The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging ([ɐfriˈkɑːnər ˌviərstants.bəˈviəχəŋ]), meaning Afrikaner Resistance Movement, commonly known by its abbreviation AWB, is a South African neo-Nazi separatist political and paramilitary organisation, often described as a white supremacist group. Since its founding in 1973 by Eugène Terre'Blanche and six other far-right Afrikaners, it has been dedicated to secessionist Afrikaner nationalism and the creation of an independent Boer-Afrikaner republic or "Volkstaat/Boerestaat" in part of South Africa. During bilateral negotiations to end apartheid in the early 1990s, the organization terrorized and killed black South Africans.
As of 2016, it is reported that the organization has around 5,000 members, and uses social media for recruitment.
("Afrikaner Resistance Movement")
|Leader||Steyn von Rönge|
|Headquarters||Ventersdorp, North West Province, South Africa|
|Slogan||"God, Volk, Vaderland" (Afrikaans)|
"God, People, Fatherland" (English)
On 7 July 1973 Eugène Terre'Blanche, a former police officer, called a meeting of several men in Heidelberg, Gauteng, in the then-Transvaal Province of South Africa. He was disillusioned by what he thought were Prime Minister B.J. Vorster's "liberal views" of racial issues in the white-minority country, after a period in which black majorities had ascended to power in many former colonies. Terre'Blanche also worried about what he characterized as communist influences in South African society. He decided to form a group with six other like-minded persons, which they named the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) (AWB), to promote Afrikaner nationalism. His associates elected him as head of the group, a position he held until he was killed on his farm in April 2010.
Their objective was to establish an independent Boerestaat ("Boer State") for Boer-Afrikaner people only. It was to be independent of apartheid South Africa, which they considered too left wing and liberal. The AWB was formed to try to regain the ground they thought lost after the Second Boer War; the men intended to re-establish the independent Boer Republics of the past: the South African Republic (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek) and the Republic of the Orange Free State (Oranje Vrystaat).
During the 1970s and 1980s, the AWB attracted several thousand white South Africans as members. They opposed the reform of apartheid laws during the 1980s, harassing liberal politicians and holding large (and often quite rowdy) political rallies. Terre'Blanche used his flamboyant oratorial skills and forceful personality to win converts. He railed against the lifting of many so-called "petty apartheid" laws, such as the law banning interracial sex and marriage (the Race Relations Act), mixing of the races (Group Areas Act), as well as the government providing limited political rights to Indians and Coloureds (persons of African and European ancestry, mixed-race individuals). During the State of Emergency (1984 to 1986), AWB violence and murders of unarmed non-whites were reported. The AWB especially opposed the then-banned African National Congress (ANC), which worked to achieve political rights for the indigenous native South Saharan Africans. The ruling National Party considered the AWB to be little more than a fringe group.
The group operated relatively unhindered until 1986, when white police officers took the unprecedented step of using tear gas against the AWB when they disrupted a National Party rally. In 1988, the organisation was estimated to have had support amongst 5 to 7 percent of the white South African population. In the Nick Broomfield documentary film, His Big White Self (2006), he claimed the organisation reached a peak of half a million supporters in its heyday.
During the negotiations that led to South Africa's first non-racial elections, the AWB engaged in violence and murder. During the Battle of Ventersdorp in August 1991, the AWB confronted police in front of the town hall where President F. W. de Klerk was speaking, and "a number of people were killed or injured" in the conflict. Later in the negotiations, the AWB stormed the Kempton Park World Trade Centre where the negotiations were taking place, breaking through the glass front of the building with an armoured car. The police guarding the centre failed to prevent the invasion. The invaders then took over the main conference hall, threatening delegates and painting slogans on the walls, but left again after a short period. Six AWB members were sentenced to death for the murder of four black people at a fake roadblock they set up to terrorize black travellers.
In 1988, the AWB was beset by scandal when claims that Terre'Blanche had had an affair with journalist Jani Allan surfaced. In July 1989, Cornelius Lottering, a member of a breakaway AWB group Orde van die Dood (Order of the Dead), attempted to assassinate Allan by placing a bomb outside her Sandton apartment. Nick Broomfield's 1991 documentary The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife claimed that Terre'Blanche had sex with Allan, a claim she denied. This led to Allan taking libel proceedings against the documentary broadcaster Channel 4 in 1992 in the London High Court. During the trial, several transcripts of their alleged unconventional sexual positions appeared in the South African and British press. Terre'Blanche also submitted a sworn statement to the London court denying that he had had an affair with Allan. Although the judge found that Channel 4's allegations had not defamed Allan, he did not rule on whether or not there had been an affair.
