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Discipline of Philosophy

Philosophy Research Seminars 2012: Charles Villet

Loftus as Afrikaner heterotopia: The lifeworld of rugbymentality

by Charles Villet
(Philosophy, School of Social Science, Monash South Africa,

Date: Thursday, 5th April 2012
Time: 9:30 – 10:30
Venue: Theo van Wijk Building, Room 09-53 (Philosophy Seminar Room)


The aim of this paper is to philosophically explore the nature of contemporary Afrikaner identity in both a playful and serious manner through the metaphor of Loftus and rugby. I suggest that Loftus Versfeld rugby stadium in Pretoria is a heterotopia of sorts for many Afrikaners. An analysis of Loftus as heterotopia offers a number of novel insights about the space (both physical and mental) that the stadium represents. Loftus is a mirror of sorts to the lifeworld of Afrikaners, termed here as so-called “rugbymentality”: Loftus represents an interesting invented tradition and (post)colonial nostalgia that reveals what it means for many to be an Afrikaner. Loftus and rugbymentality also functions as the attempt by Afrikaners to either insulate themselves from post-apartheid South Africa (Afrikaans: laertrek) or to become part of the cultural mosaic of South Africa, which is expressed in achieving excellence in rugby.