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Hendrik Verwoerd, Hero of South Africa

1,583 words

Stephen Mitford Goodson
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd: South Africa’s Greatest Prime Minister
Second edition, self-published, 2017

This is a thoroughly referenced, cogent biography on the “man of granite” whom I respectfully suggest remains immeasurably more than only South Africa’s “greatest Prime Minister,” but rather is one of the great statesmen of our era.

I have previously reviewed Goodson here as the author of A History of Central Banking and Inside the South African Reserve Bank, in which Goodson drew on his knowledge both as a professional financial adviser and as an ousted director of the South African Reserve Bank who had taken a lot of flak quite recently for his criticisms of the shenanigans within the Reserve Bank. Goodson is a leading campaigner against the debt-finance system in South Africa. Something of his rebellious lineage might be discerned from his middle name: Mitford.

The book is very nicely produced, with some interesting photos, including one of S. E. D. Brown, to whom the book is dedicated. Some older readers might recall Brown as the editor of The South African Observer (1955-1990). Ivor Benson and Brown were probably the leading English-speaking advocates for the Afrikaner and for apartheid.

Goodson’s portrayal of Verwoerd is particularly valuable in going beyond the standard biographical details and in setting Verwoerd in historical context. The overwhelmingly distorted view of “apartheid” is explained, which had been evolving in South Africa for three hundred years and which Verwoerd made consistent and articulated as a philosophy of life. Only a few years ago, a Maori Party Member of Parliament, Dr. Pita Sharples, could still get away with literally mistranslating apartheid as “apart-hate” in a New Zealand TV interview. In South Africa, this policy was rather one of overwhelming success in the preservation and advancement of the myriad of the country’s separate identities and was a doctrine of state that had the support of the majority of blacks and coloreds. Among those least favorable to cohabitation with blacks, for example, was a young Indian lawyer named Gandhi.

A student of sociology and psychology, Dr. Verwoerd was well aware of the complexities of human nature, including the distances between the racial psyches and cultures, “ethnic psychology” being one of the subjects he studied in 1926. Verwoerd’s academic record was one of brilliance and he became a notable scholar in both of these fields.

After having been a Professor of applied psychology, sociology, and social science at the University of Stellenbosch, in 1934 Verwoerd entered politics. His primary interest was in dealing with the problems of poor whites. He served for several years as co-director of a social housing project in Cape Town. In 1936, he was appointed by Dr. Malan, leader of the National Party, as editor of Die Transvaaler. In 1938, he was elected to an executive position in the National Party, in 1948 to the Senate, and in 1950 became Minister of Native Affairs, where he applied his scholarly expertise to learning about the Bantu, and expected his staff to do likewise. From 1948, under the Nationalist government, apartheid was codified, but Goodson shows that apartheid was long in the making and started under a British administration. This included the institution of identity papers, about which much nonsense has been written and spoken. Their real purpose was to protect the employment of indigenous Africans in South Africa from the multitudes of foreign blacks who sought to migrate to the country for a better life under apartheid.

It was under Verwoerd that the generous allocation of land for self-administering homelands was instituted. The policy was analogous to the cantons of Switzerland, and was heartily and openly supported by Verwoerd’s friend, Field Marshall Montgomery, and even by the UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjöld. While the likes of Helen Suzman, the Harry Oppenheimer-backed shill, stated that the land allotted for eighty percent of the population was minimal. A more accurate picture is that the lands were in fact particularly well-endowed, as Verwoerd did not see anything positive in the white population being surrounded by perpetually destitute black homelands.

Hospitals, schools, decent housing, and sanitation were among the projects funded mostly by taxes gleaned from whites. Goodson provides the data for these achievements. Industries near, but not within, the homelands were encouraged, which enabled black workers to commute in order to stay with their families while employed. Hence the family unit was maintained by apartheid and its associated economic planning; a situation that has since been destroyed by what the African National Congress was to call the “correct Marxist-Leninist path of free trade.” Goodson shows that Oppenheimer and other plutocrats were intent on centralizing industrial development within the cities as a move to break down the homelands and necessitate black migrant labor. Nelson Mandela’s mentor, Oppenheimer, always regarded the blacks as primitive economic fodder.

In 1958, Verwoerd assumed the Prime Ministership of South Africa. Verwoerd was fully aware of who his enemies were and exposed the Oppenheimer economic empire, as well as its global associations with the Rothschilds and their ilk, not to mention homespun plutocrats led by Anton Rupert. The “international money power,” as Verwoerd called it, created a world campaign to vilify South Africa and bring down apartheid so that, as Oppenheimer openly asserted, black labor and consumption could be more fully utilized. Despite the impressive economic progress of the country, the plutocrats claimed that apartheid was stunting development, and it was Verwoerd specifically who had to go because of his stubbornness. Plutocratic interests based in the United States played a major role in undermining South Africa, primarily through the African American Institute. The Sharpeville Riot of 1960 was portrayed as a massacre of peaceful blacks by white police rather than as a murderous rampage by twenty thousand machete-wielding blacks converging on a police outpost. Goodson provides several photos of the mountains of weapons that had been carried by the blacks, who have ever since been portrayed by the liberal media as a much smaller group (four thousand) of well-meaning, peaceful darkies. Not long after, the first assassination attempt on Verwoerd took place, carried out by a demented multimillionaire, David Pratt.

In 1961, South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth as the campaign to isolate it gained momentum in world forums such as the UN. Among those who opposed Verwoerd were the Israelis, who consistently voted against South Africa in the UN despite the country’s support for Jewish identity in Palestine. Verwoerd became fed up with this duplicity. (It could be added that this was a time when Israel had its own agenda of filling the power vacuum in Africa as the European colonial powers scuttled, hence their support for Idi Amin and for the Mau Mau, for example.)

The Rivonia Trial in 1963 provided added ammunition for the opponents of Verwoerd, when a terrorist Communist party conspiracy had been unearthed. Again, this network of Communist terrorists, which included Nelson Mandela, which had planned a bombing campaign against civilian targets, has been portrayed ever since as a colossal travesty. The real travesty, some uncharitable types might suggest, is that these misanthropes were not hanged. A few obtained sanctuary in Israel where they were feted as heroes.

One of the most interesting aspects of Goodson’s book is the Hoek Report in 1964 by the Professor of Economics, Piet Hoek. This is a study of the plutocrats, their association with international capital, and an ideological discussion of the anti-national character of capitalism. At the head of this was the Oppenheimer empire, which was paying 5.4 percent tax on its profits. Hoek recommended large-scale changes in dealing with these corporations and state intervention in strategic assets controlled by plutocracy. Verwoerd had already set South Africa on a path to self-sufficiency, and moreover, South Africa did not owe any debt to international finance. That, I believe, is the real reason why South Africa was targeted: the economic policy which has been pursued under the present ANC-Communist coalition, in typical socialist fashion, has been to privatize the former “parastatals.”

In 1966, South Africa stood at the apex of its prosperity. The plutocrats had been stating for years that “Verwoerd had to go.” The situation reminds me of the way the social elite in the Depression-era US would casually remark at every opportunity that someone had to “kill” Huey Long, and the suspicions concerning Long’s assassination are analogous to those of Verwoerd’s.

A rootless colored man, Michaelatos Tsafendakis, was chosen as the assassin. Goodson traces connections that involved Anton Rupert in particular that implicate Johannes Vorster, Verwoerd’s successor, the CIA, and MI6, among others. Goodson draws on the evidence of Dr. A. Bird, a South African neurologist, who had been a mentor to Dr. Solly Jacobson, a Communist Party functionary. Jacobson had associations with both Pratt and Tsafendakis, and it is suggested that both had been brainwashed by Jacobson. Tsafendakis, who took a job as a parliamentary messenger, despite a dubious past, was able to fatally stab Verwoerd while Vorster stood by, shedding copious but unconvincing tears. Tsafendakis was declared insane and jailed for twenty-eight years, and ended up in a mental hospital. Vorster ensured that the hearing into Verwoerd’s death was held in secret and in short order.

