Today is the 31st of May, and between 1961 and 1993 was celebrated as “Republic Day”. For those that don’t know South Africa became a Republic on 31 May 1961, and in 1994 that portion of its history ceased to be.
I was originally going to post about the day, and a bit of history and similar odds and sods, but after reading somebody post on Facebook the usual tired old “donderse ingelse het ons vroue en kinders vermoor en verkrag” issue raised I decided I would not. His argument was that the old flag should never have had the Union Jack in it because “die donderse ingelse het ons vroue en kinders vermoor en verkrag”.
I will be honest, I was born before we became a republic, technically speaking I was born in The Union Of South Africa, and I do not really have too much enthusiasm for the country that it became when it was made a republic. Large portions of its population were disenfranchised by a nationalist government that wore strange hats, sprouted heaps of old cobblers and justified everything they did in the name of the Afrikaner and/or the Bible. At school we were expected to attend some sort of rally and wave flags and sing national anthems and worship Afrikaner heroes. Thank God I was spared “volkspele”. I am unfortunately a “donderse ingelsman” so much of that was not pertinent to me then, and is still no longer pertinent.
All I will say is that I am glad 1994 happened, as much as I hate what this country is becoming through corruption, crime, nepotism and power hungry politicians, I still prefer it now to what it was before, I love the new flag although the national anthem does kind of confuse me. And, before anybody says “dan fokof terug Engeland toe!” I have news for you, I was born in this place, as were my parents. I am however considering that fokof option just so that I no longer have to listen to some idiot waffling about “die donderse ingelse het ons vroue en kinders vermoor en verkrag”. Oh, and if I spot any Afrikaners in the UK I reserve the right to tell them to “fokof terug Suid Afrika toe!”
Oh, and in passing. In March 2013 I fokofed to Engeland. And while it has not been all honey and roses, at least I feel a bit more at home here.