News24: Trusted News, and Fabricated History

The South African website, News24, likes to boast that it provides: ‘Trusted News. First’. Whether or not that is indeed the case, the following article proves they also provide: ‘Fabricated History. Too’:

De Beer family files charges against De Beers mine

The family and descendants of Jakobus Frederik De Beer, who was the first legal owner of the Kimberley diamond fields have during the last week open criminal investigation cases against De Beers Mining, the Oppenheimers and all parties involved.

The family has for many years tried to reach the current De Beers mining owners but were ignored, threatened, and in one specific incident one of the family members were hit by a hail of bullets after leaving the court. He was lucky to survive. This family has decided to appoint a proxy who are now handling this investigation.

According to the family, JF De Beer left a last will and testament which were never concluded. This testament went mysteriously missing in 1886 after his murder. It was only discovered in 1959 in the government archives below the Union buildings in Pretoria. Ever since this discovery the family has made contact with De Beers Mining but to no avail.

Apparently JF De Beer owned the farm Vooruitzicht on which all the diamond mines were situated and where Barney Bernato, Cecil John Rhodes, and the Royal House of England and the Oppenheimers all mined for more than a hundred years.

JF De Beer, according to the family, bought this farm which consisted of a number of farms from Adam Kok, the Griekwa leader, in 1854 just before the Griekwa tribe was relocated to Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal. When Kok learned at the time that the English were going to relocate his tribe he decided to sell his land to the farmers of which JF De Beer was one.

In 1869 the first diamond diggers got their claims from De Beer, one of the biggeste claims were given to German diggers by De Beer, They were chased off these claims after his death by the Royal House. In 1871 the English decided they were entitled to the minerals despite the fact that during the Bloemfontein convention in 1854 they gave independence to both the Free State and Transvaal. At the time Griekwaland West were part of the Free State. A Griekwa with the name Andries Waterboer and plus minus six hundred tribe members were still living in the area, but Waterboer were not the leader, he acted as an agent for Adam Kok. England however saw him as the perfect alibi to get their hands on the diamonds.

They told Waterboer to ask for their protection and to incorporate Griekwaland West into the Cape Province which were ruled over by England at the time. They promised him sovereignty if he would do that. Waterboer signed and for ten days he had his own state. Then England disowned him and the diamonds were in their hands, this treaty were however illegal, Adam Kok had in 1854 already sold the farms to J,F. De Beer and other farmers. This theft and fraud has according to the De Beer family now gone far enough. 

De Beer were shot in 1886 outside Pretoria on what is known today as kameeldrift, he died eight days later in hospital, his initial attacker realised he might survive, he was then stabbed to death in hospital. This murder case were never solved. Two of his sons were also shot and killed. His Will and Testament including the inventory were given to a Judge Schutte for safekeeping by his wife. Then the first Boer war broke out, after that his wife went back to Schutte but he was dead and all the papers were missing. Only to be ‘discovered’ in 1959 safely in state hands!

Walter Muller.

I have left the spelling mistakes and punctuation errors as they were, to give further indication of the quality of this (ahem) ‘journalism’; you’d think if someone is going to make up conspiracy theories about Barney Barnato[1], they could at least Google how to spell his name… though this is far from the ‘biggeste’ mistake in this pile of steaming horseshit. It is difficult to imagine that Mr Muller really believes that ‘the Royal House of England’ (whatever that is) chased German prospectors from their legally-held claims, but he seems just about unhinged enough to buy into this self-pitying fantasy. Let’s leave poor old Mr Muller to don his tinfoil hat, curl up in a foetal position, and repeatedly mumble that everything is the fault of the wicked English and the scheming Jews, while we examine what really happened.

In the 1860s, diamond deposits had been discovered in the lands belonging to the chief of Griqualand West, Nicholas Waterboer[2] – not Andries Waterboer, as claimed by Mr Muller: not that facts appear to matter to Mr Muller, but Andries Waterboer (Nicholas’ father) had died back in 1852. Nor was Nicholas Waterboer an ‘agent’ for Adam Kok as Muller bizarrely claims: in fact, his father had rebelled against, and defeated, the Griqua leader, Adam Kok II[3] back in 1815, causing him to flee with his faction away to the South East, settling in the area of Philippolis,[4] and leaving the Waterboer dynasty in charge in Griqualand West.

