I TRIED unsuccessfully for nine years to understand the Afrikaner, only to be rebuffed and rejected at every turn until 2001.
It was during my service in the South African army that I finally became friends with one and, over time, managed to get an insight into their psyche.
Before then, they seemed to be obstinate, narrow- minded, ignorant of the wider world and worse, to my way of thinking – proud of their ignorance.
Today, the few friends I have are ALL Afrikaners.
Through them, I began to understand who and what they were, as well as how to deal with this unique cultural group.
Through them, I distilled the core values of the Afrikaner, which, put in their language, are Land, Volk, Kerk. This trinity explains everything – they have an almost mystical connection with the soil of South Africa, which in turn defines to a large degree their national character and motivated the covenant they made with their Lord.
Like other peoples, they've endured dispossession, harassment, genocide and ethnic cleansing.
It's no surprise they value their identity and language, and fight continuously to keep their cultural identity alive in the face of subtle but determined efforts to denigrate and wipe it out.
To this end, the establishment of Afrikaans schools and universities is logical and, as viewed by many of them, necessary.
Furthermore, it is a recognised constitutional right the Afrikaners are entitled to as much as Zulus, Vendas or Xhosas, and its exercise cannot be used as justification to call a university "Hooligan of the day" simply because they choose not to teach in English.
If you want to study at Todai, then bone up on Japanese, because it's not up to the university to teach in your language – you MUST be fluent in the one it uses.
I don't speak die taal very well, and some of the blame is mine.
Because of that, not studying at an Afrikaans-medium university is a matter of inability on my part, not of discrimination on the part of the university – something the fools who were rejected ought to understand.
Then again, a university's choice to teach in Afrikaans is less important than why the government hasn't done anything to create Zulu, Xhosa or Sotho language-based universities over the 18 years it has governed this country, and what it plans to do about it in the future.
Given its efforts at wrecking the education system, perhaps the "Hooligan of the day" award ought to be given to the state, not the founders of Academia.
M Negres, Port Elizabeth