Suid-Afrika se ontvoogding van die Britse konneksie in die dertigerjare : van die Statuut van Westminster (1931) tot by oorlogsverklaring (1939)
Lubbe, Andries Johannes Lubbe
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The aim of this study is to discover the process of South Africa's emancipation from her British connection between 1 931 and 1 939. The writer chose the political and constitutional aspects of this theme as focal points. In order to establish a clear picture in describing this process, it was necessary to trace South Africa's British connection to its origin. A line is thus drawn from the early nineteenth century to 1930 to illustrate the clash between British imperialism and Afrikaner nationalism. While L. Botha and J.C. Smuts favoured the British connection, J.B.M. Hertzog believed that South Africa had the right to secede from the British empire. Botha and Smuts founded their policy on the belief that it was South Africa's honour and duty to be a member of the British Commonwealth and to assist Britain. However, Hertzog's slogan, South Africa First, lay the foundation for nationalists' desire to emancipate South Africa from her British connection. The dispute on the question of South Africa's emancipation from the British connection was centred around the following three questions: was the British crown divisible, did South Africa have the right to secede from the British Commonwealth and could she remain neutral in a British war? Up to 1926 imperialists and nationalists clashed head on in claiming respectively to uphold the British connection and to emancipate from it. After the Balfour declaration of 1926, when dominium’s and Britain got on equal footing with their status, Hertzog laid constitutional disputes aside. Secession, according to him, was no longer an issue. From 1926 he focused on a policy that Botha once lay down namely, the conciliation of Afrikaans and English cultures. Hertzog's firm belief that secession was not a practical political issue, together with his belief that Smuts had accepted his slogan of South Africa first, saw home fusion between the two leaders. This caused Malan and his nationalist followers to break away and form the Purified National Party. They believed that by fusion the British connection was greatly strengthened. The Status Laws of 1934 partially integrated the 1 931 Statute of Westminster. Thus it was generally accepted that South Africa had her own king, the right to secede from the Commonwealth and the right to be neutral. These laws caused a few SAP members, with Stalled as their leader, to split and form the Dominium Party. Fusion only lasted five years. In 1939 a second World War put the solidarity of the United Party to test. Hertzog's neutrality motion was defeated by Smuts and his followers. Once again South Africa was tied up on Britain's side.
- Humanities