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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Herstigte Nasionale Party (HNP)

The Herstigte Nasionale Party was established in the Skilpad Hall, Pretoria, in October 1969. The leader of the party was Dr Albert Hertzog, a former Cabinet minister who was forced out of the National Party be-cause of his ultra right-wing attitudes. Members of the HNP were also referred to as "Hertzogiete". Three other sitting members of the House of Assembly with right-wing sympathies also made important contributions to the establishment of the HNP. One of these, Jaap Marais, later became the leader of the HNP.

The founding of the HNP was preceded by a bitter power struggle between the verkramptes (right wing) and verligtes (moderate wing) of the Afrikaner community. In the period 1967-1969 this power struggle dominated the internal politics of the National Party. Of great significance was the struggle to gain control of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, a struggle which was abetted by the Cape-based Nasionale Pers group in an attempt to rid the party of verkramptes. The far right-wingers who supported the Verwoerdian vision of apartheid thought Verwoerd's successor, John Vorster, too liberal. They were opposed primarily to the Vorster Cabinet's decision to allow racially mixed sports teams from overseas into South Africa (sport in South Africa was rigidly segregated); Vorster's attempts to canvass English-speaking support for the NP; the open immigration policy of the NP (they were especially opposed to Roman Catholic immigrants); and the NP's attempts at forming ties with other African states during the era of detente.

The HNP's policy can broadly be summarized as follows:

Blacks have no permanent right to live in South Africa, and should be resettled in independent homelands.

Job opportunities should, where possible, be reserved for whites.

Sport should be segregated.

Racially integrated educational institutions should be segregated.

Coloureds should be accommodated in a homeland in the North-West-ern Cape called the Mier district.

Asians should, if possible, be repatriated to their countries of origin (in the eighties this policy was changed to allow Indians self-governing rights within limited areas).

Afrikaans should be recognized as the only official language (in 1986 this policy was adapted to include English).

Black trade unions would be prohibited.

There would be support for a free-market economy, although aspects of national capitalism are suggested to protect the rights of white workers. These workers would also be entitled to a greater portion of the country's wealth derived from gold.

Harsh action would be taken against neighbouring countries that are enemies of South Africa.

The Herstigte Nasionale Party analyzes world and local politics in terms of the "conspiracy theory". In this context it refers to the "money power" (widely defined, this would refer to the Illuminati) as the root of all social problems. The HNP is given no support by large companies, thus these companies are also seen as part and parcel of this "money power". The weekly party mouth-piece, Die Afrikaner, has a limited circulation and cannot really compete with the dailies. Die Afrikaner has been banned on many occasions.

Shortly after its formation the party participated in the election of April 1970. It managed to retain its deposit in only one of the 77 constituencies where the party had candidates, ie it obtained no more than 20 per cent of the winning party's votes. In the 1974 and 1977 elections, sup-port for the party was still limited, but in the 1981 election the HNP obtained 14,1 per cent of the total number of votes cast and came close to victory in many constituencies. This increase in right-wing sentiment was explained as a reaction to P W Botha's pro-reform approach. In 1985 the HNP won a seat for the first time when Louis Stofberg, one of the founder MPs, won the Sasolburg constituency. It must be added that this victory was made possible only because its right-wing counter-part, the CP, did not put up a candidate.

Under Jaap Marais, who became party leader in May 1977, the HNP clung to the Verwoerdian apartheid ideology. The party also believes it is the only representative of the NP's sixties policy. Marais alleges that as a political solution for South Africa, segregation did not fail, but was consciously set aside after the death of Verwoerd. He also believes that Verwoerd may have been "eliminated" because his policy was on the verge of success. The HNP totally opposed the constitutional direction taken by the NP in the eighties. Its point of view was, however, that it would operate "within the system" so as to re-instate the old order.

The HNP's uncontested leadership in far-right politics was challenged in 1982 with the founding of the CP. Many CP members, including the leader, Dr Andries Treurnicht, had a loose association with the "Hertzogiete" prior to the founding of the HNP, but never actually joined the party. The antagonism between the two right-wing groups manifested it-self in their inability to conclude election pacts. In many constituencies the NP won only because the right-wing vote was divided between the CP and HNP. The AWB leader, Eugene Terre'Blanche, tried on a number of occasions to create right-wing unity, but without much success. After a weak display in the 1987 election (the HNP only drew three per cent of the votes cast), the HNP was nearly wiped out in the 1989 election.

