Leon Lemmer: Die Anglo-Boereoorlog: Die onmin tussen Boer en Brit (Deel 1)

Deel op

Twee van die bekendste boeke wat kort na afloop van die Anglo-Boereoorlog (ABO, 1899-1902) gepubliseer is, is Christiaan de Wet se Strijd tusschen Boer en Brit (1902) en JD Kestell se Through shot and flame (1903). ‘n Kindle-weergawe van albei is gratis beskikbaar. Ek het voorheen na hierdie twee boeke verwys (“Die aktualiteit van verraad,” Praag 8.10.2016). Kestell skryf: “The heart of the nation, as a whole, was still always faithful.” Hy sê dit ten spyte van die groot getal ABO-verraaiers in eie kring. Kan ons, ten spyte van die 1990/94-verraad, dieselfde van die meeste hedendaagse Afrikaanssprekende blankes beweer?

In hierdie rubriek bespreek ek twee minder bekende boeke oor die ABO. Albei is in die ABO-era gepubliseer. In my volgende rubriek beoog ek om nog twee sulke boeke te bespreek. Elk van hierdie rubrieke handel oor ‘n pro-Afrikaner- en ‘n anti-Afrikanerboek.

A century of wrong

Francis William Reitz jr (1844-1934) was ‘n merkwaardige Afrikaner: Hoofregter van die Oranje-Vrystaat (1876-1889), Staatspresident van die Oranje-Vrystaat (1889-1895), Staatsekretaris van die SA Republiek/Transvaal (1898-1902) en President van die Senaat (1910-1921). Hy het weens swak gesondheid as Vrystaatse president bedank. In die Transvaal was hy tweede in bevel, ná president Paul Kruger. In 1889 het Reitz en Kruger die verdedigingsverdrag gesluit wat albei die Boere-republieke in die Anglo-Boere-Oorlog (1899-1902) gedompel het. Reitz het die Vrede van Vereeniging (1902) in sy amptelike hoedanigheid onderteken, maar as bittereinder geweier om dit in sy persoonlike hoedanigheid te doen. Ná ondertekening het hy “na ‘n hoek geloop en in trane uitgebars.” Hy het as banneling in Nederland en Amerika gewoon (1902-1907), voordat veral Jan en Isie Smuts hom oortuig het om na sy geboorteland terug te keer. Hy het ‘n lid van die Nasionale Party geword en as president van die Senaat gesê: “I am still a Republican at heart” (Praag 1.07.2017).

Die anti-Britse boek, Eene eeuw van onrecht / A century of wrong, waarvan Jan Smuts (1870-1950), die destydse Transvaalse staatsprokureur, die hoofouteur is, is in 1900 onder FW Reitz se naam gepubliseer. Die Engelse weergawe is onlangs hergepubliseer (Good Press, 2019, 177p; Amazon Kindle $3,16). Frederik Rompel (1870-1940) verduidelik waarom Reitz pleks van Smuts aanvanklik as die outeur aangedui is: Smuts “set himself to work on the Century of Wrong, the plan of which had been drafted by the State Secretary, who also gave instructions as to the tendency of the book” (Heroes of the Boer War, Nederland Publishing Company, 1903, 242p; Amazon Kindle $2,29, Kindle 3703). Die doel was om die Transvaalse saak amptelik te stel – vandaar die aanduiding van Reitz as outeur – en sodoende steun plaaslik en ook in Brittanje en elders te werf. Richard Steyn noem dat Jan Smuts se vrou, Isie (1870-1954), die oorspronklike Hollandse teks in Engels vertaal het (Jan Smuts: Unafraid of greatness, Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2015, 296p; Amazon Kindle $16.64, Kindle 479). Ná Uniewording in 1910 het veral Smuts en Louis Botha, twee Boere-generaals, hulle vir samewerking tussen die blanke Afrikaans- en Engelssprekendes beywer. Smuts se outeurskap van ‘n Eeu van onreg het toe vir hom ‘n verleentheid geword. Die teks is immers ‘n uiteensetting van die onreg wat die Britte van 1806 tot 1899, dus oor bykans ‘n eeu, teen die Afrikaners gepleeg het.

