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Orania pushes for constitutional recognition

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The Afrikaner-only enclave of Orania in the Northern Cape says it is seeking constitutional recognition as South Africa ushers in the seventh administration led by President Cyril Ramaphosa under a government of national unity.

The deputy chairperson of the Orania Representative Council, Carel Boshoff. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

THE AFRIKANER-only enclave of Orania, situated in Northern Cape says it is seeking constitutional recognition as South Africa ushers in the seventh administration led by President Cyril Ramaphosa under a government of national unity.

Massive festivities are set to envelop the Union Buildings on Wednesday as numerous foreign heads of state and government join thousands of South Africans at Ramaphosa’s inauguration for a second term in office – even though the African National Congress (ANC) performed dismally in the May 29 elections.

In an interview with broadcaster Newsroom Afrika, the deputy chairperson of the Orania Representative Council, Carel Boshoff, said the existence of the Afrikaner-only community is no different from black communities scattered across South Africa.

“It is important to note that Orania does not constitute itself on racial terms, and it does not understand itself on racial terms but on cultural terms. Orania being white is nothing different from thousands of local communities being black, exclusively, if you would like to call it that. It is just a matter of people associating.

“Orania has no rule or criteria that excludes somebody because of their race. We are operating within the normal framework. The people that joined us are the people that are interested,” said Boshoff.

He stated that South Africa has been exclusionary to the Afrikaner community.

“Up until now, South Africa has expressed itself in a very centralistic way, a way that has really excluded our people from opportunities, from business. This whole concept of transformation is a concept of excluding us,” said Boshoff.

A signpost in Orania, Northern Cape. File Picture: Boxer Ngwenya, Independent Newspapers

“So you could not have expected the kind of enthusiasm that one likes to see flaming now and then at a meeting point like tomorrow (the presidential inauguration on Wednesday). We are not in resistance against that, but enthusiasm – that really lacks for very good reasons within our community,” Boshoff told the television channel on Tuesday.

Interestingly, Boshoff said the Orania community supports ANC provincial chair Dr Zamani Saul’s re-election as premier of the Northern Cape.

Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul. File picture

“We have had a long-standing relationship with Zamani, which does not mean that either he agrees with our policies or we (agree) with his – but we have had a long and constructive relationship with him. We support his position in the Northern Cape, especially as that leads up to the normalisation of Orania within the Province, as well as in the country,” he said.

Boshoff declared in the interview that he is directly related to Hendrik Verwoerd, the man often referred to as the architect of apartheid, who was at one point the prime minister of South Africa.

“My mother was the daughter of Dr Verwoerd, yes,” said Boshoff.

Boshoff’s father, the late Professor Carel Boshoff, co-founded Orania in the early 90s.

Orania’s founder, Professor Carel Boshoff. File picture: Independent Newspapers

The SABC reported earlier this week that the Freedom Front Plus in the Northern Cape, which voted with the ANC for Saul’s re-election in the provincial legislature, says the return of the Northern Cape premier to office paves the way for the FF Plus’s request for the consideration of the status of Orania.

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