Afrikaner: Reconciliation Needs Respect
The commemoration of Reconciliation Day and the Afrikaner holiday, the day of the covenant, in which some Afrikaners commemorate an 1838 oath taken at the battle of Blood River, do not have to stand in competition to each other, party leader Pieter Mulder said.
In a speech prepared for delivery at Roepersfontein near Potchefstroom, he said: "It is a mistake to force the Afrikaner to choose between the two (holidays)," said Mulder.
"Real reconciliation lies in finding a balance between the things that we have in common and those things where we differ from each other culturally and otherwise."
He said this would mean that there would be enough space in South Africa for everybody and that no race or culture group would feel threatened or estranged.
"If reconciliation in South Africa means that the different race and culture groups have to sacrifice the things that are their own, then the recipe for reconciliation is wrong," said Mulder.
"That is not real reconciliation but assimilation and cultural cleansing."
Mulder was also concerned about the "negative and one-sided" way that the Afrikaans-speaking whites' history is presented.
"I ask for a balanced presentation of the Afrikaner's history and his role in South Africa," he said.
"Of course we made mistakes in the past but we also made a huge contribution to the infrastructure and success of the country, of which we can be proud," he said.