Die voorwoord by Smuts se boek is deur William Thomas Stead (1849-1912) geskryf. Hy het saam met die Titanic gesink. Hy was ‘n Britse joernalis en pasifis wat hom aan die kant van die Boere in die ABO geskaar het. Stead skryf: “That the Dutch in South Africa have treated the blacks as the English in other colonies have treated the aborigines is probably true, despite all that Mr Reitz can say on their behalf. But, whereas in Tasmania and the Australian Colonies the black fellows are exterminated by the advancing Briton, the immediate result of the advent of the Dutch into the Transvaal has been to increase the number of natives from 70 000 to 700 000, without including those who were attracted by the gold mines … The English … have undoubtedly a higher ideal as to the theoretical equality of men of all races; but on the spot the arrogance of colour is often asserted as offensively by the Briton as by the Boer. The difference between the two is, in short, that the Boer has adjusted his practice to his belief, whereas we believe what we do not practice” [!] (Kindle 110).

“So far as Mr Reitz’s authority goes we are justified in saying that the war was brought about by the persistence of Mr Chamberlain in reviving the claim of suzerainty which had been expressly surrendered in 1884, and which from 1884 to 1897 had never been asserted by any British Government” (151). “When Mr Reitz wrote his book he did not know that immediately after the [Jameson] Raid [1895] the British Government began to accumulate information, and to prepare for the war with the Republic which is now in progress” (178). “The white population is given at 288 000, of whom the Outlanders number 80 000, and of the Outlanders 30 000 are given as of British descent” (190).

“Mr Reitz breaks off his narrative at the point immediately before the Ultimatum … The Ultimatum was dated October 9th. It was the natural response to the menace with which the British government had favoured them three days previous, when on October 6th they issued the formal notice calling out the Reserves for the avowed object of making war upon the South African Republic” (215). Max Nordau (1849-1923) word soos volg aangehaal: “The fact that a tiny people faces death without hesitation to defend its independence against an enemy fabulously superior in number, or to die in the attempt, presents an aspect of moral beauty which no soul, attuned to higher things, will disregard” (222). Vergelyk dit met FW de Klerk se roemlose, mandaatlose oorgawe aan swart mag. “When in this country [England] a leading exponent of popular Liberalism declares that ‘morally we can never win, but that physically we must and shall,’ we begin to realise how necessary is the chastisement which has fallen upon us for our sins” (242).

Smuts skryf aan die begin: “We have reached a stage when it will be decided whether the sacrifices which both our fathers and we ourselves have made in the cause of freedom have been offered in vain, whether the blood of our race, with which every part of South Africa has been, as it were, consecrated, has been shed in vain; and whether by the grace of God the last stone will now be built into the edifice which our fathers began with so much toil and so much sorrow” (254). Is Afrikaners sedert 1994 nie weer in ‘n soortgelyke situasie nie? “History will show convincingly that the pleas of humanity, civilisation, and equal rights, upon which the British Government bases its actions, are nothing else but the recrudescence [recurrence] of that spirit of annexation and plunder which has at all times characterised its dealings with our people” (275).

“Notwithstanding the wild surroundings and the innumerable savage tribes in the background, the young Africander nation had been welded into a white aristocracy, proudly conscious of having maintained its superiority notwithstanding its arduous struggles. It was this sentiment of just pride which the British Government well understood how to wound in its most sensitive part by favouring the natives as against the Africanders. So, for example, the Africander Boers were forced to look with pained eyes on the scenes of their farms and property devastated by the natives without being in a position to defend themselves, because the British Government had even deprived them of their ammunition. In the same way the liberty-loving Africander burgher was coerced by a police composed of Hottentots, the lowest and most despicable class of the aborigines, whom the Africanders justly placed on a far lower social level than that of their own Malay slaves” (294). “It was at Slachter’s Nek [1815-1816] that the first bloodstained beacon was erected which marks the boundary between Boer and Briton in South Africa” (308).

“The records of the criminal courts of the Cape Colony bear indisputable witness to the fact that there were no people amongst the slave-owning classes of the world more humane than the Africander Boers. Their treatment of the natives was based on the theory that natives ought not to be considered as mature and fully developed people, but that they were in reality children who had to be won over to civilisation by just and rigid discipline” (318). Dan volg hierdie feit: “Our forefathers had become owners of slaves chiefly imported in English ships and sold to us by Englishmen” (325). Oor die manier waarop die slawe vrygestel is: “Gradually the hard fact was borne in upon us that there was no such thing as Justice for us in England” (332). “Lord Glenelg, the Colonial Secretary … maligned the Boers in even more forcible terms than the emissaries of the London Missionary Society, and openly favoured the Kaffirs, placing them on a higher pedestal than the Boers” (339). “It was useless to hope for justice from Englishmen. There was no security for life and property under the flag of a Government which openly elected to uphold Wrong. The high-minded descendants of the proudest and most stubborn peoples of Europe had to bend the knee before a Government which united a commercial policy of crying injustice with a veneer of simulated philanthropy” (347).

