On this day in 1899… Kruger’s Ultimatum

Despite the ‘head in the sand’ attitude adopted in London, Kruger’s belligerence had been pushing Southern Africa  towards war for years. The much-delayed Boer ultimatum was finally sent to the British Colonial Office early on 10 October, 1899. Written by Reitz, it was verbose as ever, but nevertheless a remarkable communication – essentially a declaration of war. Giving a hint that the war Kruger was blindly embarking upon had nothing to do with independence and everything to do with building an Afrikaner empire in southern Africa, the ultimatum declared that the Transvaal was acting ‘in the interest not only of this Republic, but also of all South Africa’.[i] The demands of the ultimatum were so outrageous that its authors must have known the British could never agree to them. One commentator declared that it would have been ‘rejected with scorn by Montenegro’[ii]—thus it was more a declaration of war than a true ultimatum. Among various other demands, the Transvaal called for the British to withdraw any troops who had arrived in southern Africa after 1 June and to turn around those troop ships currently en route.

HM Government’s man on the ground, Lord Milner, immediately contacted President Steyn who confirmed that the Orange Free State would also be declaring war on Great Britain. On the face of it, Steyn was committing his nation to war so as to defend the Transvaal’s right to implement far harsher franchise rules than the Orange Free State itself. If the true objective had been to defend the Transvaal from some sort of mythical British invasion, then the greatest service the Orange Free State could have done their kinsmen was to have declared neutrality. The easiest and most logical route to the Transvaal was through the Orange Free State and, had the British been denied this, they could only have attacked through the mountains that formed the Natalian border.[iii] This area, described by one reporter as ‘rocky bewildering chains of hills and mountains’ within which the ‘deep-dented interlacing of spruits are so many natural fortified positions waiting to be occupied’[iv] was perfect for defence. And while the Transvaal Boers occupied such impregnable sites, Orange Free State unofficial ‘volunteers’ could always have independently made their way into the Transvaal to assist in repelling any British invasion.[v] All the while, of course, the British would also still have had to guard against a sudden intervention by the Orange Free State Government.

This would have been the logical course of action had the object of the war really been to protect the ZAR from invasion, but of course it wasn’t. In reality, and as Steyn announced to his own burghers on 11 October 1899, the Orange Free State was going to war to challenge Britain’s position as the ‘Paramount Power’ in South Africa.[vi]

Never a man to use one word when 50 would do, Reitz went even further in one of his trademark rants:

‘Brother Afrikaners! The Great Day is at hand! The God of our fathers will be with us in our struggles … Has the British Government been a blessing or a curse to his sub-continent? Brother Afrikaners! I repeat, the day is at hand on which great deeds are expected of us! WAR has broken out! What is it to be? A wasted and enslaved South Africa, or—a Free, United South Africa?’[vii]

In an utterly bizarre interview published in the French newspaper, the Echo de Paris, Reitz even tried to whip up support to turn the conflict into something approaching a world war:

‘Great Britain is most gloriously isolated, and the British Empire itself runs considerable risk of being vanquished. France and Russia have never had a finer chance to get rid of a troublesome enemy. Does France mean to allow this opportunity—the last she will ever have, perhaps—to pass without taking her revenge on the British? No! I am sure you will not, for such conduct would be nothing less than criminal. It would mean your destruction. Make a bold attempt for Egypt then, and extend your possessions in Tripoli. Fight, I say, even at the very improbable risk of being beaten. Follow our example. As for Russia, anyone can see that it is in her interest to incite India to rebellion.’[viii]

Count Adalbert Graf Sternberg, the Austrian war correspondent, travelled to both Pretoria and Bloemfontein in December of 1899, in a quest to ‘discover the ultimate objects of the Boers’—something historians have argued about ever since. The count came away with no definitive answer: no two seemed to share the same idea but many wanted a United States of South Africa in some form—and this was certainly what the popular press in the republics was calling for. Others in the Transvaal wanted to nationalize the goldfields, feeling that they had in some way been cheated out of them. Sternberg spent a good deal of time with Kruger, a man he appears to have admired. Tellingly, he reported that ‘Kruger himself only wanted Natal, with the port of Durban’[ix]—suggesting some of his circle wanted more.

Sternberg also spent time with President Steyn, describing him as ‘a fine man, a European with a clever, striking face … a model of sincerity and candour, and a Boer president par excellence’.[x] Steyn admitted to the count that the Orange Free State had always enjoyed good relations with Great Britain and that ‘the present state of affairs’ was ‘quite artificial’. During their meeting, Steyn told the count that his nation was poor and that:

‘…their first object was the annexation of the diamond fields. This war made possible the attainment of their wishes, and before their eyes hovered the possibility of re-establishing the old frontiers, so that Kimberley would belong to the Free State.’