In 1994, before the advent of majority rule, the AWB gained international notoriety in its attempt to defend the dictatorial government of Lucas Mangope in the homeland of Bophuthatswana. The AWB, along with a contingent of about 90 Afrikaner Volksfront militiamen, entered the capital Mmabatho on 10 and 11 March. The black policemen and soldiers of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force who were out in force to support president Mangope disappeared from the streets in protest at the AWB's actions and later turned on the militiamen at the airport at Mafikeng. One AWB member was shot and killed when the convoy attempted to leave the airport and continue on to Mmabatho. When in Mmabatho, the AWB and the Afrikaner Volksfront found themselves under continuous siege from both the Bophuthatswana Defence Force and Mmabatho citizens. When attempting to retreat from Mmabatho on 11 March, three AWB members were summarily executed after they had been wounded in a firefight, by a Defence Force member who had gone over to the ANC. Nearby photojournalists and television news crews recorded the incident, which proved to be a public relations disaster for the AWB, demoralising its white members. The AWB claimed that they were asked into the country and only entered trying to help the Bophuthatswana government, but the Tebbutt Commission found the "evidence is overwhelming that they entered the area uninvited and that they were not welcome there".
On 17 June 2001 Terre'Blanche was sentenced to six years in prison for assaulting a petrol station worker, John Ndzima, to such an extent as to cause permanent brain damage, and the attempted murder of a security guard and former employee, Paul Motshabi. Terre'Blanche was released in June 2004 after serving 3 years in Rooigrond Prison near Mafikeng. During his time in prison he became a born-again Christian and claimed he had moderated many of his more nationalist views and preached reconciliation as 'prescribed by God'.
In April 2007, AWB posters appeared at the 13th Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn. Several posters made reference to the Bok van Blerk song 'De la Rey', an Afrikaans hit record about the Boer General as well as to South Africa's former coat of arms. Organisers were quick to remove the posters.
In March 2008, the AWB announced it was re-activating for 'populist' reasons, citing the encouragement of the public. Reasons for the return include the electricity crisis, corruption across government departments and rampant crime. Plans include a demand for land that they claim is legally theirs in terms of the Sand River Convention of 1852 and other historical treaties, through the International Court of Justice in The Hague if necessary, and if that failed, taking up arms. In April 2008, Terre'Blanche was to be the speaker at several AWB rallies in Vryburg, Middelburg and Pretoria. Several areas in South Africa have been earmarked as part of a future Volkstaat according to three critical title deeds. The areas include Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal, the old republics of Stellaland and Goshen in the far North-West and sections of the Free State.
The Mail & Guardian newspaper reported in 2008 that the AWB group has over 5000 members, and appeals to 18- to 35-year-olds to join the organisation's youth wing. The South African press reported in 2016 that the AWB continue to use social media to recruit new members.
|General Secretary||Took Office||Left Office|
|Eugène Terre'Blanche||7 July 1973||– 3 April 2010|
|Steyn von Ronge||8 April 2010||Incumbent|
The AWB flag is composed of three black sevens forming a triskelion in a white circle upon a red background, resembling the flag of Nazi Germany. According to AWB, the sevens, 'the number of final victory', 'stand to oppose the number 666, the number of the anti-Christ'. Red is considered to represent Jesus' blood and the struggle of the Christians, while black stands for bravery. The inner white circle symbolises the "purity" and "eternal life".
The organisation is a popular antagonist amongst writers of alternate history literature. Several members of a fictionalised AWB are important characters in Harry Turtledove's American Civil War alternate history novel The Guns of the South. The AWB also features prominently in Larry Bond's novel of a Cold War-era civil war/international conflict in South Africa, Vortex.
There are hate groups in South Africa. Perhaps among the most organized is the Afrikaner Resistance Movement or AWB (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging). Included in its ideological platform are neo-Nazism and White supremacy.
Terre'Blanche, Eugene (1941-2010): Began career in the South African police. In 1973 founded the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging as a Nazi-inspired militant right-wing movement upholding white supremacy.
(Don't) touch me on my studio is a South African meme that developed out of an e.tv television interview, 7 April 2010, with André Visagie, former Secretary General of the far right group, the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), and political analyst, Lebohang Pheko. The two were discussing race relations in South Africa in the aftermath of AWB leader Eugène Terre'Blanche's murder. Pheko confronted Visagie about the alleged abuse of farm workers in South Africa, and the anchor of the show, Chris Maroleng had to intervene when Visagie lost his temper, ripping off his microphone and storming off the set before returning and saying: "You won't dare interrupting me...I am not finished with you (sic)."
