Verwoerdian Apartheid and African Political Elites in South Africa, 1950–68

  • Christoph Marx
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


Afrikaner nationalism became an organized movement in 1914 when the National Party was founded and began to provide a platform for everybody who was dissatisfied with the politics of the day. The Party’s followers were largely rural farmers who suffered economically in the aftermath of the Anglo-Boer War and World War I. Only in 1918 did Afrikaner nationalism become an urban phenomenon when a small group of railway employees founded the Afrikaner Broederbond in Johannesburg. When its efforts as a cultural organization bore little fruit, the Broederbond decided in 1921 to become a secret society and went underground. It used a clandestine cell structure whereby the communication channels were controlled by a powerful leadership, the Uitvoerende Raad (Executive Council). Its elitist character became even more pronounced after a number of academics, mostly from the Calvinist University of Potchefstroom, joined the organization in about 1927 and henceforth largely dominated the leadership structure. The Broederbond started to recruit persons who already were in key positions in public service and in Afrikaans cultural organizations, and it infiltrated other institutions and organizations. During the 1930s and 1940s the Broederbond became increasingly influential as the guiding force of Afrikaans cultural nationalism.1 When in 1948 the National Party came to power, the secret society wholeheartedly supported the policy of apartheid and started to look for potential partners among African elites. This chapter will look into the way this elitist Afrikaner organization supported and manipulated the emergence of an African political elite in the orbit of South African power, which includes those neighboring regions which were more or less dependent on South Africa economically as well as militarily.2


Migrant Worker Election Campaign African National Congress National Party South African Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Eckert, Andreas (2007) Herrschen und Verwalten: Afrikanische Bürokraten, staatliche Ordnung und Politik in Tanzania, 1920–1970 (Munich: Oldenbourg).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Edgar, Robert (1987) “Introduction,” in Robert Edgar Prophets with Honour: A Documentary History of Lekhotla la Bafo (Johannesburg: Ravan Press).Google Scholar
  3. Evans, Ivan (1997) Bureaucracy and Race: Native Administration in South Africa (Berkeley and London: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  4. Hailey, Lord (1953) Native Administration in the British African Territories, Part V: The High Commission Territories: Basutoland, The Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland (London: Colonial Office).Google Scholar
  5. Hammond-Tooke, W. D. (1975) Command or Consensus: The Development of Transkeian Local Government (Cape Town: David Philip).Google Scholar
  6. Hammond-Tooke, W. D. (1997) Imperfect Interpreters: South Africa’s Anthropologists 1920–1990 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press).Google Scholar
  7. Hendricks, Fred T. (1989) “Loose Planning and Rapid Resettlement: The Politics of Conservation and Control in Transkei, South Africa, 1950–1970,” Journal of Southern African Studies, 15(2): 306–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kowet, Donald Kalinde (1978) Land, Labour Migration and Politics in Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African Studies).Google Scholar
  9. Leeman, Bernard (1985) Lesotho and the Struggle for Azania: Africanist Political Movements in Lesotho and Azania: The Origins and History of the Basutoland Congress Party and the Pan Africanist Congress, Vols 1 and 2 (in one volume), 1780–1966 (London: University of Azania, PAC Education Office).Google Scholar
  10. Machobane, L. B. B. J. (1986) The Political Dilemma of Chieftaincy in Colonial Lesotho with Reference to the Administration and Courts Reforms of 1938 (Roma: University of Lesotho).Google Scholar
  11. Marx, Christoph (2002) “Streit auf Robben Island: Chiefs, Nationalismus und Klassenkampf in Südafrika,” in Peter Burschel, Mark Häberlein, Volker Reinhardt, Wolfgang E. J. Weber and Reinhard Wendt (eds.) Historische Anstöße: Festschrift für Wolfgang Reinhard zum 65. Geburtstag am 10. April 2002 (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag).Google Scholar
  12. Marx, Christoph (2008) Oxwagon Sentinel: Radical Afrikaner Nationalism and the History of the Ossewabrandwag (Münster and Pretoria: Lit-Verlag and Unisapress).Google Scholar
  13. Mayer, Philip (1966) “The Tribal Elite and the Transkeian Elections of 1963,” in P. C. Lloyd (ed.) The new Elites of Tropical Africa (London: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  14. Mbeki, Govan (1984) South Africa: The Peasants’ Revolt (London: IDAF).Google Scholar
  15. Rosenberg, Scott (1999) “Monuments, Holidays, and Remembering Moshoeshoe: The Emergence of National Identity in Lesotho, 1902–1966,” Africa Today, 46(1): 49–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sanders, Peter (2000) The Last of the Queen’s Men: A Lesotho Experience (Johannesburg and Morija: Witwatersrand University Press and Morija Museum and Archives).Google Scholar
  17. Southall, Roger (2003) “Between Competing Paradigms: Post-Colonial Legitimacy in Lesotho,” in Henning Melber (ed.) Limits to Liberation in Southern Africa: The Unfinished Business of Democratic Consolidation (Cape Town: HSRC Press).Google Scholar
  18. Spence, Jack (1975) “South Africa and the Modern World,” in Monica Wilson and Leonard Thompson (eds.) The Oxford History of South Africa, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  19. Streek, Barry and Richard Wicksteed (1981) Render unto Kaiser: A Transkei Dossier (Johannesburg: Ravan Press).Google Scholar
  20. Stultz, Newell M. (1980) Transkei’s Half Loaf: Race Separatism in South Africa (Cape Town: David Philip).Google Scholar
  21. Verwoerd, Hendrik F. (1963) I. Crisis in World Conscience, II. The Road to Freedom for Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Swaziland (Pretoria: Government Printer).Google Scholar
  22. Weisfelder, Richard F. (2002) Political Contention in Lesotho 1952–1965 (Roma: Institute of Southern African Studies).Google Scholar
  23. Wilkins, Ivor and Hans Strydom (1980) The Super-Afrikaners: Inside the Afrikaner Broederbond (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christoph Marx 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Marx

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations