Hendrik Verwoerd, Jeff Radebe and Pik Botha are all connected to South Africa through the political arena. The combination is probably regarded as pointless and striking no connection, yet there are some obvious fascinations encountered while trying to find the source of the failing democracy of South Africa.
Spotlight on Hendrik Verwoerd
Hendrik Verwoerd was the mastermind behind the creation and implementation of apartheid during the past 1950’s and early 1960’s. As the first Prime Minister of the Republic of South Africa, Verwoerd was responsible for the banning of the African National Congress (ANC) and other terrorist organizations.
Verwoerd was born in the Netherlands, and his family moved to South Africa in the early 1900’s. He remained a conscientious student and received several doctorates. He studied in Germany and received his master’s degree in psychology and philosophy. At this time, he was introduced to the study of eugenics.
It is recorded that Verwoerd formed the apartheid policy on the Nazi ideology. He deliberately stayed away fromeugenic theories and strongly emphasized environmental influences rather than traditional tendencies. During 1948, the National Party narrowly won the general election and the apartheid regime became a reality. Hendrik Verwoerd was actively involved in politics during this time and became the Minister of Native Affairs in 1950. During his time as minister, he implemented the National Party program and laws relating to the Population Registration Act, the Group Areas Act and the Pass Law Act were enacted together with the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act. The basis of an apartheid system.
During 1958, he was elected as the prime minister and referred to the architect of apartheid by implements segregation laws. There was a time when Verwoerd described apartheid as a system of good neighborliness’.
Negotiations during 1960 to end the British Commonwealth rule bore fruit, and in May 1961 South Africa became an independent country. During 1960, the change from the main British power to a republic, and during that year South Africa became an independent country. Black ambassadors from Commonwealth countries were refused entry into South Africa.
Nine days after the tragic Sharpeville massacre, Verwoerd received a death threat.
David Pratt an English business man and farmer fired two shots at Verwoerd after he delivered a speech at Function in Johannesburg, on April 9, 1960. Verwoerd survived this assassination and his perpetrator was institutionalized and later on committed suicide.
South Africa continued to develop complex military equipment, aircrafts, and armored vehicles and began to tap into nuclear and biological weapons. As a country, South Africa continued to flourish economically. The United Nations wanted an end to the apartheid system and began to institute an arms embargo and sanctions against the country. This began to have an adverse effect on the economy. The country had the potential to become a first world country and the trade embargos made this fact impossible.
It was three days before his death that Verwoerd held a meeting with the Government of Lesotho and a shared collaboration to work towards amicable solutions without interfering in the internal affairs was achieved.
During 1966 the second attempt to assassinate Verwoerd succeeded.
A parliamentary messenger Dimitri Tsafendas stabbed Verwoerd in the neck and chest. Dimitri escaped the death penalty on the grounds of insanity.
What was the reason for his assassination? Was there conclusive evidence that it was because of his epitome apartheid legacy? Was he assassinated because he began to dismantle the bitter twisted apartheid system that threatened to destroy the flourishing economy of South Africa?
Spotlight on Jeff Radebe
Jeff Radebe currently holds the position of Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development of Security under the Zuma administration.
Born in Cato Manor, South Africa, in February 1953 and forcibly moved to KwaMashu, a township in 1958 by the apartheid regime.
He was a student at the Karl Marx University and joined the ANC in 1977. Radebe completed an LLM in International Law in 1981. Radebe was sent to Mozambique and Tanzania on a secret mission for the ANC. In Dar es Salaam, he worked as a journalist for a radio station.
Back in South Africa he was arrested in 1986 and sentenced to a ten year imprisonment term on Robben Island, under the terrorism act. Radebe was released from prison in 1990 after a successful 12 day hunger strike.
Jeff Radebe is married to Bridgette Radebe the first black, female mining magnate. Her sister is the billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe.
When Nelson Mandela was elected as president of the country, Radebe served as Minister of Public Works. Under the Mbeki administration, he was appointed as Minister of Public Enterprises, and then served as the Minister of Transport.
His appointment as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development calls for the control and administrative support to the courts and supervision of the National Prosecuting Authority. The legal services to the departments of state and the law reform provision are another responsibility Radebe has.
Radebe plays an essentially crucial part of the Zuma administration is a leading candidate for acting president while Zuma is out of the country.
Radebe is likened to the apartheid minister of Foreign Affairs, Pik Botha in many aspects. The assumption of comparison is the truth of his lifestyle, and desire to succeed. Is he a shenanigan who will trample the wealth of the country while living an opulent lifestyle?
Is Radebe a threat to the Zuma administration? Does Radebe have the power to overthrow the president?
Spot light on Pik Botha
Without emphasizing too much about the lifestyle excessive squander of government funds, we can recall Pik Botha the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Pik Botha will always be referred to as one of the most colorful public figures.
Pik (so named because of his stature) served under the Apartheid government since 1953 and retired from the political scene in 1996.
During his early career years, he remained in foreign services and actively involved in the International Court of Justice in The Hague between the South African and Namibia matter. He also served as a law advisor and ambassador to the United Nations.
While he is no angel and does have a few incidents that he is not proud of, he is considered to be a liberal, in comparison to other members of the former National Party of the apartheid era.
While serving under the Vorster government, he remained a firm favorite among the people of South Africa. Pik, heavily criticized for his lack of experience and young age, forged ahead and served as foreign minister of the government.
During 1985 Pik Botha drafted a speech to announce the release of Nelson Mandela but the ruling president at that time PW Botha rejected this document. Within a year from forming this controversial document he publicly stated that South Africa could have a black president.
During 1998, he travelled to some African countries and signed a peace protocol with the president of the Republic of Congo. At the signing, he referred to this as a new era for South Africa and stated that the government was removing racial discrimination.
Under the post apartheid government, Pik Botha served as Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs from 1994 to 1996.
Pik Botha remained a firm supporter of Thabo Mbeki after his departure from politics. He has heavily criticized the ANC government’s affirmation action policies and stated that a constitutional settlement would never have been signed based on their current policies.
Pik Botha a liberal and colorful character certainly left his mark within the political scene and did his naughty boy attitude follow the new generation of Politicians?
Hendrik Verwoerd, Jeff Radebe and Pik Botha are all linked to apartheid. There is a real possibility that Verwoerd died for trying to fix the injustice of apartheid. Pik Botha used his foreign minister portfolio to attract support from other countries and used his popularity to cover some published deceitful deeds. Is Jeff Radebe following in Pik’s footsteps?
By Laura Oneale (Op-ed)