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By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | April 20, 1997
ORANIA, South Africa -- Riaan Potgieter has found his promised land, a whites-only enclave in the heart of black-ruled South Africa."You have to think `In God I trust,' " he says, enjoying a communal barbecue under a star-sprinkled sky. "He sent us here. We gave up everything and moved down."With his wife, Ena, and their three young children, he came to this remote and arid corner of northern Cape Province seven months ago to escape the changes that followed the 1994 election of President Nelson Mandela.
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NEWS
October 7, 1996
ONE OF THE great social changes during South Africa's apartheid rule was the transformation of the white Afrikaners from an impoverished rural population into a wealthy urban class. But land remains one of their ideological cornerstones. After all, a desire to gain their own land -- and through it political control -- led to the Afrikaners' Great Trek of 1835, when thousands of farmers left the British-ruled Cape Colony for the previously uncolonized interior.Today, more than two years after the arrival of black majority rule, Afrikaners realize that land ownership is likely to be a major friction point in the future.
NEWS
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | October 2, 1996
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa -- A few years ago, this gathering would have been a secret affair of the stern-faced men who kept a steady grip on the tiller of the South African ship of state.But when about 600 members of the newly reconstituted Broederbond gathered last weekend on a university campus, their friendly faces and ill-fitting suits made them seem a well-meaning civic group -- a rural Kiwanis or Lions club -- but a bit dazed by the major changes around them.Founded in 1918, the Broederbond (the "band of brothers")
NEWS
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,Sun Staff Correspondent | July 16, 1995
KABWE, Zambia -- Depending on how you look at it, Thys Eloff is either continuing an old Afrikaner tradition or pioneering a new one.Mr. Eloff, 26, left the dry soil of South Africa three years ago to try his luck in more fertile lands. The country he left was on the verge of revolutionary change, about to get its first black government. The land he came to had been ruled by blacks for almost 30 years.In a sense, Mr. Eloff and a handful of other South African farmers now living in Zambia have done as their ancestors did 150 years ago: moved on, in search of land and peace.
NEWS
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,Johannesburg Bureau of The Sun | June 30, 1995
CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- To most of the world, SouthAfrica is a drama that has reached its rightful conclusion. But to Constand Viljoen, it is a continuing saga in which the white tribe of Africa is still trying to find its proper role and place.For Mr. Viljoen and for many of his fellow Afrikaners, that place would be a homeland of their own -- a Volkstat, or people's state, where the Afrikaner culture could flourish.It is not surprising that the Afrikaners would want their own state; they are the designated villains in the South African drama, the people blamed for apartheid.
NEWS
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,Johannesburg Bureau of The Sun | June 13, 1995
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- When Andre Odendaal was a youngster, he idolized South Africa's beloved national rugby team, the Springboks. As a young adult and anti-apartheid activist, he called for the international isolation of South African sports.Now he's again cheering the team -- because the playing fields have seen the transformation of a symbol of white oppression into a totem of national unity, a sort of miracle of reconciliation through sports.It has clearly seemed a miracle for Mr. Odendaal, moved by seeing President Nelson Mandela at the Rugby World Cup, being held this month in South Africa.
NEWS
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,Johannesburg Bureau of The Sun | December 6, 1994
PRETORIA, South Africa -- Three years ago, Koos Botha was figuring out how to plant bombs against black progress in the old South Africa. Now, he's figuring out how to build houses in the new one.The story of the transformation of this one-time right-wing radical seems to sum up the struggle for the soul of the Afrikaner, the white settlers of this land who are so full of contradictions.They fought a courageous war at the end of the 19th century against the oppression of the British and then proceeded in this century to unleash their own oppression against black South Africans.
NEWS
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,Johannesburg Bureau of The Sun | May 4, 1994
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The rally of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, for whites to boycott the elections here last week seems like a last gasp instead of a last hurrah now that the election is over.There was a ragtag force of about 250 gathered in a field near the town of Rustenburg as the voting got under way. They were surrounded by troops from South Africa's security forces. With no one else to bother, they pushed around some journalists. Even the rich baritone of their leader, Eugene TerreBlanche, rang hollow.
NEWS
By PETER HONEY | May 1, 1994
Prieska, South Africa. -- On the face of it, Albertus Vermeulen would never have joined the African National Congress, never even considered throwing his weight behind Nelson Mandela's election campaign.From youth to manhood he had nurtured an iron certainty that the ANC was nothing less than the face of communism, nemesis of the Afrikaner volk, of his Christian beliefs, inimical to his very soul.He'd gone to war against the Communists, or so he'd thought, drafted willingly in the 1980s as a counter-insurgency cavalryman to beat back the Namibian guerrillas who then were still struggling to wrest their country from South Africa's grasp.
NEWS
By Bill Keller and Bill Keller,New York Times News Service | March 12, 1994
MMABATHO, South Africa -- The three white men had strapped on their pistols and raced 300 miles across South Africa to defend the apartheid homeland of Bophuthatswana in what they were told was the first great battle against a Communist insurrection.Now they lay in the dirt alongside their bullet-riddled blue Mercedes, one dead and two wounded, casualties of a gun battle with the black homeland soldiers they had ostensibly come to save.One reporter at the scene asked the two survivors if they thought it had been a mistake to come.
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