Na aanleiding van die begin van die Groot Trek: “The British Parliament even passed a law in 1836 to impose punishment beyond their jurisdiction [the Orange River – 360] up to the 25th degree south, and when we trekked further north, Lord Grey threatened to extend this unrighteous law to the Equator. It may be remarked that in this law it was specially enacted that no sovereignty or overlordship was to be considered as established thereby over the territory in question” (387).

In Natal aan die begin van 1838 (dus vóór die Slag van Bloedrivier) “the Boers were to be prevented from obtaining ammunition, and to be forbidden to establish an independent Republic. By these means he [Lord Glenelg] hoped to put a stop to the emigration. Lord Stanley instructed Governor Napier on the 10th April, 1842, to cut the emigrant Boers off from all communication, and to inform them that the British Government would assist the savages against them, and would threat them as rebels” (420). “Sir Harry Smith mobilised an army, chiefly consisting of blacks, against us white people, and fought us at Boomplaats [1848]” (455; ook 640). Die Britse historikus, James Anthony Froude (1818-1894), skryf: “In 1852 we had discovered that wars with the Natives and wars with the Dutch were expensive and useless, that sending troops out and killing thousands of Natives was an odd way of protecting them” (476). Op die Diamantveld het die Britte 400 000 gewere aan swartes verkoop (513). Smuts kom tot hierdie gevolgtrekking: “It seems thus that there is no place for the God of Righteousness in English policy” (513). “People had decided in England – to quote Froude once more – to abandon the Africanders and the Kaffirs beyond the borders to their fate, in the hope that the Kaffirs would exterminate the Africanders” (541). Vandaar die Sandrivier-konvensie, 1852 (562).

“But no reliance could be placed on England’s word, even though it was embodied in a Convention duly signed and ratified, for when the Diamond Fields were discovered, barely seventeen years later, England claimed a portion of Transvaal territory next to that part which had already been wrested from the Free State” (568). “The British Government had all along considered the Zulus as a means of annihilating the Transvaal” (625). Smuts verwys na die gedrag van bv Cecil Rhodes en die Jameson-inval (1895) as “that treacherous duplicity which is an enduring characteristic of British policy in South Africa, [eg] co-operated publicly, and in the closest relationship, with the Colonial Africanders, while he [Rhodes] was secretly formenting a conspiracy with Jingoism against the Cape Africanders and the South African Republics” (784). Later verwys hy na die “hypocritical accusations [of] the British Government” (1268), die “bad faith” wat hulle openbaar (1326) en vra: “Can anyone wonder that South Africa has lost all confidence in British statemanship?” (1341).

Smuts begin die laaste hoofstuk soos volg: “I have now reviewed all the facts connected with the history of our oppression and persecution during the past hundred years” (1376). “We were accused in innumerable newspapers of all sorts of misdeeds against civilisation and humanity” (1390). “The feeling of the whole world was being prejudiced against them [Africanders] by the efforts of malignant hate” (1396). Dit herinner aan die veldtog wat tot op hede teen die Afrikanerdom, die Afrikaner-bewind (1948-1989) en apartheid gevoer word.

Smuts verdeel die Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis in drie periodes. Die eerste periode het met die Britse besetting in 1806 begin. “The chief feature of British policy was one of utter contempt, and the general trend of British feeling in regard to our unfortunate people can be summarised by the phrase, ‘The stupid dirty Dutch’ … The wave of sentimental philanthropy then passing over the civilised world was utilised by the British Government in order to represent the Boers to the world as oppressors of poor peace-loving natives … It may seem inexplicable that the Power which stood up boldly at the Treaty of Utrecht [1713] as the shameless champion of negro slavery was the very one which was celebrated in South Africa for its morbid love of the natives; the explanation, however, is that it was not so much love for the native that underlay the apparent negrophilistic policy as hatred of the Boer. As a result of this hatred of the Boer, disguised under the veneer of philanthropy in regard to the aborigines, the natives were employed as police against us; they were provided with arms and ammunition to be used against us; they were incited to fight us, and, wherever it was possible, they murdered and plundered us” (1409).