There were many calls for the disbanding of the HNP from within right-wing circles. The HNP leader-ship, however, obstinately refused to heed these calls, pointing out that in the HNP view the CP was following the same policy as the NP, except at a much slower pace. Accordingly the HNP's existence was justified it had to fight for the preservation of the rights of white South Africans. Throughout, the HNP has remained intransigent regarding Afrikaner nationalism. Consequently it has drawn hardly any support from right-wing English-speaking South Africans, while the CP has gained support from this group. Superficially, the only difference between the HNP and CP is that the former supports the Verwoerdian model of the sixties, while the latter supports the Vorster model of the seventies.


The present-day homelands policy can be traced back to the beginning of the century. The segregation policy was officially instituted in 1913 after the promulgation of the Land Act, Act 27 of 1913, in that year. Under this act, land was demarcated where blacks could live separately from whites in those parts of the country where the bulk of the black population lived at that time. In 1936 the implementation of the so-called "segregation policy" was taken an important step further with the demarcation of geographical areas and the assigning of self-governing rights to the traditional authority structures (Black Trust and Land Act, Act 19 of 1936).

At the time blacks were given only indirect representation in Parliament. When the NP came to power in 1948 the policy of apartheid, initially called segregation, was broadened and institutionalized. In 1951 Parliament approved the Black Authorities Act under which each black area had to develop its own system of authority. The late fifties and early sixties were characterized by a process of decolonization in Africa. This process of political liberation did not go unnoticed by blacks in South Africa. The government's solution to what they perceived as a threat was to promulgate the Promotion of Black Self-Government Act in 1959, which finally led to the present-day home-lands. It was an attempt to accommodate black aspirations regarding political representation. Simultaneously the indirect representation of blacks in Parliament was terminated. They were now only permitted to exercise their political rights in those areas demarcated for the specific "nations". Apparently the government's aim was to create a situation where each black "nation" could make decisions about its own affairs within its own structures, thereby giving expression to its quest for self-determination. In opposition ranks this policy was described as "racist" and as a "divide and rule" tactic.

In accordance with this policy of separate development (as apartheid was later called), the government envisaged that black ethnic groups would gain full sovereign independence and be given the opportunity of "self-realization and development" in their own homelands. Today there is no doubt that the vision of total vertical separation (read partition) took no account of economic realities. The policy of separate development failed in its aim of reducing the numbers of blacks in "white South Africa". The social and economic development of the homelands could not transform them into viable national homes for the different black groups, while the influx of job seekers to white urban areas increased.

Under increasing pressure, the Transkei, Bophuthatswana, the Ciskei, Venda, Lebowa, Gazankulu, KwaZulu, Qwaqwa, KaNgwane and KwaNdebele attained self-government. The Transkei, Bophuthatswana, the Ciskei and Venda later be-came "sovereign independent states".

The financial dependence of the homelands, even that of the "independent" TBVC states, meant that they could never be fully independent. The table on p 117 clearly illustrates the extent to which these states are maintained by South Africa. (Only South Africa recognizes the "independence" of these states.)

Most black politicians who recognize the homelands see themselves as belonging to the Transkei or a Tswana nation rather than as part of an inclusive South African nation, and claim that the second-best option is to utilize the institutions the government permits them to use. The politicians in these homelands, such as the Transkei and Bophuthatswana, demanded more land, higher minimum wages, the relaxation of the pass laws (before these were abolished in 1986), and an improvement in the working and living conditions of migrant labourers in the so-called white areas.

If one looks at elections held by homelands such as the Transkei and Bophuthatswana, it appears that only the people living in the homelands participate in the elections. In Bophuthatswana's pre-"independence" election in 1977 only 375 000 of a potential one million voters registered. Most of them lived in the homeland. In the 1982 election less than 200 voters in the Johannesburg area voted. In the Transkei's 1973 election 39 000 of the more than half a million voters outside the homeland voted. A large number of these were also migrant labourers. This phenomenon of low participation in homeland politics by blacks outside these areas was observed in all the homelands.

One of the main aims of the policy of apartheid was to transfer the political aspirations and political conflicts from the urban areas to the homelands. However, if one assesses this process of "aspiration and conflict transference" in terms of the political mobilization of urban blacks, apartheid failed to achieve its aim in the homelands.

