Willem Ratte - The Legend (addendum) PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 October 2010 09:28

Willem Ratte - The Legend. By Claus Nordbruch

The following text was taken from the last pages of the book “Willem Ratte - The Legend”, subtitled “The life and ideals of a German Boer in the fight for freedom and justice in South Africa”, by Dr. Claus Nordbruch [download pdf].




As a young man, Willem Ratte gave up the secure job of a teacher to follow his calling to fight communism. He joined the Rhodesian Defence Force, where he was later taken into the SAS.
His years of outstanding service later earned him the “Wings on Chest”. When Rhodesia was handed over to a communist government, Wilhelm joined the South African Defence Force and was assigned to the reconnaissance wing of 32 Battalion, whose commander he became. His outstanding courage earned him the highest esteem and respect of his fellow-soldiers and of the officer in command, and gave him an unequalled reputation. When South West Africa was also handed over to communism, Willem - then a commandant - became the officer in command of the training wing of 5 Reconnaissance Regiment. Not long afterwards, when he saw what political fraud was going on, he left the army.

In 1993, Wilhelm was invited to take command of the Pretoria Boer Commando Group. Here he took upon himself the struggle against the threatening foreign and communist take-over of South Africa, which was subtly allowed and furthered in our beautiful country by the National Party through political deception.

Wilhelm played a major role in the establishment of Radio Pretoria, which began broadcasting on 18 September 1993. While he was responsible for the protection of Radio Pretoria, Willem also started selectively training a Task Force for several special protection tasks.

With the foundation of the Freedom Alliance in 1993, of which the Volksfront, the Inkatha Freedom Party and Bophutatswana were members, Willem showed that he seriously intended to cooperate with anyone who believed in self-determination and was opposed to communism.

A group of Inkatha members was trapped in the Kwesini hostel, located in the ANC stronghold of Kathlehong. Willem called up the Boer Commando's Task Force in order to assist the trapped Zulus. At first light one Saturday morning, about 30 men under Willem's command went into Kathlehong, their pick-ups loaded with food and medical supplies. AK 47 bullets whistled over the trucks. One bullet passed through a canopy. The situation in the hostel where the Zulus were besieged by the ANC enemy was awful, but great was the delight on their faces when they realised what was going on.

During this same period, Commandant Ratte also planned the action to be taken when the nonelected Independent Transitional Council would come into force on 7 December 1993. Fort Schanskop was given special attention, because it had been built with Boer labour to defend the old Boer republic and therefore has strong emotive value to the Boer. After much reconnaissance and days of planning, as a symbolic act of protest against the institution of the undemocratic, so-called Independent Transitional Council, the fort was occupied under Commandant Ratte's leadership on 7 December 1993 - the day on which the Boer people were deprived of their freedom by the treason of the National Party. Willem was never captured after he had left Fort Schanskop. After the occupation, he continued with his work at Radio Pretoria.

In March 1994 he decided, of his own free will, to cooperate with the former SAP in the matter of the occupation of Fort Schanskop and invited the investigating officers to take down his declaration. As a true leader, Commandant Ratte took all the responsibility on himself.

In May 1994, Radio Pretoria was shut down. To Willem, it was totally unacceptable to listen to or to crawl before the Azanian regime. Three months later, the free, Christian and independent Radio Donkerhoek began transmitting. This station has now been broadcasting for two years.

The Schanskop trial started in 1994. Without accepting the authority of the new government, Commandant Ratte did attend the hearings punctually. On 3 May 1996, Magistrate MC de Witt sentenced him to 20 years and six months in prison. Willem promptly went on a hunger strike, which he only ended 57 days later after an appeal by his people.

Willem has proven that he will allow nothing to stand in the way of his fight for his people. He was prepared to sacrifice his life on the altar of his people so as to reunite them after the rift caused by treason. Willem always gave thanks to the Heavenly Father and acknowledged that it was Christ who gave him strength.

I am honoured and privileged to be called “my friend” by him.


Raymond Rademan
June 1996