Although South Africa has made grand strides toward racial harmony in the years since apartheid, in a rural area outside of Johannesburg, the Kommandokorps, a camp for teenage boys, is helping to keep white supremacist ideals alive.
The Kommandokorps camp, describes itself as "protecting its own people" in the event of an attack, "because the police and the military cannot provide help quickly enough.” But the simple survival skills and military instruction received by the all-white group of South African boys goes beyond mere mastery of technique.
According to South African newspaper the Mail and Guardian, the camp’s leader, 57-year-old Franz Joote, stood before the latest class of boys and gave the group a lecture replete with references to the believed superiority of the white race.
"Aside from the Aborigines in Australia, the African black is the most underdeveloped, barbaric member of the human race on Earth," he said, according to the paper. "Who is my enemy in South Africa? Who murders, robs and rapes?" "Who are these creatures? The blacks.”
The paper writes that Joote went on tell the boys that Black people have a smaller cerebral cortex than whites and thus cannot take initiative or govern effectively.
The camp claims to have trained more than 1,500 white young men in defense skills over the past 11 years and, according to the paper, Jooste says that nearly 40 percent of the boys sign up themselves.
"I don't know what apartheid is," one young camp member told the paper. "But a long time ago, Nelson Mandela made it so everyone has the same rights." The paper writes that after sharing the inspirational quote, the young man then told the reporter that he is afraid when he walks past Black people.
Still, the group contends that it does not promote racism.
"No utterances of hate speech are ever made. Cadets are taught to love their own language, culture, traditions, religions and race. That is in the Constitution," Jooste said in a statement, responding to backlash received after the Mail and Guardian article was published.
Joote’s statement also mentioned, in retort, the alleged training of 8,000 Black youth from the ANC Youth League and the Young Communist League by the National Defence Force — a program that several extremist Afrikaner groups are calling a tool of “Boer genocide,” a part of a larger plan to wipe out white farmers.
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