By the end of the eighties one of the most important pillars of apartheid, the homelands, showed cracks. The civil administration in the areas weakened to the extent that it threatened the political leadership. Heightened political expectations after the unbanning of the ANC, PAC and SACP, and the release of Nelson Mandela led to large-scale strikes, and protest and political violence in most of the homelands. Homeland leaders are caught between their apartheid institutions and rapidly growing support for the protest movements. In most homelands there is an increasing expectation of re-incorporation into South Africa. The scrapping of the 1913 and 1936 Land Acts will hasten the re-incorporation process. The actual role and place of the homelands and homeland leaders will only become evident with the conclusion of the negotiation process. It is understandable that the TBVC states will be involved in groundwork negotiations about their future re-inclusion into South Africa. A decision in this regard will probably be made at the multi-party conference.

When the Act on Development Aid was amended in June 1991, the dividing line between white South Africa and the homelands disappeared.

Over the years political parties and organisations in the homelands have come and gone. The only national political organisation based in a homeland is Inkatha, in KwaZulu. On 23 September 1987 a new homeland-based organisation, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), was formed by chiefs of KwaNdebele and Moutse. The purpose of the organisation is to oppose the "independence" of the homelands. It also campaigns for the abolition of the "Bantustan system", the broadening of South African citizenship to all inhabitants in the homelands, the education of traditional leaders with regard to the freedom struggle and their role in the struggle, appropriation of the land of their "fore-fathers", and the division of the land among those "who worked for it".

In July and August 1989 Contralesa held discussions with the ANC in Lusaka. After the visit there were clear signs that Contralesa was making overtures to the MDM. After the unbanning of the ANC direct talks were held between Contralesa and the ANC. The interim president of Contralesa was Chief Mhlabunzima Maphumulo of KwaZulu. Sango Patekile Holomisa, an Umtata advocate, was appointed president in 1990.

The following is a list of the most important organisations in the homelands (only homeland-based organisations are mentioned):


The following organisations were active until a military coup by Major-General Bantu Holomisa in December 1987 ended the activities of all political groups in the Transkei:

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) formed in 1979 and incorporating three opposition groups, namely the Democratic Party, the New Democratic Party and the Transkei National Progressive Party. The organisation is critical of apartheid and domination by the South African government.

Transkei National Independence Party (TNIP) formed in 1964 and supports the Transkei's independence.

Transkei National Party (TNP) a faction of the TNIP which broke away in 1987.

Transkei People's Freedom Party (TPFP) formed in 1976.


Bophuthatswana Democratic Party (BDP) formed in 1974, this is the ruling party under the leadership of Lucas Mangope (president of Bophuthatswana).

National Seoposengwe Party (NSP) formed in 1976, this party opposes the homeland system. At present it has no seats in the legislative assembly.

Progressive People's Party (PPP) after a failed coup under the leader-ship of Rocky Malebane-Metsing, this party, which had six members in the legislative assembly, was banned by President Mangope in February 1988.


Venda National Party (VNP) this party was declared the only legal party in Venda in August 1986. It was prohibited after Brigadier G Ramushwana seized the leadership in a coup in 1990.


After a coup by Brigadier Oupa Gqosa in March 1990 the political activities of the Ciskei National Independence Party (CNIP) under the leadership of Lennox Sebe, former president of the Ciskei, and the Ciskei National Party (CNP), under the leadership of Justice Mbandla, were prohibited. Several attempts have since been made to overthrow Gqosa's government. In July 1991 Gqosa established the African Democratic Party (ADP).


Ximoko xa Rixaka formed in 1983, it is the only legal organisation in this homeland. The chief minister, Professor Hudson Ntsanwisi, is also president of the organisation, which is also known as the Ximoko Progressive Party.


Inyandza National Movement this movement was established in 1978 under the leadership of Enos Mabuza (the former chief minister) and has the support of the majority of members in the legislative assembly.

Insika National Party the party has four seats in the legislative assembly.


Dikwankwetla Party this governing party was formed in 1974 and is led by Dr T K Mopeli, the chief minister of Qwaqwa.

Basotho Unity Party this party was formed in 1974, and has no significant support.


No significant political organisations, except Mbokotho, a notorious vigilante movement which strongly opposed the incorporation of Moutse and the independence of KwaNdebele. The Congress of Traditional Leaders (Contralesa), with Chief Mhlabunzima Maphumulo of Kwa-Zulu as interim leader, was formed by traditional leaders of KwaNdebele in 1987.


Lebowa People's Party (LPP) this party, formed in 1972 by Dr Cedric Phatudi, later became the only party in the area.

Thari ya Setshaba a "cultural and liberation movement" under the leadership of Phatudi, it replaced the LPP in April 1988. Nelson Ramodike, the present chief minister, succeeded Phatudi as president after the latter's death. The organisation has since ceased to exist.


Inkatha Freedom Party formed in 1990, this is the only political party in KwaZulu.

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