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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)

Abstract

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

Keywords

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.

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© Christoph Marx 2011

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  • Christoph Marx

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