So Muller’s claim that de Beer ‘bought this farm which consisted of a number of farms from Adam Kok, the Griekwa leader, in 1854 just before the Griekwa tribe was relocated to Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal’ is complete and utter rubbish.

The territory of Griqualand West – despite another fiction peddled by Mr Muller – ‘were’ not part of the Orange Free State at the time. In reality, it lay between the poorly defined borders of the Cape Colony, and the two Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Furthermore, in the mid-1850s (ie. before they suddenly wanted the diamond fields), the Government of the Orange Free State had recognised the sovereign rights of Nicholas Waterboer over the land in question. In 1870, always keen to grab land in every direction – and completely left out of the tale by the hapless Mr Muller – the Transvaal simply announced that the area belonged to them, with President Marthinus Pretorius personally leading an armed force to snatch the diamond fields.[5] This attempt was foiled by the diggers themselves, the majority of whom were of British extraction. The Transvaal flag was seized by an angry mob before it could be hoisted, a few shots rang out, and the Transvaalers fled, tails firmly twixt legs.

Though, like the Transvaal, the Orange Free State certainly coveted the area, they by no means controlled it. Indeed, in the wake of the Transvaal’s attempted invasion, the diggers actually set up their own diggers’ republic and elected an ex-seaman, Stafford Parker[6], as their ‘president’. Unable to control the diggers, and frightened of Boer invasion, an increasingly nervous Waterboer, counselled by an extremely able and intelligent Cape Coloured lawyer called David Arnot,[7] requested that his territory be taken under British protection.

All the parties – apart from the disgruntled President Brand of the Orange Free State – agreed to external arbitration to confirm the boundaries[8], and a committee headed by the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, Robert Keate, met to draw the borders and formalise the extent of Griqualand West. This was not the white-washing land grab of Apartheid-era myth: for several months the committee heard evidence from the four groups who were making a claim. On the basis of this evidence, the committee decided who had rights to the land in an agreement known as the Keate Award. Ultimately, the Keate Award favoured the Griquas’ claim (and with it, British protection); as Professor Walker put it: ‘The arbitrator decided fairly on the evidence before him; indeed, he gave a compromise decision’.[9] Border disputes always end up upsetting at least one party, but, tellingly, President Pretorius wrote to the British Governor, Sir Henry Barkly, to thank him for the arbitration.[10] Though obviously disappointed with the decision, President Jan Brand[11] nevertheless remained on excellent terms with Great Britain, and was awarded a GCMG in recognition of his friendship. More importantly still, following secret talks held in 1887, Brand completely rejected Kruger’s crackpot attempt to drag the OFS into an offensive alliance against the British[12]. And even the diggers were relieved to see the end of their short-lived, bizarre, and rather lawless republic; ‘President’ Parker had greeted the first British resident magistrate under a banner that read, ‘Unity is Strength’.[13]

Despite the modern-day notions of everyone being desperate to grab the (very much nascent) diamond fields, London had no interest in incurring additional costs and tried to pass the buck to the Cape Colony. A proposal to annex it to Cape Colony was, however, rejected by votes in both the Cape’s House of Assembly and the Legislative Council[14]. The territory was thus initially administered as a separate entity, and a bill annexing it to the Cape Colony was only finally passed by the Cape Assembly in 1877 – yes, despite Muller’s wild, completely unsubstantiated claims that wicked ‘Royal House of England’ was desperate to sink their teeth into the diamond fields, in reality HM Government had been trying to pass the responsibility to the Cape Colony from the start.

