chapter  8
26 Pages

The New Politics of Afrikaans

One of the main themes of Nelson Mandela’s presidency was that of reconciliation. In his inaugural address as President of South Africa in May 1994, he chose to convey this in Afrikaans: ‘wat verby is, is verby’ (what is past, is done with). In the years that followed, he came to embody this spirit, visiting the widow of Dr Verwoerd in the whites-only settlement of Orania, wearing the Springbok jersey to support South Africa during the rugby world cup, and the like.1