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The Ossewabrandwag ("Oxwagon Sentinel") (OB) was a nationalist Afrikaner organisation in South Africa, founded in Bloemfontein on February 4, 1939. It opposed South African entry into World War II on the British side, because of South Africa's fight for independence from British rule (Second Boer War) and created a paramilitary group called Stormjaers ('storm chasers'), modelled on the Nazi SA ("Storm division"), which carried out sabotage against Jan Smuts's government.[1] The militaristic stance of the OB was clear from the oath that cadets had to take before they became fully fledged storm troopers: 'If I retreat, kill me. If I die, avenge me. If I advance, follow me.'

Many members of the OB were incarcerated during World War II after committing acts of sabotage in protest against South Africa's alignment with Britain and in support of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. John Vorster, who would become Prime Minister of South Africa after Hendrik Verwoerd's death, was detained at Koffiefontein for the duration of the war.

After the war the Ossewabrandwag went underground. There is nothing on the public record to indicate that it was ever formally disbanded but at some time before 1960 it simply ceased to exist as a coherent organisation. However, many of its erstwhile members, including future South African State President P.W. Botha, went on to rise in the ranks of the Apartheid government.



  1. ^ Williams, Basil (1946). "10 - Smuts and the War in Africa". Botha Smuts And South Africa. Hodder And Stoughton Limited London. pp. 161 (n178). Retrieved 2009-07-29.  

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