n Journal for Contemporary History - Die Afrikaner-Broederbond en die algemene verkiesing van 1948

Volume 27, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



From 1935 Dr Malan and Gen. Hertzog were at loggerheads concerning the Afrikaner secret organisation, the Afrikaner Broederbond (AB), with Malan, unlike Hertzog, being a member of this organisation. Since the general election of 1943 United Party (UP) leaders feared the future role of the AB in SA politics. The AB played a leading role in the Dutch Reformed Church of the Afrikaners and in many other spheres. Before the 1948 election Premier Jan Smuts forced AB members to choose between the AB and the civil service. Most of the NP politicians were members of the AB and worked towards a republic for SA, thus the UP regarded the AB as a dangerous society. They believed that the AB also had a financial front working towards winning the next election. The UP believed that the AB had taken over the Ossewa-Brandwag (OB) - a pro-Nazi organisation - after the war. At this stage there were only about 3000 members in the AB. Notwithstanding this the UP feared that this organisation was striving towards a dominating Afrikaans community for the country as a whole. They also believed that the NP had been responsible for the establishment of the OB during the war years. They told the country that a Malan Government would be the beginning of frustration and ruin. They knew that the influence of the AB would be instrumental in the outcome of the 1948 election and tried to warn electors against an Afrikaner republic and Afrikaner dominance.

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