Die tweede periode duur tot 1881. Die Afrikaners het hulle gekonsolideer in ‘n mag waarmee rekening gehou moet word. Brittanje het geen voordeel gesien in die uitgawes wat meegebring is deur die Britse pogings om vrede tussen die Afrikaners en swartes te bewaar nie. Vandaar die ooreenkomste met die Transvaal (1852) en Oranje-Vrystaat (1854) waarvolgens hulle hulleself kon regeer. “They were guaranteed … the undisturbed possession of certain wild and apparently worthless tracts of territory” (1423) – vóór die ontdekking van diamante (1866) en goud (1886). Toe: “These wild and useless tracts, which had been guaranteed to the Boers, appeared to be very valuable after the Boers had rescued them from barbarism, and opened them up for civilisation” (1423). Wat het die Britte toe gedoen om die Oranje-Vrystaat en die Transvaal te probeer terugkry? “Arming the Kaffir tribes against us in the most incredible manner, and in inciting them to attack us in violation of solemn treaties and promises” (1430). Die Britte het wapens en ammunisie van die Boere weerhou terwyl hulle voortbestaan deur bv die Basoetoes van Mosjesh bedreig is. Die Britte het sowel die Diamantveld/Griekwaland-Wes (1871) as Basoetoeland (1868/1871) geannekseer. In 1877 is die Transvaal ook geannekseer. “We see in all its repulsive nakedness the hypocricy which openly masqueraded in the guise of the disinterested and pitiful Samaritan, while its true and secret object was to inflict a fatal wound upon the burgher Republic” (1443).

“The third period of our history is characterised by the amalgamation of the old and well-known policy of fraud and violence with the new forces of Capitalism, which had developed so powerfully owing to the mineral riches of the South African Republic. Our existence as a people and as a State is now threatened by an unparalleled combination of forces … all the forces which underlie the lust of robbery and the spirit of plunder … encircled as they [Africanders] are by the forces of hatred and revenge … Every sea in the world is being furrowed by the ships which are conveying British troops from every corner of the globe in order to smash this little handful of people” (1450). Dan volg hierdie profetiese woorde: “There arises before him [the onlooker] in a dream the distant prospect of Bantu children playing amongst the gardens and ruins of the sunny south around thousands of graves in which the descendants of the European heroes of Faith and Freedom lie sleeping. For the marauding hordes of the Bantu are once more roving where European dwellings used to stand. And when the question is asked – why all this has happened? Why the heroic children of an heroic race, to which civilisation owes its most priceless blessings, should lie murdered there in that distant quarter of the globe? An invisible spirit of mockery answers, ‘Civilisation is a failure; the Caucasian [white race] is played out!'” (1463). Dit is ‘n beeld van die werklikheid wat hom ná die ABO ontvou het en wat sedert 1994 herhaal word.

Milan Kundera skryf: “Small nations. The concept is not quantitative; it points to a condition; a fate” ( Praag 29.02.2020). Smuts skryf: “If it is ordained that we, insignificant as we are should be the first among all peoples to begin the struggle against the new-world tyranny of Capitalism, then we are ready to do so, even if that tyranny is reinforced by the power of Jingoism” (1477). [jingoïsme: “aggressiewe, dweepsieke vaderlandsliefde” (HAT) – in die Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis veral met die Britte geassosieer.] “As in 1880, we now submit our cause with perfect confidence to the whole world. Whether the result be Victory or Death, Liberty will assuredly rise in South Africa like the sun from out the mists of the morning, just as Freedom dawned over the United States of America a little more than a century ago. Then from the Zambesi to Simon’s Bay it will be ‘Africa for the Africander'” (1484). Sedertdien het baie Afrikaners hulle begeerte om Afrikane te regeer en selfs om in (Suid-)Afrika te woon, verloor.

