'n Terugkeer na die "veilige laer": Die politiek van regse blanke vrese, 1988-1989


  • Derek de Bruyn University of the Free State
  • André Wessels University of the Free State




Fear, Right-wing politics, National Party, Conservative Party, PW Botha, FW de Klerk, AP Treurnicht, Political violence


In  this  article  the  politics  of  right-wing  fears  in  the  years  1988  and  1989  (i.e.  on  the  cusp  of  the  new  political  dispensation  in  South  Africa)  is  analysed.  Right-wing  politics  is  compared  with  the  tendency  to  move  to  the  right  in  the  governing  National  Party  of  the  time,  and  contrasted  with  events  in  the  black political arena; including increasing political unrest and concomitant violence, as well as black-on-black violence. The years 1988 and 1989 were indeed of great significance in the history of South Africa, with PW Botha’s resignation as State President in 1989 paving the way for the watershed events of  1990  and  the  eventual  establishment  of  a  new  political  dispensation  in  the  country.  Issues  that  are  addressed in the article also include the growing tension between the more moderate and more militant right-wing whites; the reasons why far-right whites became ever more militant; the ways in which black people were stereotyped by right-wing whites, and the growth in support for the Conservative Party. The role that fear played in election propaganda is discussed, with special reference to the 1989 “general” election; i.e. the last election in which black people were barred from taking part.


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How to Cite

de Bruyn, D., & Wessels, A. (2013). ’n Terugkeer na die "veilige laer": Die politiek van regse blanke vrese, 1988-1989. Southern Journal for Contemporary History, 38(1), 100–125. https://doi.org/10.38140/sjch.v38i1.247




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