Vorster paved the way for the dismantling of apartheid by stealth, despite the hard man image by which he was portrayed. The Hoek recommendations were buried and the report stifled. Mandela delivered South Africa to the privatization and globalization that Oppenheimer, Rupert, and others sought, but ironically, the Oppenheimer empire is, as Goodson shows, now a feeble shadow, while South Africa has predictably been reduced to an irredeemable shambles.




  1. nineofclubs
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Mr Bolton, for this insight into a side of South Africa’s history found nowhere else. The parallels between Verwoerd and Huey Long are interesting. Less surprising, perhaps, is the alignment of the global money power with the hipster left.

  2. Margot Metroland
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Significant that Verwoerd’s “homelands” plan met with approval by Dag and Monty. Also significant that his assassination in 1966 is almost never commemorated in the media. We can regard that as the watershed moment when the Communists’ anti-apartheid campaign turned very serious.

  3. ex South African
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I knew Wendy Brown (ex wife of S.E.D. Brown) quite well in my younger years. She still publicised at 90 (2008) to a private circle of people. I do not know if she still is alive.

    If I did not post this in the past, here it is again, the court case of Mandela and why he was imprisoned:

    For Afrikaans language speakers these two books would be of interest (From Malan to Verwoerd and Vorsters 1000 days):

    The journalist B.M. Schoeman had a deep insight into Afrikaner-politics, and understood the Money Powers (but was somewhat shy to go all the way).

    Another English speaking advocate was this person (ex-cabinet minister), he went on a worldwide tour to enlighten the world about the reasons for Apartheid, and was well received in his days by the outside world:

    • Posted May 27, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the Rivonia trial link; bastards. The material needs to be widely known – “lest we forget”, as they say.

      Wendy has long published a quarterly: IMPACT, Box 2055, Noorsekloof, Jeffreys Bay 6331, SA.

    • Richard Edmonds
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 2:07 am | Permalink

      The good news is that widow of the South African race-realist writer, S.E.D. Brown, is still very active in our cause. Wendy Brown produces the quarterly IMPACT, whose mission is an analysis of cultural, biological and political events and facts from an alternative viewpoint.

      Mrs. Brown, who for editorial reasons, styles herself Wendy James, can be reached at Box 2055, Noorsekloof, Jeffreys Bay 6331 , South Africa,

      IMPACT is packed with items of importance and interest to race-realists and to those who follow the agony of South Africa. With Wendy Brown-James, one sees that there are brave souls fighting for our cause everywhere. Subscriptions to IMPACT are 45 US dollars, 45 Euros, 25 pounds sterling

      • ex South African
        Posted May 30, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        I feel quite bad that I have not written to her, perhaps I should give myself a kick in the butt and do it (from overseas). Found out about her during 2008 from another lady, who knew her. That certainly is not a circle of feminists, those are women to be admired. So that is also possible.

        My life was pretty in the doldrums the last few years (the new South Africa, anti white job legislation, emigration, trying to get established and such pretty things), and one does not want to pitch up with bad news. And I suppose we look quite different today, age has left its mark on us, we have turned Dads Army.

  4. Montefrío
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Articles like this are the reason I value this site. Kudos!

  5. Sartor
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I have waited for a book like this for years.

    I was in Cape Town briefly in 1967 and was hosted by Moyna Trail-Smith whom I was put in contact with through A K Chesterton in the very early days of the National Front. One of the topics of conversation was Vervoerd’s assassination. She explained that Vervoerd had read the South African Observer and shared Brown’s famous( at least in Right circles) essay The Anatomy of Liberalism with his cabinet. Shortly before his death he had also planned to reduce or limit Jewish control of South African industry which was totally disproportionate. This all fits in with what is revealed here about Prof Piet Hoek’s report which I’d previously never heard of.
    Not surprising given the context.

