Marthinus Van Schalkwyk is well known as the last leader of the National Party, before it imploded, pathetically, into the ANC. Below follows a short biography of the man who betrayed his colleagues, his constituents, the Afrikaner people and democracy in
As a young man Marthinus Van Schalkwyk had been chairman and a founding member of an organisation called “Jeugkrag”, which painted itself as an organization for Afrikaner youth disenchanted with the Establishment. Jeugkrag broke ranks with the NP and had even met the exiled ANC. It would later emerge, however, that while he was leading his supposedly independent youth movement, he was securing secret state funding for it. And, without the knowledge of fellow Jeugkrag leaders, he himself was on the government payroll. He was working as a double agent from the start, lying to his colleagues. If I had worked with this guy I would have punched him in the throat. A man with no principles and even less conviction.
In 1990, Van Schalkwyk was doing all he could to tie himself to De Klerk – then leader of the NP and President of South Africa, and by 1997 he had management to wiggle his way to the top of the shitpile. “Kortbroek” – as was his nickname amongst hardliners because of his sycophantic subservience - was chosen as leader of the NP for the 1999 general elections. At this time the National Party (or to be precise, the NNP at that stage) had the stated goal of being meaningful opposition to the ANC Leviathan.
There was a popular urge for such a situation, and the NP was more successful than expected. And on an even more positive note, it had formed an alliance with the Democratic Party in 2000, which effectively gave them control over the
More than a million ordinary South Africans had put their trust in Marthinus to do as he promised. The people tasked him, gave him the mandate, to try keep the corruption inherent in one-party systems at bay. Yet in 2001 Marthinus had his National Party break off from the
This was the ANC’s grandest moment. How they must have chuckled.
The only opposition they faced was effectively destroyed. The NP officially disbanded in April 2005, as Marthinus went from stating in 2003 that the ANC was "failing the poor" and had abandoned "principles like unity, equality and patriotism that have nothing to do with skin color", to bleating at the official disbandment of the NP that he “would personally encourage other NP leaders and members to join the ANC”. He effectively told his constituents, half a million people, to go to hell. He made the country less democratic, less just. He made our society just a little more cynical, and for that the name of Marthinus van Schalkwyk should go down as a stain on this country’s history. May his children shame him thusly.