Boer politics

Yves Guyot (1843-1928) het die volgende boek geskryf: Boer politics (Hamburg: Tredition, 1900/2012, 152p; Amazon Kindle $2,10). Hy was ‘n Franse joernalis en politikus. Die boek is oorspronklik in Frans gepubliseer. Anders as baie van sy landgenote was Guyot sterk pro-Brits gesind; dermate dat hy geen goeie woord vir die Boere gehad het nie. In 1900 het Europese lande ‘n vredeskonferensie in Parys gehou waartydens tot die gevolgtekking gekom is: “The British goverment is responsible for the war in South Africa … [it is] tantamount to being guilty of a crime against civilisation and humanity … an outrage against human conscience, and a betrayal of the cause of progress and humanity” (Kindle 2256). Tydens die ABO was daar groot simpatie met die Boere in Europa en ook in Brittanje. Guyot het klaarblyklik hierdie boek geskryf om hierdie gesindheid te probeer teëwerk. Die teks neem die vorm aan van ‘n antwoord op ‘n pro-Boer-tydskrifartikel wat in 1900 deur Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), die latere Nederlandse eerste minister (1901-1905), in Frankryk gepubliseer is. Die teks is waarskynlik soortgelyk aan die volgende publikasie van Kuyper: The South African crisis (1900).

Die Boere word deur Guyot beskryf as “a conquering race, who established themselves among the Hottentots and Basutos … Abstaining from all manual labour, they devote themselves to their properties, sometimes as much as 5 000 to 6 000 acres in extent, and to the breeding of cattle and horses. Beyond this, their object in life is hunting lion and big game” (309). “The Boers [are] … ‘the most carniverous of men,’ as having turned out of their possessions the nomadic Hottentot and Kaffir shepherds. The Boers represent that form of warlike and political civilisation in which production is indirect, and obtained by utilising the labour of others. It is a type of that ancient pillaging civilisation which we call war-like … Mr Kuyper is right. ‘The Boer is essentially a man of war and politics.’ He has employed his talents at the expense of Hottentots and Kaffirs; he has continued to employ them to the detriment of the Uitlanders” (329). “Mr Kruger’s argument for refusing the franchise to Uitlanders is that they numbered 70 000, while the Burghers were only 30 000. Here we have a minority governing the majority; what else is an oligarchy? (829). Later verstrek Guyot die volgende inligting: “The number of burghers aged between sixteen and sixty, entitled to vote, is 29 447; that of Uitlanders, between the same ages, 81 000” (1012).

Die Boere word beskryf as “ignorant and rough … and inflated with the conviction that they are the elect people” (778). Elders noem hy hulle “mistrustful and ignorant peasants” (1326). Guyot verwys sarkasties na Kruger se “intellectual superiority” en “Oh! Mr Kruger showed again [in 1889] at Bloemfontein how very clever he is” (1335). Later word dit “the cunning nature of the methods employed by Mr Kruger” (1353). Dit gaan oor die vereistes vir Uitlander-stemreg. “Yes, Mr Kruger is very clever to have invented such a skillful contrivance; to have the audacity to propound it; and to hold the opinion of Europe in such contempt that he could think it possible to make the majority of people the dupe of such schemes; and he has succeeded!” (1363).

Die inwoners van die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek/Transvaal word “a narrow unenlightened minority” genoem (2145). Guyot stel die vraag: “Has an inferior civilisation the right to impose itself upon a superior civilisation, and to propagate itself by means of war?” (1703). Guyot laat geen twyfel watter party die Boere en watter een die Britte is nie. “Every Boer is a soldier. They have no other calling; to drive ox-teams; ride; shoot; keep a sharp eye on the Kaffirs in charge of their cattle; use the sjambok freely ‘in Boer fashion,’ to make them work; these are their occupations. Their civilisation is one of the most characteristic types of a military civilisation. It is a curious thing, that so many Europeans among the lovers of peace, should actually be the fiercest enemies of England, a country which represents industrial civilisation in so high a degree, that she stands alone, in all Europe, in refusing to adopt compulsory military service” (1716). Oor die beweerde vredeliewendheid van die Britte verwys Guyot na “an eminent French statesman [who] …. declared that the English would never, never, make up their minds to go to war” (1270). Goed om te weet!