    Also mentioned was that one of the first moves of the Vorster administration was the removal of The South African Observer from the Openheimer-owned SA Railways bookstalls. This was apparently the only public outlet available to the magazine.

    Apart from the moral importance of correcting a hideously distorted historical record (the facts about Sharpeville are all very true as is the never referred to fact that a number of police had already been massacred at Cato Manor just months before) Vervoerd is an important role model for modern nationalists. He deserves to be memorialised but there is also much we could learn from his example.

    This is an extremely important book that deserves the widest circulation. If you can provide a link that would be most helpful. Perhaps, Counter-Currents could even publish the next edition.

    Many thanks Kerry. It is reviews like this that make Counter-Currents so valuable.

  6. WWWM
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    South Africa has a dramatic history. I had heard of this assassination before, although the narrative I heard portrayed little sympathy to the country’s Prime Minister. Only one good thing can come from the tragedy of S. Africa: A warning to all the white nations on Earth. This is how the decline starts. Stop it before it is too late.

    • ex South African
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      If I reflect back on the “old” South Africa today, I would like to think that that country was perhaps the first real European Union in the world, based on a strong ideology and military.

      What Europe still up to this day not could manage to achieve up to this day, to live in harmony with each other, South Africa achieved.

      There the Englishman (except the one who still hung on his imperial roots), the Dutchman, the German, the Frenchman (“the traditional enemy of Germany”), the Portuguese, Italian, Greek and other white nationalities coexisted in harmony with each other, and together build up an unparalelled high culture on the continent of Africa, which for a short time in history became the spindle around which the fate of the West was decided.

      Perhaps that was the real jealousy against the old South Africa, and why it had to be destroyed.

  7. R_Moreland
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Circa 1990 I was involved in an activist effort to support White ruled South Africa. This involved a certain amount of organizing and some use of media to oppose the ANC and its minions here in America. That being the pre-Internet era, these efforts never really went very far, and we can see the outcome of their failure in the election of 1994 with the events thereon.

    The basic dilemma was in developing a political line. Standing up and saying: “We have to support White rule in SA because we too are White” had obvious political ramifications. Being pro-White simply was not a viable position because it played against the prevailing civil rights narrative in the USA. At the time, Americans were supposed to be casting aside color-of-skin considerations for a common civic identity.

    The converse was not the case. American blacks could shout their solidarity with SA blacks in the struggle against “oppression,” no matter how many atrocities the ANC committed. Added to this were all the trendy liberals jumping on the cause d’jour of anti-apartheid. And then there were Republicans like Senator Richard Lugar who were leading the pack for sanctions…early model cucks, no doubt.

    One pointed out in vain that just about every black-majority-rule country in Africa was a dictatorship, kleptocracy, neo-colonial satrapy and/or failed state. That reality was irrelevant. What became real was the cult-like hysteria against apartheid. I once sagely commented that all the communists had to do was indicate a country to be destroyed, give things a little push with agitprop, and Americans would do their dirty work for them: South Vietnam, Somoza’s Nicaragua, Rhodesia, South Africa…

    There was another difficulty. One of the key people I worked with was an (Asian) Indian, a resident of SA who did not relish living under black-majority rule, especially since the memories of Idi Amin were still recent in that part of the darkening continent. A “Whites gotta stick together” party line would not have gone over with him.

    So it got back to the issue, what was South Africa fighting for? Western civilization against the barbarism of post-colonial Africa? Any civilization against that same barbarism?

