"A special kind of colonist": an analytical and historical study of the Ossewa-Brandwag as an anti-colonial resistance movement
The Ossewa-Brandwag (OB) was a unique Afrikaner organisation which adopted a National Socialist ideology within the context of the prevailing ideologies of the late thirties and forties of the twentieth century. The organisation also served as the leading resistance movement against South Africa’s involvement in the Second World War. Although many aspects of this organisation’s history are thoroughly recorded, there is little research regarding the OB’s character as an anti-colonial resistance movement. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to analyse the OB as an Afrikaner anti-colonial resistance movement through a historical analysis that draws on the theoretical paradigm of ‘coloniality/modernity’. The historical framework of this analysis is placed within an already established theoretical perspective on African resistance set out by authors such as Branch and Mampilly, Fanon, Mamdani, and Ndlovu-Gatsheni. This historical framework provides the necessary context surrounding the nature of the Afrikaner’s identity, as manifested in the OB. The Afrikaner is, moreover, placed within the context of African resistance which allows for an analysis of the OB’s anti-colonial character. Furthermore, the broad historical context of African resistance is also investigated in the view of ‘othering’ as a fundamental basis for the development of resistance groups. This approach reveals how Afrikaner resistance, much like African resistance, developed from the concept of intrinsic differences, to a more organized anti-colonial movement in which resistance was perpetuated by movements such as the OB. Resistance is influenced by ‘coloniality/modernity’ which distorts the perceptions and identity of the colonised. The goal of the colonised is to liberate themselves but they become so assimilated within colonial perceptions that, when their resistance comes to an end with their emancipation from the colony, the established colonial ideas and structures live on through the rule of the recently liberated colonised people. This approach sees the Afrikaner as a special type of colonist since the Afrikaner, throughout its history and development, was both the coloniser and the colonised. Therefore, considering their resistance toward colonial rule along with their perpetuation of the patterns of ‘coloniality’, the Afrikaner and the OB can be described as anti-colonial in nature. Indeed, the OB served as an anti-colonial movement that not only opposed the Second World War but also sought to emancipate the Afrikaner through both violent and non-violent resistance against British authority. These acts of resistance would only amount to the continuation of coloniality, especially considering the establishment of Apartheid after the 1948 election. In short, this study traces the development of the Afrikaner as a special type of colonist and shows how the OB was in essence also an anti-colonial movement with the characteristics of an African resistance movement within the context of the dynamics of coloniality/modernity.
- Humanities