Though the OFS had certainly claimed the diamond fields (as had the Transvaal), they had never been within the frontiers of the Free State. Styen was quite simply embarking on a war of territorial expansion.

Steyn went on to explain to the count that the Afrikaner movement embraced everyone in South Africa, that the centre of the movement was in Cape Town, and that the colony was far more hostile to the English than the Orange Free State itself. He believed that the war would ‘strengthen the loose organization of the Afrikander Bond, and he had no doubt of the final result’. Sternberg left the meeting with his own ideas as to why Kruger had dragged the Orange Free State into the war, when strategically—and as already mentioned—a neutral Orange Free State would have been far more useful. The count was convinced that Kruger believed that the war—even if lost—would serve to unite the Afrikaners of South Africa: ‘a conquered Free State, over which the horrors of war had passed, would remain true to the Boer cause until the last drop of blood had been spilt.’[xi]

It is instructive that Count Sternberg is mentioned by General Ben Viljoen in his Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War. Viljoen criticizes the count’s memoirs for all manner of things, such as ‘extraordinary tales’ about ‘the galloping and trotting feats of the Basuto ponies’ and claims that the closest Sternberg came to action was when his cigars were stolen by a German ambulance man.[xii] What General Viljoen does not do, however, is contradict or challenge any of the comments the count made about the Boer war aims and objectives.

Writing in 1905, Leo Amery sums up the confused war aims of the Boers rather well:

‘The more sanguine ‘young Afrikanders’ and enthusiastic fanatics like Mr Reitz thought that the time had already come for the final expulsion of the British Power from South Africa and the creation of the great Afrikander Republic, and their sentiments were freely expressed in the Republican Press.’[xiii]

Only slightly less ambitious, states Amery, were the dreams of Kruger, who was determined to win an outlet to the sea and, if possible, annex Natal, Mafeking, and Bechuanaland. Similarly, the leaders of the Orange Free State considered Kimberley and Griqualand West as:

‘…definitely Free State territory, while the more forward spirits among them insisted that the invaded districts south of the Orange River should, on the conclusion of peace, be allowed to decide for themselves whether they would remain British territory or not.’[xiv]

Given that all loyalists had quickly been driven out and non-whites would have been denied any say in the matter, this was only ever going to be a formality.

Sir William Dunn, who served as the consul-general of the Orange Free State in London offered his own view:

‘While the [Jameson] Raid undoubtedly hastened the outbreak in hostilities, the Dutch had, long before that date, been doing all they could to undermine British supremacy in South Africa, and were simply biding their time until they saw their way clear to striking an effective blow.’[xv]

Though he never seemed able to make up his mind about whether he had plunged his country into war for the sake of independence or conquest,[xvi] Steyn twice—first in November 1899 at the height of republican success and again in February 1900—openly called for the Cape Colony to become another Boer republic.[xvii] Furthermore, it is known that this idea was again discussed and formally agreed to at a council of war held at Waterval later in the war.[xviii] The aim of creating an Afrikaans-dominated South Africa was also the subject of letters between senior republicans: de Wet, for example, wrote to Commandant Badenhorst saying:

‘It is certain that the ways of the Lord are mysterious, but from it all it appears to me that the day of a united South Africa is not far off.’[xix]

At the other end of the spectrum was Dr Leyds, Kruger’s man in Europe who claimed that the republics would be satisfied with just a payment of their war expenses and recognition of full sovereign status.[xx]

And yet, despite Leyds being something of a lone voice, it is his slightly more palatable objectives that have always been seized upon by most modern writers. The common modern view is that the Boer War was caused by the gold-bugs or the British, or that it was somehow ‘Milner’s War’. The fact that, even today, relatively intelligent and well educated people still trot out this claim speaks volumes about the power of propaganda and wishful thinking. When you read about the outbursts and dreams of Kruger, Reitz, and Steyn, the reasonable and clear demands of the British being rejected out of hand, and the opaque, mysterious and ever-changing nature of the counter proposals from the Kruger gang, is hard to ignore their culpability. Seemingly much more interested in being permitted to snatch Swaziland than to resolve the franchise issue, at no point during four months of negotiations did Kruger, Reitz, or Smuts make a genuine, clear and sincere offer which would have secured peace in the Transvaal; instead, their intention throughout the months of talks appears to have been to obfuscate and procrastinate.

