I add my voice to those who would disagree with the implication that it is correct to refer to someone as "African" only if that person is very dark, or speaks a specific language.

A major concern with this concept is that it drives a wedge between the African and the non-African, or at least leaves the question of a patriotic link in question. And this is sad to the point of being pitiful.

As an Afrikaans-speaking African (in fact I prefer Afrikan) I would also like to point out that when a young Master Hendrik Biebouw said in 1707, ". ik ben een Afrikander; al slaat de landdrost mij dood, of al zetten hij mij in de tronk, ik zal, nog wil niet zwijgen", ( "I am an African; even if the magistrate were to beat me to death, or put me in jail, I shall not be, nor will I stay, silent"), he was saying not that he spoke Afrikaans (it did not even exist as a separate language until 1875, almost 170 years later - he was speaking Dutch ) but that he regarded himself to be an African.

It might not be popular with everyone, but as a South African citizen I claim the right to love our continent (with all its faults) and my country (with all its faults). I am giving my life to doing my work and serving my fellow men and women - here.

And I do so as an Afrikan.

Please consider my interests in this respect, as well as the interests of millions like me, of whom, incidentally, few would yet agree that the Afrikaans word Afrikaner correctly should refer to everyone in Afrika, and that there is something called "die Afrikaanse Nasionale Kongres". (Now there's an incendiary idea for you.)

Charl Kocks

Darrenwood