African Oral Narratives
Military Intelligence in Apartheid-era South Africa

Constand Viljoen, former chief of the South African Defence Force and leader of the Volksfront, on the night he decided to go to the polls during South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.

Constand Viljoen, former chief of the South African Defence Force and leader of the Volksfront, on the night he decided to go to the polls during South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.
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This colour image of Constand Viljoen is one of a series taken by photographer Doug Lee of the night Viljoen went to the polls during the 1994 elections. Constand Viljoen was former chief of the South African Defence Force and leader of a grouping of right-wing organisations called the Afrikaner Volksfront (Afrikaner People's Front). In March 1994, an attempt to protect the government of Lucas Mangope in the bantustan of Bophuthatswana during a popular uprising was wrecked by the intervention of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)despite being asked not to participate in the action because of their racist views. After this incident Viljoen left the Volksfront and registered the Freedom Front as a political party to represent conservative Afrikaner interests. It is believed that this decision by Constand Viljoen to finally take part in the 1994 elections prevented a violent uprising by Afrikaners.

Courtesy of The South African History Archive (SAHA) (April 27, 1994)
Constand Viljoen, former chief of the South African Defence Force and leader of the Volksfront, on the night he decided to go to the polls during South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.
Constand Viljoen, former chief of the South African Defence Force and leader of the Volksfront, on the night he decided to go to the polls during South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.
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Courtesy of The South African History Archive (SAHA)
Creator: Lee, Doug
Contributing Institutions: The South African History Archive (SAHA); MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University
Description: This colour image of Constand Viljoen is one of a series taken by photographer Doug Lee of the night Viljoen went to the polls during the 1994 elections. Constand Viljoen was former chief of the South African Defence Force and leader of a grouping of right-wing organisations called the Afrikaner Volksfront (Afrikaner People's Front). In March 1994, an attempt to protect the government of Lucas Mangope in the bantustan of Bophuthatswana during a popular uprising was wrecked by the intervention of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)despite being asked not to participate in the action because of their racist views. After this incident Viljoen left the Volksfront and registered the Freedom Front as a political party to represent conservative Afrikaner interests. It is believed that this decision by Constand Viljoen to finally take part in the 1994 elections prevented a violent uprising by Afrikaners.
Date: April 27, 1994
Location: Republic of South Africa
Format: Image/jpeg
Rights Management: Doug Lee
Digitizer: SAHA
Source: SAHA collection AL3283

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