Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Top-level conference on self-determination: Being part of the solution

Self-determination is an internationally respected phenomenon, which is often used to defuse tension between population groups and every Monday evening, over the next four weeks, the FF Plus will present a top-level virtual conference on the topic. Experts from various fields will participate.

The very first time that the term was used was when the Austro-Hungarian Empire fell in 1918/19. The First World War was fuelled by the frustration of subordinate peoples within this Empire and, thus, self-determination was implemented as a mechanism for establishing peace.

After the Second World War, the concept was also implemented in colonial empires where European rule over areas in Africa and Asia was replaced by self-determination. Therefore, self-determination is one of the pillars of the United Nations.

Because of the indiscriminate determination of colonial borders in Africa, new states were created where certain population groups dominated others. Oppression, ethnic cleansing and even genocide are some of the bitter fruits reaped by these states. The Organisation of African Unity and its successor, the African Union, decided to maintain these colonial borders for the sake of stability.

Up to date, the colonial borders that have been changed relate to the recognition of Eritrea and South Sudan's independence from Ethiopia and Sudan respectively. Tanzania prevented civil war from erupting in the country by recognising the independence of population groups within its country's borders – yet another incidence of self-determination.

In South Africa there have also been numerous attempts to defuse underlying tension by means of self-determination. Unfortunately, these attempts failed for a variety of reasons and the underlying tension still exists. The South African Constitution of 1996 holds the door to self-determination open, specifically Section 235.

The fact that this constitutional section does have more than just academic value was underscored by the government's adoption of expropriation without compensation as policy. It is probably also one of the main reasons why support for the FF Plus grew extensively in 2019.

A pivotal question is how minority groups in South Africa can use their right to self-determination to protect themselves against a government that is not only drunk with power, but also corrupt and incompetent?

Is self-determination synonymous with secession? Must one move someplace else to achieve self-determination? What forms of self-determination can a minority population implement? These are the practical questions that need to be answered so that action can be taken.

The FF Plus will tackle these questions head-on because self-determination can no longer remain a theoretical possibility – ideals must become plans and plans must be executed. And that is why a top-level conference on this topic will be presented over four Monday evenings. The programme is as follows:

1. Monday 19 October:
What we need to know about self-determination before we can implement it. This session will cover theoretical concepts without which the practical side cannot be considered. Participants include: Prof Koos Malan, Mr Carel Boshoff and Mr Flip Buys.

2. Monday 26 October:
What forms of self-determination are feasible for a dispersed minority – and how can they be achieved? In neighbourhood watches, school governing bodies and in various other contexts, people are already practising self-determination without even using the term. What else is possible? How far can we take this? Participants include Prof Deon Geldenhuys, Dr Pieter Mulder and Ms Alida Kok.

3. Monday 2 November:
Self-determination and economic sustainability with an emphasis on the importance of fiscal competencies. What exactly is needed to make self-determination work economically? What is more important – lots of land or the ability to manage the state coffers properly? Participants include Prof Jannie Rossouw, Mr Dawie Roodt and Dr André Laäs.

4. Monday 9 November:
How can a delineated area achieve self-determination? What does constitutional law say about this? Are you truly independent if someone else can switch off your lights? What can we learn from the practices of Orania? Participants include Dr Corné Mulder, Mr Danie Coetzee and Mr Frans de Klerk.

Contact details: 074 166 5540



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