The Presidential Years

On the matter raised by Mr Groenewald, I think he has forgotten the facts. It is quite genuine, but he has forgotten. A few weeks before the election I met Gen Viljoen and Ferdi Hartzenberg, and discussed this whole question of the Volkstaat. I said to them: "There is a problem here, because the two of you, together with Eugene Terreblanche, say you represent the Afrikaners, and that the Afrikaners want a Volkstaat." I told them that President De Klerk also said he represented the Afrikaners, and that the Afrikaners wanted no Volkstaat. I said that there therefore had to be a referendum among the Afrikaners to decide on this issue.

Secondly, I said that the results of the referendum would not necessarily bind me but that it would be an important consideration to take into account.

Thirdly, I said to them that we had to decide who an Afrikaner was. Is it a white man who speaks Afrikaans, or is it anybody -black or white - who speaks Afrikaans? I said that if those three conditions were fulfilled, I would be able to go to my organisation and say: "Let us consider the question of giving a Volkstaat to Afrikaners."

They accepted that, especially Gen Viljoen, who is a very honest person. He said:, “Mr President, you have solved my problem." But Ferdi Hartzenberg said: "No, no. I am not prepared to accept that. I want you now to make a categorical statement, and say that you will give us the Volkstaat, without condition." I said: "No, I cannot do that. I would be useless to you. If I made a statement like that to you, I would be doing so without authority, and I could be expelled by the AN C. I would be useless to you." [Laughter.] I said: "On this condition I can go back to my organisation and say that the Afrikaners have voted for a Volkstaat, and that we should consider the matter." Ferdi Hartzenberg then said to me that the plans to stop the election by violence would continue. He said so openly.

If Mr Groenewald agrees, as Gen Viljoen did, and carries out that agreement and agrees to a referendum by the Afrikaners, in the sense in which I have defined it, then we will be able to look at that demand. But as long as there is this division, where the Afrikaners themselves are not speaking with one voice on this question, it would be difficult for the Government to make a move.