'Persecuted' Afrikaners talk of returning 'home'

A Facebook group has been set up to advocate the right of “Boer-Afrikaners with proof of Dutch roots to be eligible for Dutch citizenship”.

Jus Sanguinis [right of blood] Right of Return welcomes any content that sheds light on the plight of Afrikaners in South Africa. How to apply for Dutch citizenship is a popular discussion topic, as are reports of crimes against whites and Afrikaner poverty.

Right of Return’s creator and administrator, Lara Johnstone (née Bosman), read an article in Dutch publication Algemeen Dagblad in March last year detailing how a South African family applied for Dutch citizenship based on lineage, and subsequently settled in Holland.

“After I read the original article, I started doing research,” said Johnstone who has written to the Dutch consulate in Cape Town, prominent Dutch MPs and members of the royal family in the Netherlands.

On the group’s page Johnstone has posted a letter she sent to Dutch MP Geert Wilders asking him to consider the need to enact a right of blood law for South Africans of Dutch descent.

Johnstone is also running an online petition in support of Brandon Huntley, the South African who has applied for Canadian citizenship on grounds of alleged racial persecution at home.

A member of the group, a 12-year-old Canadian girl whose parents are South Africa-born, writes: “We pray every night at supper for the European people in South Africa.”

Adds Tyrone Oliver from the United Kingdom: “Thank God I’m out and able to be me, safe and free.”

Another sample of the Facebook entries is George van Heerden’s claim that more whites have been killed under ANC rule than during the South African War.

Johnstone, who says she has been an environmental and anti-war activist for 20 years, is also the creator of an associated Facebook group, Right of Return to Europe for African White Refugees.

The wall features such links as “Is South Africa turning into Zimbabwe?”, “attacks upon Afrikaner children must cease” and a YouTube link entitled “Western tourists should stay away from the World Cup 2010 - South Africa is too dangerous”.

“Nelson Mandela asked us please to come back [to South Africa],” says Johnstone. “It is not essentially his fault, but like much in South Africa, words don’t mean the same as actions.”

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Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn is a business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She holds a master's degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University. Her areas of interest range from energy and mining to financial services and telecommunication. When she is not poring over annual reports, Lisa can usually be found pottering about the kitchen. Read more from Lisa Steyn

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