“We cannot perpetuate the same tactics where the young people are given a message of fear. The richness of the country’s diversity is critical to a future that all South Africans dream about.” — Bobby Stevenson
A RIGHT-WING paramilitary group has warned it is only a matter of time before scores of “disillusioned” young whites in the Eastern Cape join the organisation which has become synonymous with intense “special tactics” boot camps.
With Kommandokorps branches already established in Pretoria, Klerksdorp and the Western Cape, the Gauteng-based group claims it is signing up new recruits every day as an increasing number of whites – mainly Afrikaners – are being “forced” to learn militarystyle survival techniques to prepare for the “anarchy” to come.
The camps, which are held over a nine-day period in summer and winter respectively and are supplemented by “fresher” courses, involve teaching recruits combat “defence techniques” like martial arts and how to use firearms to protect themselves and their families.
Kommandokorps says the camps are designed to prepare whites for the “violence that occurs in a dysfunctional state like South Africa, which is going the same way as the rest of Africa”.
Leader Colonel Franz Jooste told Weekend Post: “We do not have any camps in the Eastern Cape at the moment but there will be soon.
“Our numbers are growing all the time,” the former major in the old South African Defence Force said.
“Because we are a modern organisation and get our message out through young people’s technologies like Twitter and Facebook it is only a matter of time before young recruits in the Eastern Cape who have no option but to protect themselves get together and we start running training camps there.”
And according Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) commandergeneral of general staff Japie Oelofse, who lives in Humansdorp, Jooste’s belief that there will be recruits from the Eastern Cape is justified.
“In the Eastern Cape we [AWB] already have three very successful commandos and our numbers are growing as well, so you will definitely see more people from here joining Colonel Jooste’s operation,” Oelofse said.
However established political parties have denounced the claims that the Kommandokorps will gain support in the province, saying the movement is going against the spirit of the new South Africa and that many people will realise this.
DA MPL Bobby Stevenson said: “During the apartheid era hundreds of thousands of young South Africans were brought up on a diet of total onslaught which gave distorted views of the future.
“We cannot perpetuate the same tactics where the young people are given a message of fear. The richness of the country’s diversity is critical to a future that all South Africans dream about.”
The Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature adopted a Da-tabled motion in February that the Kommandokorps be shut down immediately there.
ANC regional chairman Nceba Faku said he did not even wish to comment on the matter as “it was not relevant”.
Although the Kommandokorps was formed in 1990 it has really gained momentum only since the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre’blanche in 2010.
Now it has gained international notoriety after an exposé by the Mail & Guardian newspaper into alleged harsh treatment of young boys at the camps.
In addition, the World Press Photo 2012 Multimedia Competition awarded first prize to Elles van Gelder and Ilvy Njiokiktjien from The Netherlands for their Afrikaner Blood production on the camps. Despite the criticism, Jooste insists everything the organisation does is “perfectly legal”, although he makes no bones about believing the establishment of a white homeland is going to be the “final solution” in South Africa.
“We have even consulted the police on giving firearm training and they gave their permission.
“Many parents are encouraging their children to join us because we teach them the discipline they will need to protect themselves in the future,” he said. “We have to train these young whites – mainly Afrikaans but also some English-speakers – as we are heading the way of every other African state, which is dysfunctional.
“Municipal services are no longer working and farm murders and attacks on whites are increasing.
“You have already seen that in the country, since the commando system was done away with, including the Eastern Cape.
“We have to prepare for anarchy and how we can protect ourselves.”
Weekend Post reported last month that a number of Eastern Cape farmers had prepared their own rural security plans to replace the commando system, disbanded about 10 years ago. These security plans had been submitted to parliament.
“We have to work outside the traditional systems because when you have a police service that doesn’t protect you, you have no other choice.” Jooste said police were “corrupt”. “A volkstaat is the only logical outcome for whites in this country, it is the final solution because you have to protect your own people.”
Jooste believed the Kommandokorps would never regard itself as a political organisation because that would not have any impact about the protection of white people.
There were about four million whites in the country. “Even if all of them voted for the DA that would not have any impact politically because they will still be outnumbered by the black people who support the ANC.”
One of Jooste’s trainers, 29-yearold Gerhard Groenewald who has risen through the ranks since his first camp in 2009, said the recruits were made to work “extremely” hard and adhere to a strict military regimen.
“We train people how to prepare for terrorist attacks, self-defence techniques and how to protect your family. There is a lot of military drilling to instill discipline because only organised units will be able to protect their loved ones. We believe prevention is better than cure and that is why we are mobilising,” Groenewald said.
“The main thing is how to identify who your enemy is and how you can prevent them hurting you.
“Statistics show that since 1994 30 000 white people have been murdered in this country. This shows that the ANC government has turned its back on white people, so we know who the enemy is.”
Groenewald said 60% of recruits were sent to the camps by their parents to learn “about Afrikaner history and how they must realise their skin is their uniform. They should protect that at all times.”