a.historical.A perceived campaign by foreign (especially communist) countries and South African left-wing movements against the Nationalist government and its policies, believed to be aimed at weakening South Africa through offensives in the military, economic, psychological, social, political, and cultural spheres; onslaught; total strategy sense a. Also attributive.
The perceived threat of ‘total onslaught’ formed the basis of (and stated justification for) the government’s policies in many areas from about 1973 until the late 1980s.
[1977M. Malan inJ. PauwIn Heart of Whore (1991) 120South Africa has for a long time been subjected to a total and protracted revolutionary onslaught.]
1978tr. ofN. Diederichs inHansard 27 Jan. 9The Republic of South Africa continues to be the target of a total onslaught being made on it on the political, economic, psychological, security and other fronts in an attempt to force it to abandon its present system of government.
1981Argus 29 Jan. 5He..claimed that the Press was..unknowingly helping in a total onslaught by the forces of Marxism.
1981Rand Daily Mail 10 Feb. 8Swart gevaar, world hostility, now ‘total onslaught’ — these are the slogans that have frightened the electorate into uncritical endorsement of the Government.
1983Sunday Times 30 Jan. 29Rising unemployment, economic recession, a tough budget, the shopworn total onslaught theme.., all will feature in the political passing parade.
1990Sunday Times 11 Mar. 7Gen. Magnus André de Merindol Malan..the youngest ever Chief of the Defence Force and later its political head...His lasting legacy has been the dogma of the total onslaught — to be countered by a total strategy — which permeated South African political life throughout the 80s. It has been said that he learned it from the French, with whose forces he served briefly in Algeria in the early ’60s.
1990Sunday Times 18 Mar. 23Mythology number one, which the South African whites called ‘the total onslaught’ theory.
1990P. Vale inWeekly Mail 27 Apr. 5Although intellectually vulgar, the total onslaught was stunningly effective in determining public policy in South Africa for more than a decade.
1990Weekend Argus 29 Sept. 17The security establishment must be made to shed its aggressive and even belligerent image of the ‘total onslaught’ era.
1991C. Long on TV1, 10 Mar. (Agenda)South Africa is well on the way towards establishing full diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Whatever happened to the total onslaught?
1991D. Capel inPersonality 2 Sept. 18Those were the dark old days of total onslaught, when die groot krokodil was just waiting to gaps you if you put a foot out of line — or into his Rubicon.
1993Sunday Times 10 Oct. 20Like some restless Frankenstein monster, the old National Party — the party of PW Botha, and cold-hearted Jimmy Kruger, and the total onslaught — came lumbering back to life this week: violent, ruthless, inept.
b.Transferred and figurative, often jocular, or used ironically.
1981Rand Daily Mail 14 Mar. 9Will this total onslaught never cease? Now some bigots and cynics have actually dared to attack the suave and diplomatic Mr Pik Botha. They have carped at a calm and measured statement in which Mr Botha advised the West German president of the UN General Assembly to ‘come out and fight like a man, you scaredy-cat, and sucks to you’.
1982E. Prov. Herald 10 Nov. 11The total onslaught has reached Kinkelbos...It could, however, be worse, the culprits are porcupines. The quilly creatures have caused havoc in Mr W Muscott’s..pineapple land.
1982Cape Times 24 Dec. 11One total onslaught not in dispute during 1982 was the one on the pocket. Inflation continued to soar.
1983Drum Jan. 24Afra’s Cheryl Walker says the Government has..underestimated the degree of resistance it is likely to meet. ‘They would need a total onslaught to achieve it.’...Dr Koornhof has, publicly, at least, been putting a nicer image to relocation.
1986E. Prov. Herald 5 May 8At least one truly South African value is safe from Total Onslaught...Parliament has agreed to make mincemeat of anyone who tries to tamper with the quality of our boerewors.
1987New Nation 12 Feb. 6With the emergency came a total onslaught on the media and on the image of the African National Congress.
1989G. Silber inSunday Times 30 Apr. 17Hiding behind subversive pseudonyms, yelling inciteful slogans — Hou ’n party, bou ons nasie, met die nuwe dans sensasie! — the Voëlvry brigade are the total onslaught with a rock ’n roll backbeat.
A perceived campaign by foreign (especially communist) countries and South African left-wing movements against the Nationalist government and its policies, believed to be aimed at weakening South Africa through offensives in the military, economic, psychological, social, political, and cultural spheres; onslaught; total strategya. Also attributive.
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