Die hoof van die Transvaalse onderwysdepartement, dr Nicolaas Mansveldt, ‘n Nederlander, “seems to have but one aim: to enforce the use of the taal, the Boer patois* – a language spoken by no one else – the use of which keeps them in isolated ignorance. The English language is banned” (1063). “Kruger het … aangedring op die ‘landstaal’ (Nederlands, die offisiële taal) as voertaal. In 1892 het die staat sy finansiering van staatskole wat Engels gebruik, gestaak. In 1895 het Kruger onomwonde verklaar: ‘Elke poging om die gebruik van Engels uit te brei, sal meewerk tot die vernietiging van die landstaal'” (Hermann Giliomee, Die Afrikaners: ‘n Biografie, Kaapstad: Tafelberg, 2004, p 196). Tans word die ANC-regime toegelaat om Afrikaans te vernietig, met die hulp van hedendaagse hanskakies soos Wim de Villiers. [* patois: “benaming vir ‘n plaaslike, dialektiese taalvorm” (HAT 2015).]

Die Transvaal het destyds sterk ten gunste van Afrikaans gewees. “The Government of Pretoria replied on September 16th [1899, to Chamberlain]. It devotes an entire paragraph to the statement that the English language will not be admitted in the Volksraad” (1664). Die Uitlanders wou sitting in die Volksraad hê en Engels praat. “On September 23rd, the Transvaal Government replies that the taal, a language not spoken by any but Boers, is to remain the only language used in the Volksraad, and in dilatory phraseology paves the way for the ultimatum of October 9th” (1440) – wat die ABO inlui en op 11 Oktober 1899 uitbreek. MT Steyn word in hierdie verband deur Guyot beskuldig van “the special Boer skill, in misrepresenting facts [when he] announced that ‘England had committed itself to an open, and unjustifiable attack upon the independence of the South African Republic” (1693).

“In a few lines Dr Kuyper draws a conventional picture of British policy with regard to the Boers, making it out to be ever greedy of power. The contrary is the truth. A vacillating and timid policy has been England’s great mistake in South Africa; it is this very vacillation that has brought about the present war” (395). In 1836 het die Kaapse regering ‘n wet teen die Groot trek uitgevaardig. “The object of that Act was to repress crimes committed by whites under English dominion throughout the whole of South Africa, as far north as the 25º South Latitude” (395).”A certain number of Boers, irreconcilably opposed to British rule, so fully recognised this, that they trekked as far as Delagoa Bay. Another object of the Act was the protection of the Natives against the Boers. The constantly recurring and sanguinary conflicts between the Boers and the Zulus led England to extend her direct sovereign rights to Natal for the peace, protection and good government of all classes of men” (405) – soos die Anglo-Zoeloe-oorlog van 1879? Die Britte het Natal glo in 1877 geannekseer “in order to save it. Had the English abandoned it to itself, the Boer territory would have been occupied by Basutos and the Zulus, and the Boers would have disappeared from the face of the earth” (498).

Oor die anneksasie van die Transvaal in 1877 skryf Guyot op ‘n soortgelyke manier: “Had the Transvaal been left to itself Sekukuni’s and Cetewayo’s impis would have overrun the country and turned out the Boers, who, after they had been delivered from their enemies by the English, proclaimed ‘a war of independence’ in December, 1880” (1893). In die geval van die anneksasie van sowel Natal as Transvaal gee Guyot voor dat die Britte die Boere van uitwissing gered het. Dit pas hom egter om meesal die teenoorgestelde te beweer, naamlik dat die goeie Britte die swartes teen die onbeskaafde Boere beskerm het. “A retrospect history of the Boers would quickly show that their hatred of the English was in the first place due to the protection which the latter had given to the natives” (2276).

“Britain demanded no more than peace and guarantees of security on her frontiers” (421). In 1852 het Brittanje die onafhanklikheid van die Transvaal en in 1854 dié van die Oranje-Vrystaat erken. “England was not forced into this act of generosity, she having on the 29th August, 1848, defeated the Boers at Bloomplaats” (421). Dr Kuyper “suggest the idea that England’s sole object in the present war has been to possess herself of the gold mines … he is perfectly well aware that England will derive no benefit from the gold mines, nor will she take possession of them any more than she has done of the gold mines of Australia. They are private property” (444) – asof die diamant- en goudmyne belastingvry funksioneer.

Later verstrek Guyot inligting oor die groot bedrae wat die goudmyne van 1894 tot 1898 aan die Transvaalse regering betaal het (923): Van die inkomste “only 25 per cent … went to the shareholders, 30 per cent was paid to the Transvaal Government, while the cost of production absorbed 45 per cent” (950). “Now the ‘vultures’ have been pouring some millions annually into the coffers of the Transvaal; a certain proportion of which has stuck to the fingers of Mr Kruger, his family and intimates. The ‘vultures’ have brought riches, industry, and civilisation into a wild and uncivilised country. The simile of the bird of prey is more applicable to the Boer than to the Uitlander” (980).

