Thursday, December 19, 2013

GRA, the Society of True Afrikaners)

On 14 August 1875Du Toit and seven other Afrikaners had founded the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (GRA, the Society of True Afrikaners) in Paarl. Numerous Afrikaner Bond branches were formed across South Africa. This stamp on the FDC was issued to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of GRA in South Africa in 1875.
Seizing the initiative S.J. du Toit, an Afrikaans predikant in Paarl, proposed the formation of an Afrikaner Bond with the slogan of ‘Afrika voor de Afrikaners’ and with branches across South Africa. On 14 August 1875, Du Toit and seven other Afrikaners had founded the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (GRA, the Society of True Afrikaners) in Paarl. They decided that there was an urgent need to persuade the Dutch and Afrikaans-speaking white people to see themselves as a distinct community, calling themselves Afrikaners. The GRA’s prime target was the large section of Afrikaners who were not particularly affluent and had received limited education.
To spell out its message, the GRA launched its own newspaper, Die Afrikaanse Patriot, its first issue appearing on 15 January 1876. Its style was clear, crisp and concise, with simple sentences and very short words. A team effort with Du Toit as its main author produced a nationalist history entitled Die Geskiedenis van ons Land in die Taal van ons Volk (The History of our Land in the Language of our People). The Patriot played on the Afrikaners’ common resentment of free trade in goods and money, and of the wealth of merchants, bankers and other agents of British capitalism. A prime target was the Standard Bank, depicted as a ‘gigantic devil fish’ that fleeced the colonists and sent a large part of its dividends to its London head office.
The Afrikaner Bond benefited from the upsurge of nationalist emotion when the Transvaal burghers rose against British annexation (1880–1881). Numerous Afrikaner Bond branches were formed across South Africa. Hofmeyr became a member of the Bond and soon began to plot to moderate its aims. In 1883 a congress at Richmond approved the amalgamation of the Bond and the BBV. Hofmeyr became leader of the new Afrikaner Bond. His political skills were formidable, and Cecil John Rhodes considered him the most capable politician in South Africa.
The first black political association was the semi-political Native Educational Association, founded in 1879 in the eastern Cape to promote the ‘general welfare of the natives’. In 1882 the Imbumbe Yama Nyama was founded in Port Elizabeth to join blacks together in fighting for national rights.
Thank you Maria.

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