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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Excerpt from The Super-Afrikaners by Ivor Wilkins and Hans Strydom

The Super-AfrikanersNamibiana Buchdepot have shared an excerpt from the introduction of the second edition of The Super-Afrikaners: Inside the Afrikaner Broederbond by Ivor Wilkins and Hans Strydom. The first edition was published in 1978 and exposed the secrets of the Broederbond to a shocked nation.

The introduction to this second edition, published last year, was written by Max du Preez. He recalls reading through the comprehensive list of Broederbond members to check if his father was one of them and recounts his attempts as a teenager to work out if the group had a secret handshake:

The last 137 pages of Ivor Wilkins’ and Hans Strydom’s 1978 edition of The Super-Afrikaners were probably the most photocopied pages of any book in South African history. The book was regarded in much the same light as a porn magazine by Broederbonders and their families – it was taboo to be seen to own one, but most were desperate to see what was in it. Those last pages contained the first comprehensive list of members of the highly secretive Afrikaner Broederbond, some 7500 of them. Coming from a rural, Calvinistic, Afrikaner-Nationalist family, I knew better than to ask my father if he was a Broeder. I was one of the many who quickly scanned the last pages of The Super-Afrikaners to see whether my father’s name appeared. It didn’t.

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