Politically the European Union of old began to look increasingly like a stupid idea suited for a different world, probably Utopia. At first greatly lamented, fences went up by the thousands of kilometers and it was a good time to be a border guard. Travel between EU countries wasn’t quite as free as before, but on the whole the security situation improved and people felt a lot safer. The Union itself underwent some changes, with greater autonomy for member states, which was nevertheless stronger as politicians and their voters realized it was better to be friends working towards a common goal of security and prosperity than to constantly look to Germany for financial support and political leadership. In a weird twist (at least to the minds of social democrats and far left elements), the Europeans’ lean to the right cleaned up a lot of governments, reduced dependence on aid from the central government, introduced a new sense of national pride and overall revitalized the continent’s economy by creating enough stability and efficiency that the super-rich and investment firms actually began to look inwards to make profits. People were smiling again, after a very long and miserable time. They had pride and purpose, their countries were beginning to shine, tough though things still were.

 

In the Exodus Consortium’s estimate, the whites of South Africa would face a serious uphill battle in terms of public relations because people still remembered the anti-apartheid propaganda of the 1980s. The only hope they had was that while left wing beliefs were still strong in Europe and North America, they would be offset by the sympathy of the mostly white right-leaning majority of Europe, because those governments needed the support of nationalist, right and alt-right groups on the ground to keep out of power the center-left, socialists and environmentalists among others. Many of those groups knew about the farm murders and some whites’ fears of a genocide and were thus more ready to believe reports of what was going on in the country, as well as willing to lend a helping hand, but the main problem they now faced was how to get the word out.

 

Although Henk van Jaarsveld and Johan Aarsen had escaped, they were having a hard time convincing some influential friends of former major Kurt Bergmann to help them get to the Namibian ministers of internal and foreign affairs because as yet there was no independent confirmation from the media or anybody else. There couldn’t be any because of the telephone and news blackouts, arrest of many journalists and isolation of embassies and their staff. Over the next two weeks, stories spread by word of mouth that distraught white South Africans had either entered legally or jumped the border and those people were speaking of arrests of whites, their houses being handed over to blacks and in some cases looting, murder and rape. However, the reports were disjointed and as yet impossible to verify. Nevertheless, some of those desperate people had gone to foreign embassies and asked for asylum. While for the most part they were turned away, what they had to say was reported to governments back home and analysts began to look at South Africa. It was noticed right away that military reserve units had been activated, but there was no sign of deployment for some sort of exercise at Lohatla or any increase in the sizes of South African military units on peacekeeping duties around Africa. For the most part, military vehicles appeared to be in major urban areas, although satellites can only tell you so much when there’s no widespread arson or explosions and ELINT and SIGINT platforms picked up nothing but normal government transmissions and SABC broadcasts. Sure, it was realized straight away there was no cellular phone traffic, but as things stood, the most likely explanation was that there was some sort of internal disturbance in South Africa and the government had deployed the armed forces to back up the police while it used a communications blackout to prevent a nationwide coordination of any resistance.

 

When asked about why their embassies and staff were restricted to their compounds, why the phone lines were cut and staff along with family members were driven everywhere in blacked out convoys driven by police, South African ambassadors could say nothing but what the government had told them- there was a civil disturbance following an attempted coup by former white politicians backed up by right wingers and ex-soldiers, which the government had repelled and was in the process of mopping up. That it needed to keep switched off the media, cellular phone networks and the internet in order to prevent coup backers and sympathizers from escaping, or worse, to coalesce into an insurgency, and all of this was temporary. The ambassadors made it clear their government was concerned for the welfare of foreign diplomats and their families, so in the interests of security for them all, they had asked them to stay indoors and only go out under police protection along cleared routes. This worked for three weeks, but just as the South African government was about to set up road blocks on freeways and add more to the problems plaguing the widely scattered whites on the run, help came from an unexpected quarter, the possibility of which hadn’t occurred to anybody in the Exodus Consortium…

 

End of Part 4. To be continued…

Mircea Negres

Port Elizabeth

South Africa