Half a million white South Africans have left the country in the past three decades, but most didn’t choose Russia as their new home, unlike Johannes du Toit, who is intent on settling here as Ivan Vahrushev. …
Du Toit’s is not a simple story. His family is descended from French Huguenots, who settled in the Western Cape in the 17th century.
“We were religious refugees, not colonizers,” he insists, saying he prides himself on his South African heritage.
But for all acknowledgements of the white-led unfairness of apartheid, he says that the black majority rule means that he can barely consider the place he grew up a home.
“My home area used to be one of the wealthiest in South Africa. But now, daily, there are protests. They break everything, set fire to hospitals and police stations. We used to live there in safety, but that was a different time. Today, that time is gone. And I do not want to go back,” he says.
He mentions the legislation passed by the new South African government, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, earlier this year that pledges to return lands owned by white farmers since the 17th century to the black population — without compensation.