On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
TERBLANCHE, Otto. Flanders and South Africa: Diplomatic, political and cultural relations, 1945-1990. Historia [online]. 2009, vol.54, n.2, pp. 77-97. ISSN 2309-8392.
Flanders, the northern, Dutch-speaking regional state of Belgium, has always regarded the preservation and strengthening of language and cultural ties with the Afrikaner as of the utmost importance. In this article, the diplomatic, political and cultural relations between Belgium and South Africa in the period 1945 to 1990 will be analysed. Apartheid however had a negative impact on bilateral relations from the late 1970s. It not only had an adverse effect on language and cultural ties, but also on political relations. The visit of South African Prime Minister P.W. Botha to Belgium in 1984 was characterised by many protest actions. This article will also deal with the aims and activities of pro-South African organisations such as the Algemeen-Nederlands Verbond, the Vrienden van Zuid-Afrika and Protea. Because of their history, the people in Flanders have traditionally been more sympathetic towards South Africa and the Afrikaner.
Keywords : Afrikaans; apartheid; Belgium; cultural ties; diplomatic and political relations; Flanders; South Africa.