wounded.
Here Adv. Vorster referred to the lifting of the go-day stipulation of the General Laws Amendment Bill, which he raised as Minister of Justice on 11 June 1965. Cf. Die Transvaler, 8.1.1965 and 10.1.1965 and Dagbreek, 10.1.1965.
Red China was responsible for the financing of the building of the Tanzam Railway which stretches from Dar-es-Salaam to Lusaka. In this Red China acquired a firm hold on various African states.
Cf. the statement of the President of the Ivory Coast, Mr. Felix Houphouet-Boigny: "The real menace is Communist expansion. The real threat is People's China. And against this danger, the best bulwark today is South Africa with its military and industrial power." Cf. The Cape Argus, 14.5.1971. In 1971 the population of China was put at 787 176000. Natural growth is estimated at 1,5-2 per cent. The present population could therefore be in the vicinity of 800 000 000. Cf. Statemen's Yearbook, p. 813.
The summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) met in Addis Ababa 1971. The question of whether there was valid reason for dialogue with discussed at length. Cf. Die Transvaler, 21.6.1971.