Anchen Dreyer glorified Paul Kruger - Office of ANC Chief Whip

Moloto Mothapo says DA MP was involved in last year's commemoration of ZAR President, a ruthless colonial oppressor


22 January 2016

As South Africans on Tuesday endured torturous and cheap theatrics by DA leader Mmusi Maimane claiming that racists are not welcome in his party, it has emerged that Dianne Kohler-Barnard is not the only DA MP who glorifies the cruel system of apartheid and its repressive leaders. It has come to our attention that DA MP in the National Assembly, Anchen Dreyer, was one of the Afrikaner community members who attended Solidarity Movement’s event a few months ago to commemorate one of the ruthless colonial oppressors, Transvaal Republic president Paul Kruger, on 10 October 2015. 

The 10th October is the day which was known during South Africa’s colonial and apartheid history as “Kruger Day”, and was observed from 1952 to 1993 to celebrate the birth of Paul Kruger. It is one of the racially divisive apartheid era holidays which were abolished after the advent of democracy in 1994. However, there exists a minority that is still stuck in the past, clearly battling to accept our country’s new non-racial democratic dispensation, who are continuing to observe this apartheid holiday to this day.

Not only did Dreyer partake in the commemoration of Paul Kruger, she even addressed the event on behalf of the DA and also posed for a picture next to the cardboard cut-out of her hero Paul Kruger, with a hand-held placard written: “Lekker verjaar Oom Paul!!" (Happy birthday Uncle Paul!!).

The news of yet another senior DA MP engaging in the glorification of our painful colonial and apartheid past and its leaders, although highly disturbing and outrageous, does not come as a surprise. This once again confirms the view held by many South Africans that the DA, whose origins are rooted in apartheid, continues to be a sanctuary of hard-core racists that unashamedly perpetuate racism and promote apartheid.

Kruger was a ruthless and bloodthirsty colonial era racist ruler who presided over the mass killings, torture, harassment, and cruel destruction of Black communities in various parts of this country. He was an apartheid pioneer who led the enslavement, dispossession, economic deprivation and subjugation of Black people. Hendrick Verwoerd legislated and formalized a cruel system which Kruger created many years before.

Kruger was a killing machine that carried out brutal attacks on various African tribes and condemned Black people to death in the Anglo Boer wars, whose purpose was to preserve the racial subjugation, slavery and colonial looting of resources. He buried alive Black people that he suspected of spying or fighting on the side of the British and cut women's breasts while they were still alive. He was a heartless monster.

Kruger regarded Black people as nothing but uncivilized "savages who must be kept within bounds"’. Some of his racist views, which are consistent with the white supremacist philosophy he championed, are recorded in his memoir: “South Africa has room for only one form of civilization, and that is the white man’s civilisation; and, where there was (sic) only a handful of white men to keep hundreds of thousands of Black natives in order, severity was essential. The black man had to be taught that he came second, that he belonged to an inferior class which must obey and learn.”

The DA MP's unashamed glorification and admiration of such a reprehensible figure is a tacit endorsement of the heinous crimes against humanity he perpetuated against Black South Africans. Anyone who regards Kruger as a hero is also a racist who shares all that he stood for, including a belief that Blacks are inferior savages who deserve the untold suffering they endured for many years under colonialism and apartheid. 

Dryer's celebration of an abolished and racially divisive apartheid era Kruger Day undermines our nation's reconciliation efforts and our strive towards racial unity. It is disgraceful that a public representative who is sworn to uphold the Constitution that implores all of us to work to "heal the divisions of the past" sees nothing wrong in observing an apartheid holiday whose history offends many South Africans. This explains the reason why the DA has been snubbing post-1994 national commemorative public holidays.

When Kohler-Barnard was exposed for her racism and her desire for apartheid rule, we knew that she was just expressing a belief that is shared by many others within the DA - hence instead of her expulsion she was rewarded with reinstatement to her MP post. She and Dreyer are but some of the many racist party members, and their places are cemented in the DA.

Mmusi Maimane claimed in his theatrical charade this week that racists are not welcome in the DA and that members found to be racists "will have their party membership immediately revoked, no questions asked". He now has an opportunity to fulfil the bold commitments he made before the entire nation. The question is: will he fulfil his ambitious undertaking and immediately kick out Dreyer, or will he confirm our belief that his speech was nothing but a meaningless gimmick?

Dreyer, who like Kohler-Barnard is racist and an apartheid apologist, has no place in this Parliament or our society. We will consider which necessary steps to take to ensure recourse regarding her disturbing conduct.

Statement issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, 22 January 2016