    I think today the White Solidarity line has a much better chance of working. One reason is that the last couple decades have shown that the American civil rights movement was never about “equality.” Rather, it was to give blacks all sorts of special considerations (i.e., privileges) while keeping Whites from protesting their own dispossession. There is the evidence of trashed American cities, from Detroit to Selma. In the bigger picture Whites can see what is happening in Europe, where the third world hordes are pillaging ever more cities. South Africa’s ongoing trainwreck is a look into the future of what happens when Whites surrender power.

    It is becoming increasingly feasible to get White people to see they have a common interest in fighting for their own interests. The thing is in translating this into a feasible political program.

    • Posted May 28, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      This was the situation pertaining to pro-SA activists in NZ also, and I think probably for most other actions in Anglophone countries. But even the SA Government did not make a hearty offensives for apartheid; it was defensive, apologetic . There was a lot of goodwill for SA in NZ, but few would say that apartheid is the realistic option. One of the few who did was Hon. Ben Couch, Minister for Maori Affairs, a Maori and Mormon, who promptly got chided by his Government colleagues.

      • R_Moreland
        Posted May 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        It gets back to what Leftists would call having the “correct political line;” i.e., what message to push in order to mobilize support. The South African government tried “anti-communism,” which worked to some degree as long as the Cold War was in progress and the South African military was fighting the Cubans in Angola. But the Fall of the Berlin Wall put an end to that line’s effectiveness.

        What is amazing is how long the South African government held on, even in the face of international sanctions and an increasingly restive black majority. The real dilemma went back to having a White minority in a country with an expanding non-White demographic.

        It’s a lesson which White people ought to be considering today as the third world marches north.

  8. James Dunphy
    Posted May 29, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    “Among those who opposed Verwoerd were the Israelis, who consistently voted against South Africa in the UN despite the country’s support for Jewish identity in Palestine. Verwoerd became fed up with this duplicity.”

    Yet another example of why trying to appease the tribe is a fruitless endeavor. They seem to instinctively lean Anti-white even they are in a similar position, as Israel was to South Africa.

    • James Dunphy
      Posted May 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the “little” Jews in Israel would have supported his government if the “big” Jews in international finance didn’t see it as an impediment to profits.

  9. Sartor
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The 60s was brilliant period for South Africa for a number of reasons but not least amongst these was Vervoerd’s personal charm. He was an amazingly effective spokesman: a subtle blend of the far sighted statesman and the genial Dutch uncle. You can still get a sense of this from the clips on YouTube which are a lesson in successful PR.

    In fact he was so effective that some form of apartheid was touted as a possible solution for the US. I recall a book entitled The Meaning of Apartheid being presented to Kennedy by Southern segregationists. The book was also distributed in Australia by The League of Rights but I never managed to get a copy and have forgotten the author. If anyone can provide more detail on the book, I’d love to get a copy.

    Unfortunately, Vorster had little personal charm. Christian Barnard’s successful completion of heart transplant in 67 was a world first for South Africa. Vorster’s stiff and clumsy handling of the media was in stark contrast to how Vervoerd would have handled such a major international media opportunity. Over the years Vorster’s media performance improved a little but it was never strong and, combined with his record of wartime internment,this made him any easy target for the Liberal Left.

    • Thomas Plaster
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Hello Sartor, I think the book you speak of is by the author Robert S. Laufer and full title is “South Africa: The Meaning of Apartheid”. I’ve seen one publishing date of Jan 1964 but that was after Kennedy’s demise. I hope that helps.

  10. Proofreader
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly, the July 2009 issue of Écrits de Paris, the sister journal of the newspaper Rivarol, the “weekly of the national and European opposition,” includes an article by Jim Reeves titled “Hendrik Verwoerd et l’antisémitisme raisonné des Afrikaners” (“Hendrik Verwoerd and the Reasoned Anti-Semitism of the Afrikaners”). I might get a copy of it later.

    I believe there was a sympathetic biography of Verwoerd in French published relatively recently, but I can’t recall or find the details for it.

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