Maroleng's repeated statement to Visagie, "(Don't) touch me on my studio, (don't) touch me on my studio (sic)," and the AWB member's adamant response, "I'll touch you on your studio", became a focus of jokes on Twitter, email, Facebook, forums and video remixes on YouTube. The Broadcasting Complaints Commission received 19 complaints about Maroleng's handling of the issue but these complaints were rejected.Antjie Krog, South African poet and academic, has expressed misgivings about the meme; “an Afrikaner and a black man's inability to use correct English has become the laughing stock of the country".1994 Bophuthatswana crisis
The 1994 Bophuthatswana crisis was a major political crisis which began after Lucas Mangope, the president of Bophuthatswana, a South African bantustan created under apartheid, attempted to crush widespread labour unrest and popular demonstrations demanding the incorporation of the territory into South Africa pending non-racial elections later that year. Violent protests immediately broke out following President Mangope's announcement on March 7 that Bophuthatswana would boycott the South African general elections. These escalated into a civil service strike and a mutiny in the local armed forces, which was complicated by the arrival of right-wing Afrikaner extremists ostensibly seeking to preserve the Mangope government. The chaos lasted about four days before the president bowed to pressure and agreed to allow participation in the upcoming elections. However, Mangope once again reversed his decision. The South African Defence Force (SADF) responded by deposing him and restoring order on March 12.The Bophuthatswana Crisis highlighted the deep unpopularity of the Mangope government and the bantustan system among most of its residents. It has been remembered largely for the televised shooting of three Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) militants by a black police officer. This proved to be a public relations disaster for the AWB and demoralised the movement, which was then intent on preserving white minority rule.1997 in South Africa
The following lists events that happened during 1997 in South Africa.777 (number)
777 (seven hundred [and] seventy-seven) is the natural number following 776 and preceding 778. The number 777 is significant in various religious and political contexts.AWB
AWB may refer to:
.awb, a filename extension for Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband computer files
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, a South African political group
Air waybill, a receipt issued by an international courier company
Average White Band, a Scottish band
AWB (album), a 1974 album by Average White Band
Aviation without Borders, a humanitarian organization
AWB Limited, the former Australian Wheat Board
Federal Assault Weapons Ban, an American law
Astronomers Without Borders, an American-based organization dedicated to astronomy
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (born 1997), an English professional footballerAfrikaner Volksfront
The Afrikaner Volksfront (AVF; English: Afrikaner People's Front) was a separatist umbrella organisation uniting a number of right-wing Afrikaner organisations in South Africa in the early 1990s.Bang-Bang Club
The Bang Bang Club was a group of four conflict photographers, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich, Ken Oosterbroek, and João Silva, active within the townships of South Africa between 1990 and 1994 during the transition from the apartheid system to democracy. This period included much factional violence, particularly fighting between ANC and IFP supporters, after the lifting of the bans on both political parties. The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging and other groups were also involved in the violence.
A film about the group, also titled The Bang Bang Club, directed by Steven Silver premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.Battle of Ventersdorp
The Battle of Ventersdorp was a violent confrontation on 9 August 1991 in the South African town of Ventersdorp between supporters of the far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) and the South African Police and security forces. Though technically not a "battle", it became known as such in the media while official sources such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) simply refer to it as an "incident". Much of its notoriety lies in the fact that it marked the first occasion the South African security forces used lethal force against right-wing white protesters since the National Party's ascension to power in 1948.Boerestaat Party
The Boerstaat Party (English: Boer State Party) is a right wing South African political party founded on 30 September 1986 by Robert van Tonder. It was never officially registered as a political party because it was unable to rally 500 persons under one roof, a requirement under South African electoral law for official political party status. It was never represented in the South African Parliament, neither in the apartheid era nor after democratisation. In 1989, it joined the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) in declaring support for Jaap Marais, the leader of the Herstigte Nasionale Party and has worked with the HNP on occasion since. The party was a charter member of the Afrikaner Volksfront coalition group. It has also operated with the paramilitary group, the Boere Weerstandsbeweging (Boer Resistance Movement) led by Andrew Ford.
