The Volkswag (which is Afrikaans for People's Guard) is an Afrikaner cultural civil society organization and think tank in South Africa which is closely affiliated with the ruling Conservative Party. The Volkswag is dedicated to the advancement of Afrikaner interests and protection of the Apartheid policy. It is sometimes described as the symbolic successor to the now-disbanded Afrikaner Broederbond, which was a similar organization but affiliated with the disestablished National Party (not to be confused with the New National Party). Members of the Volkswag occupy the highest rungs of government, including the State President, Cobus Grobler and most of his cabinet. They are also found throughout South Africa's educational and academic institutions, companies, the Defense Force and civil society.
The Volkswag is the subject of much controversy and criticism, especially from liberal and leftist groups in South Africa and abroad. Many accuse the Conservative government of using the Volkswag as a tool for propaganda and other initiatives it cannot pursue as a state institution. The Progressive Party has called the Volkswag "the source of the continued existence of Apartheid and South Africa's militaristic foreign policy approach." The African National Congress, a banned terrorist organization, has publicly declared that it considers the Volkswag a combatant in its armed struggle against Apartheid, and has, according to government reports, staged assassination attempts against the organization and its leadership. The liberal rival of the Volkswag is the Suzman Institute, while the African nationalist rival is considered to be the Biko Black Consciousness Center.
Among others, organizations established by the Volkswag and which fall under its banner include the Jan Smuts Institute (a foreign relations think tank), the Cape Historical Society (which catalogs, restores and republishes historical documents and artifacts related to Afrikaner history), the Voortrekker Corps (a youth group comparable to the American Boy Scouts), the National Bureau of Racial Affairs (a pro-Apartheid policy group), the South African Family Council (a traditional family values organization), the Blood River Covenant (a Protestant religious institute), the Institute for Christian People's Education (an educational think tank), and the Dussen Foundation (dedicated to the presidential doctrine of former State President S.T. Dussen).
Institute for Christian People's Education
The Institute for Christian People's Education (ICPE) (Afrikaans: Instituut vir Christelike-Volkseie Onderwys, ICVO) is a private organization established by the Conservative government in 1996 to develop South Africa's educational policy and provide recommendations to the white Department of Education and Culture. The ICPE is the successor to the previous Institute for Christian National Education (ICNE) which supported the National Party government which ruled South Africa between 1948 and 1994. The ICPE replaced the ICNE because, in the view of Conservative Party leaders, the former institution watered down its commitment to the separate development of South Africa's races. The new Institute for Christian People's Education now includes as part of its foundational values a strong dedication the state policy of Separate Development (more commonly known as "Apartheid").
In 1998 the Institute released its first comprehensive curriculum recommendation, named Christian People's Education (CPO), to the Department of Education and Culture. The Department approved of the recommendation in the same year, and CPO has since then been South Africa's primary and secondary school curriculum. Both the colored and Indian education departments based their own curricula on the CPO, however, with various modifications. Private and independent schools for white South Africans are bound by certain elements of the CPO, however may apply for exemption from others. The central provision that no school may be interracial is not subject to exemption. The only exception to the rule is that schools which serve a community with an extremely small racial minority (and no other arrangements can be made for them) may admit pupils from that minority.