1887

n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Op soek na 'n gebalanseerde beeld van H.F. Verwoerd : original research

Volume 78, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0023-270X
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Abstract

Doktor H.F. Verwoerd is waarskynlik die mees omstrede politieke figuur in Suid-Afrika se geskiedenis. Gedurende sy lewe is hy deur sy aanhangers bewonder, maar selfs sy kritici het erkenning aan hom gegee as 'n man van statuur. Vandag word hy meestal as simbool van brutale rasse-oorheersing getipeer. Hierdie artikel gee ten eerste insig in die soms teenstrydige standpunte wat in sy lewe, pas na sy dood en in later jare deur die pers oor Verwoerd uitgespreek is. Hierdie verskynsel word mediateoreties bespreek. Daarna volg 'n oorsig oor standpunte wat in die literatuur oor Verwoerd uitgespreek is, insluitende resente publikasies deur Hermann Giliomee, 'n vooraanstaande historikus. Teen die agtergrond van diverse en soms eensydige menings, word J.J. (Ponti) Venter se artikel oor Verwoerd se denke, wat in 1999 in gepubliseer is, bespreek as voorbeeld van 'n gebalanseerde intellektuele bydrae tot die voortgaande debat. Daar word geargumenteer dat Venter se bydrae belangrik was vanweë die skerp analises oor Verwoerd se denke. Venter se artikel, wat op toesprake gegrond is, verskaf egter te min konteks. Die nodige konteks word wel in ander publikasies en die pers gevind. Daar word aangevoer dat geen oordeel oor enige belangrike historiese figuur finaal is nie, veral nie indien net die pers geraadpleeg word nie. Soos met betrekking tot Verwoerd moet kontemporêre persdekking altyd aangevul word met deeglike navorsing oor die onderwerp. In die besonder is sober analises deur openbare intellektuele soos Venter nodig en dit moet ingesluit word in die beoordeling van Verwoerd.


Doctor H.F. Verwoerd is possibly the most controversial political figure in South African history. In life he was revered by his followers, but even critics acknowledged his stature. Today he is mostly depicted as a brutal symbol of racial suppression. This article first gives insight into various, contradictory views expressed in the press on Verwoerd during his life, immediately after his death and in recent years. This is discussed in view of some media-theoretical perspectives. It is followed by an overview of views expressed on Verwoerd in literature, including recent works by eminent historian Hermann Giliomee. Against this background of diverse and sometimes one-sided views, J.J. (Ponti) Venter's analysis of Verwoerdian thought, as published in a 1999 issue of , is presented as an example of a balanced intellectual contribution to an ongoing debate. It is argued that Venter's contribution was important as it provides incisive criticism of Verwoerd not found elsewhere. Venter's article, which was based on texts of speeches, however lacks some context. This is provided by other publications and press coverage. It is suggested that no assessment of an important historical figure is ever definitive, least so by consulting only the press. As is the case with Verwoerd, contemporaneous press coverage needs to be supplemented by solid research on the subject. In particular the sober analysis of public intellectuals such as J.J. Venter is needed and should be included in assessments of Verwoerd.

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/content/koers/78/2/EJC146953
2013-01-01
2017-03-23

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