By Umamah Bakharia
Nationalism has paid off for successive ruling groups, notably the Afrikaner nationalists and the African nationalists.
The culture was central to Afrikaner nationalism, and AfriForum’s politics and the formation of the Cape Forum can be seen as neo-nationalist remnants of this, writes Professor Christi van der Westhuizen, Professor at the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy at the Nelson Mandela University and the author of White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Professor van der Westhuizen says that the formation of the Cape Forum is a blast from our apartheid past.
“It basically created a parallel organisation specifically aimed at organising people who were known as ‘coloured’ under apartheid in the Cape province,” says Professor van der Westhuizen.
She adds that this is a replica of the ‘tri cameral parliament’ arrangements which included coloured and Indian people alongside white people in parliament, however, each race dealt with its own issues.
“So this idea of own affairs is basically where [there is] a cultural division of people [or] you use culture to say that people are so different in their cultures that they cant make joint decisions about [issues] and therefore they must be parked in their own parliamentary chamber,” says Professor van der Westhuizen.
She says that the formation of such parties becomes an issue when organisations aim to aggregate Afrikaners.
“When we look at the Cape Forum it would seem definite as though the initiative is coming from AfriForum [who sees an opportunity],” says Professor van der Westhuizen.
She believes that AfriForum is trying to gain something out of the Cape Forum.