The BSP were the third group in South Africa to openly advocate the restoration of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State and call for the secession of these territories from the Union of South Africa. Other groups advocated this notion in the past, with the Maritz Rebellion of 1914 and the Ossewa Brandwag of the 1940s being the most notable . This policy was later taken on board by the AWB and other rightist movements. The BSP further argued that the Boer citizens of these nineteenth century republics should be considered as a distinct nation from the Afrikaners, known as a Boerestaat.The BSP has been noted for adopting controversial views on AIDS and came out in support of the views on the subject expressed by Thabo Mbeki. The party has also taken an active role in ensuring that the Voortrekker Monument is cared for, with current leader Coen Vermaak a leading advocate in this campaign.Coen Vermaak has become noted for his controversial statements, arguing that it is official policy to drive white people to extinction through the widespread availability of contraceptives whilst he has further argued that 'I am convinced the abortion law is aimed at getting rid of white babies'. Vermaak has also claimed that AIDS was a hoax designed to promote the use of condoms among whites, claiming that 'no Boer [Afrikaner] ever had Aids. It doesn't exist. It's the biggest scam that can take place'.Whilst the party does not actively call for voting rights to be restricted to whites only, it firmly rejects the post-apartheid doctrine of universal suffrage. For Vermaak, it is ridiculous that a doctor and a vagrant should have an equal say in how the country is governed. He has argued that 'any logical person should understand [that] some people's votes should count more than others'.Eugène Terre'Blanche
Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (31 January 1941 – 3 April 2010) was an Afrikaner nationalist who was the founder and leader of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB; Afrikaner Resistance Movement in English). Prior to founding the AWB, Terre'Blanche served as a South African Police officer, was a farmer, and was an unsuccessful Herstigte Nasionale Party (Reconstituted National Party) candidate for local office in the Transvaal. He was a major figure in the right-wing backlash against the collapse of apartheid. His beliefs and philosophy have continued to be influential among white supremacists in South Africa and around the world.
Under Terre'Blanche, the AWB swore to use violence to preserve minority rule, opposing any concessions offered to the African National Congress – an organisation AWB supporters repeatedly branded as Marxist terrorists – and gaining notoriety for storming the Kempton Park Trade Centre during bilateral negotiations in 1993. AWB loyalists also clashed with South African security forces at the Battle of Ventersdorp, a bloody 1991 skirmish in which police opened fire on a white crowd for the first time since the Rand Rebellion, leaving three Afrikaners dead. Immediately prior to South Africa's first multiracial elections, Terre'Blanche's followers were linked to a number of bombings and assassinations targeting the South African Communist Party; armed AWB commandos participated in the crisis in Bophuthatswana in 1994.
Terre'Blanche spent three years in a Rooigrond prison for assaulting a petrol station attendant and for the attempted murder of a black security guard around 1996. He was released in June 2004. On 3 April 2010, the controversial AWB leader was hacked and beaten to death on his Ventersdorp farm, allegedly by two of his employees. Conservative Afrikaners have suggested that the killing was part of a larger pattern of farm invasions in South Africa.His Big White Self
His Big White Self is a 2006 documentary film made by Nick Broomfield. It is a follow-up to his 1991 film The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife. It was shown for the first time as part of More4's Nick Broomfield week which started on 27 February 2006. The documentary follows Broomfield as he returns to South Africa 12 years after the collapse of the apartheid regime. His previous film focused largely on JP Meyer, a driver for Eugène Terre'Blanche (the leader of the far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging), and JP's wife, Anita.Kommandokorps
Kommandokorps is an Afrikaner survivalist group active in South Africa. The leader is Colonel Franz Jooste, who served with the South African Defence Force during the apartheid era.The group organises paramilitary camps, which are attended by youths between the ages of 13 and 19. The teenagers are taught self-defence and how to combat a perceived black enemy. Following an infantry-style curriculum, they are lectured on racial differences, such as a claim that black people had a smaller cerebral cortex than whites, and are made to use a modern South African flag as a doormat. The camp is located in the veld outside the town of Carolina, Mpumalanga, about 230 km east of Johannesburg.Kommandokorps has been criticised by the Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum. The Democratic Alliance called for the group to be closed, and its activities investigated by the Human Rights Commission. A group of Kommandokorps volunteers attended the funeral of the former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene Terreblanche. In 2011, the group signed a saamstaanverdrag (unity pact) with the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging and the Suidlanders, a large group which advocates for white rights in post-apartheid South Africa and publicizes its belief that there is an ongoing genocide against whites, in particular farmers, in the country.“Fatherland” is a full-length documentary produced and directed by Tarryn Lee Crossman that explores the experiences of young men in the Kommandokorps camps.Following threats by South African President Jacob Zuma to pass legislation that would confiscate land from white farmers without compensation, and a vow by Mzwandile Masina, a prominent member of the ruling African National Congress, to "crush" anyone who stood in the way of the takeover, Kommandokorps leader Colonel Franz Jooste stated that the Kommandokorps was facing "a heightened security situation" and measures would be taken "to prepare for anarchy and how we can protect ourselves."Orde van die Dood
The Orde van die Dood (Afrikaans: Order of Death or Order of the Dead) was a militant offshoot of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging) which sought to create a white Boer homeland (Volkstaat) in South Africa, beginning in the 1980s.