Ná die Eerste Vryheidsoorlog (1880-1881) is ‘n konvensie in 1884 tussen Brittanje en die Transvaal gesluit waarvolgens “complete self-government” aan die Transvaal toegestaan is, “subject to the suzerainty of Her Majesty” (582). Hierna het daar glo gevolg “great and long suffering of the English government” (582). Byvoorbeeld, “the police of Johannesburg, a town almost entirely inhabited by English, do not speak English – an excellent method of ensuring order! They are chosen from among the worst types of Boers, some of whom are the descendants of English deserters and Kaffir women; whence comes the fact that some bear English names” (701). “When Dr Kuyper declares England’s suzerainty to be of the mechanical order, he admits that the Transvaal did not hold towards England the position of an absolutely independent State” (1495).

“Professor [James] Bryce [1838-1922], a strong opponent of the present policy of England, says in his Impressions of South Africa [London: Macmillan, 1897, 1898, 1899, 423p; Amazon Kindle, 2018, $3,44]: ‘A country must after all take its character from the large majority of its inhabitants [the Uitlanders], especially when those who form that majority are the wealthiest, most educated, and most enterprising part of the population.’ Mr Kruger has aimed at realizing this paradox: the oppression and plunder of the most enterprising, most educated, the richest and most numerous portion of the population by the poorest, most ignorant, most indolent of minorities [the Boers]” (859). In ‘n 1898-verslag van die Kamer van Mynwese is daar ‘n soortgelyke benadering: “We had hoped that the burghers would have recognised that want of experience, and their education would have made them unfitted for dealing with the most difficult problems that could face a young nation, and that they would have seen the necessity of calling men to their aid who could give them the benefit of their experience, and help them to ensure sound conditions for the State and its industrial development. Unfortunately, we have been deceived in our hopes” (1211). Guyot het in vele opsigte inligting aan Bryce se boek ontleen. In my volgende rubriek toon ek aan dat Bryce, anders as wat Guyot beweer, sterk pro-Brits- en anti-Afrikaner-gesind was.

“Mr Kuyper shares the belief that one has only to go to Johannesburg to shovel in the gold. If the working of mines were so simple a matter, Boer intelligence would be equal to the undertaking. As they are not worked by them, it must be because there are difficulties. These difficulties have been overcome for them by the Uitlanders. Once overcome, the Boers present themselves and say: ‘That gold is mine!'” (867). “The Boers, who pride themselves upon driving their teams of oxen, but who consider that to in-span them is work only fit for Kaffirs, consider gold mining beneath them, let alone that they have not the capacity for it” (878).

In die uitstekend nagevorste boek, Donker stroom: Eugène Marais en die Anglo-Boereoorlog (Kaapstad: Tafelberg, 2015, 531p, R430; Amazon Kindle $31,05), stel die historikus, Carel van der Merwe, dit baie duidelik dat Alfred Milner en Percy FitzPatrick oorlog teen die Transvaal begeer en die Uitlandervraagstuk met die oog daarop misbruik het. Hulle het daarin geslaag om die Britse regering, by name Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914), die sekretaris/minister vir die kolonies (1895-1903), tot hulle standpunt oor te haal. Guyot haal egter vir Milner soos volg goedkeurend aan; “The Government of the South African Republic need not entertain any fear that we should wish to intervene in its internal affairs in future” (1449). Guyot voeg by: “In point of fact when in February, 1896, the British Government demanded autonomy for the Rand, and on this proposition being refused, demanded at Bloemfontein the franchise for Uitlanders, it was neither bent upon a policy of absorption nor of conquest. They desired to place self-government in the hands of the Uitlanders, in order to be able to say to them: ‘Now manage your own affairs with the Boers, obtain respect for your rights by constitutional measures. We are no further concerned in the matter.’ It was not the conquest of the Transvaal that was desired by the British Government, it was the establishment of an autonomous Republic. The Uitlanders of British, Australian, German and American extraction, inter-mixing with the Boers, would soon have merged their national characteristics, and have become simply citizens of the South African Republic. The Boers might have constructed a vast, wealthy, and powerful State in which for generations to come, they would have held the supremacy” (1460).

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