DIE POLITIEKE KOERSWENDING VAN 1948 BESORG 'N NUWE IDENTITEIT AAN DIE UNIEVERDEDIGINGSMAG

L. Jooste

Abstract


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) came into being on 27 April 1994. The establishment of the SANDF brought far-reaching changes: integration of the old South African Defence Force and the statutory and non-statutory armed forces into a single National Defence Force; rationalization of the SANDF to an affordable force; and finally transformation of the SANDF to meet the changing needs of the new democratic South Africa.

More than four decades ago, when the National Party came into power after the general election held on 26 May 1948, the country's defence force also underwent significant changes. F.G. Erasmus, Minister of Defence in D.F. Malan's cabinet, was determined to rid the Union Defence Force of its many British traditions and of its British character and he introduced a series of changes so as to furnish the Force with a distinct South African identity. In this article a few of these changes are discussed.

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AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag (SANW) het op 27 April 1994 totstandgekom. Die stigting van die SANW het 'n tydperk van ingrypende veranderinge in Suid-Afrika se verdedigingsmag ingelui : integrasie van die ou Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag, die weermagte van die Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda en Ciskei, asook die gewapende magte van die African National Congress en die Pan African Congress te wete Umkhonto we Sizwe en die Azanian People's Liberation Army in 'n enkele Nasionale Weermag; rasionalisasie om die geïntegreerde SANW tot 'n bekostigbare grootte te verskraal; en uiteindelik transformasie met die doel om die departement van Verdediging in ooreenstemming te bring met die fundamentele behoeftes en vereistes van die nuwe bestel in die land. Hierdie hervorming roep onwillekeurig die veranderinge wat Suid-Afrika se verdedigingsmag bykans vier dekades vantevore ondergaan het toe die land ook 'n nuwe politieke era betree het, in herinnering. Die Nasionale Party, onder leiding van doktor D.E Malan, het generaal J.C. Smuts se Verenigde Party op 26 Mei 1948 in die algemene verkiesing uit die kussings gelig en Malan het advokaat EC. Erasmus as Minister van Verdediging in sy kabinet aangestel. Erasmus, wat Smuts in hierdie portefeulje opgevolg het, het gedurende die daaropvolgende elf jaar verreikende veranderinge in die Unieverdedigingsmag aangebring. In die onderstaande artikel word enkele van die talle wysigings wat Erasmus ingestel het om spesifiek 'n eiesoortige identiteit aan die verdedigingsmag te verleen, onder die loep geneem.


Keywords


South African National Defence Force (SANDF); transformation of the SANDF; National Party; British traditions; African National Congress; Pan African Congress; Umkhonto we Sizwe; die Azanian People's Liberation Army

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5787/26-2-246

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ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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