Biography of Colonel Alwyn Wolfaardt, Boer martyr killed during the Conflict in Bophuthatswana (1994).
Your sacrifice has not been forgotten.
Alwyn Wolfaardt was born on 11 December 1949 in Pretoria (southern Africa), the third child of Phil and Anna Wolfaardt. He was 5 years old and not even in school when his mother, Anna Wolfaardt, one evening while tucking the children into bed, had a heart attack and passed away. He was the youngest of 3 children with an older brother, Koos and a sister.
His father Phil Wolfaardt worked as an aeroplane mechanic in the South African Air Force and in his own time qualified as a pilot and obtained his private pilots license, (PPL). Phil Wolfaardt was a true Boer; he joined the Ossewa Brandwag (OB) and elected to go to jail rather than fight alongside the British as had decided during the Second World War the Union of South Africa (the macrostate / empire forged in 1902 by international capitalism through the military force of the British Empire, after having defeated the Boer republics and annexed them to its colonies). Because of this he was discharged from the South African Air Force. He later qualified as a millwright and worked at ISCOR (Iron and Steel Corporation) as a Section Head of the Electrical and Mechanical section but was also a part time farmer. During 1975 Phil retired from a ± 40 years of service from ISCOR and became a full time farmer. He was very passionate about his farm and farming as such.
Alwyn grew up on a small holding in Derdepoort near Pretoria and later on a farm which is situated approximately 8 km from Cullinan, the well known town where the largest diamond ever (the Cullinan diamond) was found on 25 June 1905. Alwyn Wolfaardt was a relative of Pieter Jordaan, a Trekboer of the Boer commando of Piet Retief (the famous Trekboer leader) that was double-crossed and murdered in Dingaan’s kraal. Four of Alwyn’s grandfather’s siblings’ died in the Brandfordt Concentration camp in Orange Free State during the Anglo-Boer War.
On 28 June 1958 Alwyn’s father, Phil, at the age of 41 and being a widower and single parent for four years, married Bettie Gagiano, a young 28 year old woman from Ottosdal in the western Transvaal. Out of their marriage another 3 children were born, 2 boys and a girl (Danie, Flip and Adri).
Bettie raised Alwyn, his brother and sister as her own children and never distinguished between any of them and treated all of them equally.
Alwyn, Flip and Adri were very close. To Flip, Alwyn was more than just a brother, he was his best friend, his advisor, the person with whom he shared his joys and sadness. They had so much fun together. No one single day they had differences or were fighting.
Bettie was the loving, soft hearted parent whilst Phil was the strict parent who did not hesitate to discipline his children by giving you a spanking you deserve. He almost had a militaristic approach or as he sometimes said: “I am the captain of this ship”. His children perceived the soft side of their father especially when grand children arrived; even if they were naughty he prayed his children don't punish and don't spank them.
Phil Wolfaardt was very serious about his culture, moral standards and had a high interest in politics and was also involved in politics for most of his life.
Alwyn went to Premier Mine Primary school in Cullinan and finished his high school career at Hendrik Verwoerd High school in Pretoria where after he joined the South African Defense Force. On completion of his military Service at Technical Service School in Voortrekkerhoogte, Pretoria, he went to the Massey Ferguson agency: Williams and Van Ginkel in Pretoria to complete his apprenticeship and qualify as a diesel mechanic.
Alwyn and his father were always involved in politics, in contrast to other family members. During every election period they worked from dawn till dusk. On some occasions they had different opinions. They both had strong personalities and sometimes had strong differences but at the end they both shared the same belief.
On 31 December 1978 Danie Wolfaardt, half-brother of Alwyn, passed away in a tragic accident at the very young age of 19.
Alwyn qualified as a diesel mechanic but was also the adrenalin junky. During 1975 to 1980 he lived and worked as a diesel mechanic in Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi strip (on the South West African/Angolan border, now North of Namibia). His house was on the banks of the Zambezi River. At that stage it was a war zone (South African Border War). Everybody in Katima Mulilo had bomb shelters in their back yards as there was constant cross firing from the terrorists from across the Zambezi River. But Alwyn had no fear at all. During one of these shootings from across the Zambezi River, while most of the people in town were hiding in their bomb shelters he was sitting outside his house, recording the events.
During 1981 he decided to join the Antarctica team for 12 months also as a diesel mechanic. Maybe he was in his element when he left on the SA Agulhas for the experience of a lifetime to the SANAE basis in Antarctica. The S.A. Agulhas was used to service the three South African National Antarctic Programme research bases namely: Gough Island, Marion Island and SANAE basis as well as various research voyages. On his return he was almost unrecognizable as the whole Antarctica team grew their hair for that period.
He had so many ambitions and dreams and lived life to its fullest.
During December 1982 he met Ester Kuhn and got married on 7 January 1984. They later joined the Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging (AWB) where Alwyn reached the rank of Colonel in the Wenkommando, the AWB’s military wing.
Alwyn and his family, in the 1984 lived in Pretoria and he had his own business (workshop) in Pretoria North.
On 3 February 1986 their daughter, Annalise was born. Very late that evening and on his way back from the hospital he came to the house of his half sister with a bottle of pink (for the girl) champagne. After opening the bottle and due to the moist on the bottle he lost grip of the bottle and it fell to the floor, without breaking it sprayed whole room with champagne. They couldn’t stop laughing. They didn’t have one single sip of the champagne but instead had to clean the sticky mess from the floor, walls and ceiling until very late that evening.