The movement gained exposure in 1989 when member Cornelius Lottering attempted to assassinate the journalist Jani Allan with a bomb. Lottering was taken to court for charges including killing a black South African taxi driver, Potoko Makgalemele, for OvdD initiation purposes. Lottering was convicted of the murder, but was granted amnesty for the robberies he committed to help finance the OvdD, and of escaping from custody.Steyn von Rönge
Steyn von Rönge (sometimes written as Steyn van Ronge) (born 1955) is the president of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB). von Rönge was the deputy leader of the AWB who took over the reins after Eugene Terre'Blanche, the founding president, was murdered 3 April 2010. He had previously acted as leader of the AWB when Terre'Blanche was in prison.Steyn von Rönge was appointed as a leader of AWB on 6 April 2010 without voting. He joined the AWB in 1983 during the first referendum, as he did not vote with PW Botha's decisions. He soon moved to the deputy and chairman of the Movement.
His goals are the establishment of a white homeland and a security plan to protect farmers against farm attacks.von Rönge is a third generation cattle farmer in the Zastron district, in southern Free State. Steyn is married to Cornelia von Rönge. He has two daughters and a son. Leier von Rönge graduated in 1972 from Zastron High School. During his military service he was at the South African Air Force in Pretoria, where he was a physical education instructor. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of the Free State (Kovsies). After graduating he worked as a clerk at an auditing firm.Terre'Blanche allegedly promised the AWB leadership to both Von Rönge and Andre Visagie, the AWB's then secretary general. However, Von Rönge could provide proof of his appointment with a fax signed on 12 March 2010 with two witnesses in which Terre'Blanche asked von Rönge to take over the leadership until he had recovered from his heart surgery.In 1993, he was sentenced to a fine of R2,000(now about 140 EUR) or six months in jail after injuring two black members of the Army on his farm.Storming of Kempton Park World Trade Centre
The storming of the Kempton Park World Trade Centre took place in South Africa on 25 June 1993 when approximately three thousand members of the Afrikaner Volksfront (AVF), Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) and other right-wing Afrikaner paramilitary groups stormed the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, near Johannesburg. At the time of the attack the World Trade Centre was the venue for multi-party negotiations to end the apartheid system through the country's first multi-racial elections. These negotiations were strongly opposed by right-wing white groups in South Africa. The invasion came after other clashes between police and right-wingers, such as the Battle of Ventersdorp, and much belligerent rhetoric from right-wing leaders such as Eugene Terre'Blanche of the AWB.The Guns of the South
The Guns of the South is an alternate history novel set during the American Civil War by Harry Turtledove. It was released in the United States on September 22, 1992.
The story deals with a group of time-travelling white supremacist members of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) from an imagined 21st-century South Africa, who attempt to supply Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia with AK-47s and small amounts of other supplies (including nitroglycerine tablets for treating Lee's heart condition). Their intervention and technologies results in a Confederate victory in the war. Afterwards, however, the AWB members discover that their ideas for the Confederate States and Lee's are not one and the same as they believed and the general and the men of the South have a violent falling out with the white supremacists from the future.The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife
The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife is a 1991 British feature-length documentary film set during the final days of the apartheid regime in South Africa, particularly centring on Eugène Terre'Blanche, founder and leader of the far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging. The film was directed by Nick Broomfield and released in 1991. It received an average of 2.3 million viewers during its screening on Channel 4. A year later it was the subject of legal action brought by the journalist, Jani Allan, in what has been described as "the libel case of the summer". In 2006, Broomfield released a follow-up, His Big White Self.Vortex (Bond and Larkin novel)
Vortex is a 1991 war novel by Larry Bond and Patrick Larkin. Set during the final years of apartheid in South Africa, Vortex follows the assassination of a reformist National Party president and his cabinet by the African National Congress, as well as a subsequent seizure of power by far-right Afrikaners. The plot unfolds through a series of intertwining accounts narrated through several characters. It was a commercial success, receiving generally positive reviews.
A Vortex audiobook, presented by David Purdham, was released via Simon Schuster Audio in August 1991.
|Trade unions and|
see South African law
Political history of South Africa