Initially, however, nothing was really done to affect this, because – and as strange as this will no doubt sound, especially to the hopelessly confused Mr Muller – the reluctance of the Cape government to assume responsibility for Griqualand West was due to it being so heavily in debt. It was not until 15 October 1880 that Griqualand West was officially incorporated into the (let’s never forget, Self-Governing) Cape Colony. Despite the fact that Waterboer had asked to be taken under British protection, the fact that the diggers wanted this, and the fact that the Keate Award had favoured Waterboer’s case over the land claims of the republics, after some of David Arnot’s claims were later found to have been rather exaggerated, the British Government voluntarily forked out £90,000[15] in ‘compensation’ to the Orange Free State to settle the issue once and for all.[16]

Goodness: what truly shameful stuff from the, err, ‘Royal House of England’!

In a final flourish of ocean-going ignorance, Mr Muller then assures his spell-bound readers that, after ‘De Beer were shot in 1886 outside Pretoria… the first Boer war broke out’. This is truly ridiculous even by Muller’s shocking standards: the First Boer War was fought in 1880/81… ie. over 5 years before De Beer ‘were’ shot. Furthermore, in 1886, Pretoria was the capital of Kruger’s corrupt and chaotically-run Transvaal republic – so if there was indeed any cover-up surrounding his murder, it wasn’t done by ‘the Royal House of England’.

Suggestion to News24: stick to news, and don’t humiliate yourselves by dipping a toe into history. By publishing such ahistorical, anti-British rubbish, you are only encouraging the fanatics on the lunatic fringe of the Afrikaner Far Right:


[1] Barney Barnato (1851-1897), born Barney Issacs to a Jewish family in London. After a brief spell as a circus performer and prize fighter, he arrived at the Kimberley diggings in 1873, and started buying up claims. Initially in competition with Rhodes, the pair later joined forces. Barnato died in mysterious circumstances, lost overboard from a yacht

[2] Nicholas / Nicolaas Waterboer (1819-1896), was the last independent Griqua ‘Kaptijn’ of Griqualand West

[3] At the time of the diamond rush, leadership of Adam Kok II’s renegade Griqua faction had passed to his son, Adam Kok III. By writing his ridiculous article, Mr Muller, on the other hand, just made a kok of himself

[4] In 1861, Adam Kok III accepted a British offer to move his people even further to the south east, establishing Griqualand East near the border of Cape Colony and Natal, with Kokstad as his ‘capital’

[5] Roberts, Kimberley, Turbulent City, p.29

[6] Parker, who would later serve as mayor of Barberton during the 1884 gold rush, is perhaps better known for his Saturday night duties in auctioning off Cockney Liz, a barmaid (also blessed with other talents) who had previously worked in Kimberley

[7] Roberts, p.27

[8] With matchless optimism, Brand had insisted that the matter should be decided by the German Emperor, the King of Holland, or the President of the USA – none of which was ever going to be acceptable to HM Government

[9] Walker, History of Southern Africa, p.339

[10] Ibid, p.340

[11] Sir Johannes Henricus Brand, GCMG (1823–1888), President of the Orange Free State from 1864 to 1888. His death, and replacement as President by the fanatically pro-Kruger F.W. Reitz, accelerated the march towards the Boer War

[12] Cook, The Rights and Wrongs of the Transvaal War, p.92

[13] Roberts, p.32

[14] O’Connor, A Short Guide to the History of South Africa, 1652-1902, p.191

[15] Around £13.5m today

[16] Botha, From Boer to Boer and Englishman, p.15


  • Colin Ross Posted August 3, 2023 9:55 pm

    Mr Ash may not be the most popular author, but he is certainly the most diligent in his research . I doubt any of his detractors would go head to head on facts of the Boer War or, indeed, even back to the myths of the Trekkers. Nope only one winner. Mr Ash. A very knowledgeable likeable Bulldog indeed.

    • Bulldog Posted August 7, 2023 11:59 am

      Kind words – and I’d far sooner be historically accurate, than popular.

      If I had churned out a book which blamed everything on the wicked British, and trumpeted the other tedious Apartheid-era myths which many still so dearly cherish, I am sure I would have got a 5-star review from a certain ‘Professor’ of History!

  • James Grant Posted August 3, 2023 10:22 pm

    How does this complete bullshit get published by News24? And who the hell is this dickhead, Walter Muller? I guess he was taught history by old Frans Pretorius! That would certainly explain a lot.

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