Alwyn was totally overwhelmed and proud of his little girl.
His daughter was his everything. He absolutely adored her. He changed her nappies, fed her, bathed and would dress her. He also called her “poppie”, (his doll) as she definitely was just as beautiful as a little porcelain doll.
During 1990 Alwyn and his family moved to Naboomspruit where he also ran his business. They lived just outside the town on a small holding where they kept some animals and he had a big vegetable garden. Alwyn was also a marvelous cook. During some visits of his relatives he would cook and bake fresh bread in an outside clay oven.
Alwyn Wolfaardt was an imposing man, two meters tall, 115 kg, with a long and flowing beard. He was highly respected in the AWB and in the Boer community of Naboomspruit. He was an honest Boer nationalist.
On 25 June 1993, Col. Alwyn Wolfaardt took part in the Invasion of the World Trade Centre. He was also arrested, but the case was thrown out of court.
Col. Wolfaardt had a heart of pure gold and could feel pity for someone else no matter what race they were. He was the kind of person who would give the last food on his plate if you didn’t have and his friends described him as a fantastic guy with a soft heart, who often worked to help the poorest Boers and was generous with everyone, whites and blacks.
Someone know the story of a black Zimbabwean (Rhodesian) he helped. The Zimbabwean’s (Rhodesian) kombi (van) had broken down. The guy had no money. Alwyn let the guy sleep in his yard, gave him food, fixed up his kombi and sent him on his way. All he said was: “One day when you drive past and you've got money, you pay me”. Another day, an elderly person stopped at his garage for assistance as the vehicle lights were not working. After fixing it he refused taking money from him and said it was no big job. After the old man left he told he felt sorry for the old man as he reminded him of his own father who was at that stage also near his 80’s.
Alwyn was very serious about his volk and his culture, he had also an astounding sense of humor. and was a very popular person.
He always had the funniest way of saying things and there is not a single friend of his that didn’t fall victim to one of his pranks.
On March 10, 1994, Col. Alwyn Wolfaardt was part of the AWB-Wenkommando forces that entered in Boputhatswana at the request of President Lucas Mangope, to defend the independence of that black homeland (see: “Conflict in Bophuthatswana - 1994”).
“I knew he was going on a mission, but I never knew where. He called me from work, but he believed our phones were tapped, so we never discussed details on the phone.” Said Mrs. Ester Wolfaardt in the 1994.
The Boputhatswana was part of the Freedom Alliance, together with the coalition of the Afrikaner Volksfront (of which the AWB was part), the KwaZulu and the Ciskei.
Betrayed by Lucas Mangope, by the (white Afrikaner) leaders of the Afrikaner Volksfront (AVF) and by the Army of Bophuthatswana, the men of the AWB-Wenkommando formed a convoy to try to get back in the western Transvaal. The convoy come under the gun and mortar fire by blacks in civil dress, and even (according to the testimony of AWB-Wenkommando Gen. Alec Cruywagen and other men in the withdrawal convoy) by persons in uniform of the 32nd Battalion of the “old” Republic of South Africa (RSA) Empire.
Col. Alwyn Wolfaardt drove his old blue Mercedes and along him there were other two AWB-Wenkommando men: the General Nicolaas Cornelius Fourie and the Veldkornet (Field Cornet) Jacobus Stephanus Uys.
The car was isolated, and was riddled with bullets by the troops of Bophuthatswana. Gen. Fourie was badly hit in the neck and lost consciousness. The three Boers, in front of reporters, were disarmed and then killed in cold blood by a black Bophuthatswana policeman, sympathizer of the African National Congress (ANC). Col. Wolfaardt was assassinated while he was lying face down. He instantaneously died of cranio-cerebral injuries caused by having been shot in the head from behind.
The massacre was recorded by world television cameras, congregated on purpose in that place, and broadcast on the same day, even before Wolfaardt family was advised.
“I turned on the television and recognised his car. They showed the whole execution. I felt numb. I phoned AWB headquarters and said: “Dis my kar. Dis my man.” “My daughter [8 years old at that time. Ed] saw it too. She went very quiet. She was very close to her father. He died defending his country and his beliefs. I'm proud of him.” Told his wife in the 1994.
Col. Alwyn Wolfaardt was buried in the (Heldeakker) Heroes' acre of the Naboomspruit cemetery, because he was killed in service for his volk (the Boervolk). The AWB asked for this to the local administration, which approved it.
At the time of his death on 11 March 1994, Col. Alwyn Wolfaardt was 45 years old. He gave his life for the Cause of the Boers.
Up to his father’s death two months prior to his 92th birthday on 28 August 2008, Alwyn was his hero. To him Alwyn was not murdered but he sacrificed his life for the Boerevolk and died as he lived - for his volk. As the script on his tombstone says: “Ek sal lewe, ek sal sterwe, ek vir jou Suid Afrika”. Meaning: I will live and I will die for you, South Africa.
Col. Alwyn Wolfaardt, along with the other fallen of the AWB, is remembered at the AWB Memorial, in Ventersdorp.