“True national unity” ontbreek op 31 Mei 1931

Dit is vandag 31 Mei 2012. Op 31 Mei 1961 het Suid-Afrika ‘n republiek geword, op 31 Mei 1910 ‘n Unie en op 31 Mei 1902 is die Vrede van Vereniging gesluit.

Jan Hofmeyr (1898 - 1848), hier afgeneem onderweg na die lewering van sy begrotingsrede as minister van finansies.

Ter oordenking van 21 jaar sedert die Unie van Suid-Afrika op 31 Mei 1910 tot stand gekom het, het Jan Hofmeyr en sewe ander in 1930 ‘n aantal opstelle gepubliseer: “Coming of Age – Studies in South African Citizenship and Politics.”

Dit is merkwaardig hoeveel van wat hulle as belangrike vrae beskou het – oor hoe om die konstruksie van Suid-Afrika te laat werk – vandag eweseer as vraagstukke beskou word, wél dan met effense ander inkleding.

“This book”, skryf Hofmeyr in sy inleiding, “has been written, and will be published, during the twenty-first year of South Africa’s life as a political unit. On May 31st, 1931, the Union will come of age. The infant, whose birth was acclaimed with such enthusiasm and heralded with such confident anticipations of a healthy and vigorous life, will have completed the span of years which men associate with the attainment of maturity. It is a time to stop and think, no unfitting occasion for the consideration of the tasks with which the Union, now coming of age, is faced, of the adequacyof its equipment for the performance of those tasks, and for the most effective manner of using that equipment. It is the more desirable to do so, since there are but few South Africans who are satisfied with the extent to which the anticipations of twenty-one years ago have been fulfilled.”

“South Africa today is passing through a period of doubt, of questioning, of hesitation. Is it well for the land and its people? Is the future assured? Are the problems not perhaps insoluble? Is their solution being approached in the right way? There is impatience with the slowness of the growth of true national unity.”

Die woorde kon netsowel vir vandag geskryf gewees het. En ek wonder, as Hofmeyr en sy kollegas vandag weer die vrae sou probeer aanspreek, of hulle steeds sou dink die vrae is beantwoordbaar met ‘n uniale benadering tot die terplaatse staatkunde. Wat sou hulle by die ANC se voorgestelde beraad, in Junie, oor versoening – lees: nasiebou – te sê hê?

Lees hier, in PDF, die inhoudsopgawe van en Jan Hofmeyr se inleiding tot Coming of Age: Hofmeyer, J – Coming of Age (1931)

Hierdie meningstuk is deur ʼn onafhanklike persoon opgestel. Die menings en standpunte wat in hierdie skrywe uitgespreek word, is nie noodwendig die beleid of standpunt van Maroela Media se redakteurs, direksie of aandeelhouers nie. -Red

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