The Presidential Years

Let me make a remark, Afrikaner people are believed to be these very Calvinistic old-timers, hardegat, who don’t want to reform. That’s not true. Afrikaner culture is a very reformist culture. The core of the Afrikaner people since the late 1980s realised and accepted that we would have a new dispensation and we would have to work into that, so Constand was not that popular. Secondly, there was huge pressure on him to use the defence force, to stage a coup. But he resisted, inter alia because we knew about that and we warned him, ‘Don’t do that, it will cause a civil war – the majority of white people do not support some elements in the defence force staging a coup. It will cause not a black-white war but a civil war amongst Afrikaners. We have chosen the path of reconciliation, let’s go on with that.’

Niël Barnard