It is always worth remembering that the Transvaal of 1899 had an even more restricted franchise than the South Africa of the Apartheid era. Given that pretty much the whole world agreed that the latter was wrong, it that interesting that so many commentators fall over themselves to defend Kruger’s right to preside over an even more exclusive and odious regime. One is left wondering why it is that they dismiss the genuine grievances of the uitlanders so readily. Overall, it is difficult to disagree with the assessment of George Gibson, regimental historian of the Imperial Light Horse:

‘The Transvaal Republic went to war rather than concede a measure of reform in favour of the uitlanders, and had no sooner declared war that it openly avowed that the object of the war was not so much the maintenance of the Transvaal franchise in its existing form, as the destruction of British power in South Africa.’[xxi]

No less a man than Commandant-General Joubert admitted that the war was caused by Kruger’s ‘blind obstinacy’[xxii] and said that all it would have taken to avoid it was for the Transvaal to adopt a five-year franchise law.[xxiii] When Joubert received the order to invade Natal, he initially refused, pointing out to Kruger’s cronies that, by so doing, all chance of foreign intervention or mediation would be gone. He received a strongly worded telegram from Kruger, and—unfortunately for all concerned—backed down.[xxiv] One Free State burgher remembered that:

‘The Transvaalers were also spoiling for a fight, and, from what I saw in Pretoria during the few weeks that preceded the ultimatum, I feel sure that the Boers would in any case have insisted on a rupture.’[xxv]

As it was, such was the enthusiasm for war in the Transvaal that forces did not even wait for their 36-hour ultimatum to lapse before commencing hostilities. A Natalian civilian train was seized by Boer forces at Harrismith several hours before the deadline had expired,[xxvi] leaving no doubt that the republicans had no interest whatsoever in peace. The captured train would later be used to ferry troops, guns, and supplies during the siege of Ladysmith.

The stark contrast in the relative states of preparedness of the two sides was illustrated in the first couple of days of the war. After the capture of the train at Harrismith, Boer forces pushed over the border into Natal at various points. At De Jager’s Drift, and demonstrating their cavalier disregard of the accepted rules of war the invaders used two civilians to distract the five officers of the Natal Mounted Police who were stationed at the crossing. While they were chatting, a group of 30 armed Boers rode up and demanded that the mounted policemen surrender. Such was the lack of readiness for war on the British side that no one had even informed the NMP post that war had been declared.

Kruger’s apologists have always sought to excuse the Boer ultimatum, the declaration of war, and the invasion by claiming that the British were preparing their own ultimatum. It is indeed true that Chamberlain was drafting another proposal when Kruger’s ultimatum arrived, but the new convention being drawn up in London cannot reasonably be considered an ultimatum. It was a list of seven provisions, relating to such things as the franchise laws, the end of religious discrimination against non-Protestants, and the independence of the Transvaal’s courts of justice.[xxvii] Also, as John Stephens wrote in Fuelling the Empire:

‘…in return the British Government would fully guarantee the Transvaal against any attack on its independence, whether from any British dominion or from the territory of any foreign country … nothing in the draft seemed in any way to suggest a desire by Britain to annex the Transvaal. Also, from the draft form of the document it does not appear to be an ultimatum, since no sanction is included should the reaction from the Transvaal not be favourable.’[xxviii]

For reasons known only to themselves many writers are blind to the Transvaal’s aggressive nature. Pakenham’s (woeful) history of the conflict, for example, would leave one believing that the Boer War was actually ‘Milner’s War’. This is a gross exaggeration. None other than the leader of the Afrikaner Bond, Jan Hofmeyr, admitted that the ‘High Commissioner would much prefer to gain concessions and settlement without war, but will not shrink from war if object cannot otherwise be obtained’.[xxix] Milner was undoubtedly a hard-nosed diplomat, and resolute in his aim to gain fair rights for the uitlanders. His steely determination to drag Kruger’s corrupt oligarchy into the modern, democratic, age—and not shrink from the Transvaal’s challenge to British supremacy—certainly hastened the start of hostilities but it was by no means the root cause of the problems in South Africa. These stemmed directly from the desire of a group of influential Transvaal Afrikaners (and their supporters in the Orange Free State and the Cape Colony) to establish their ever-expanding republic as the pre-eminent power in the subcontinent. This was incompatible with the fact that the British Empire held this position, and could hardly have been expected simply to relinquish it. Tensions had been rising throughout the 1890s and, as we have seen, the Transvaal had been building her forces and indulging in intrigue, propaganda, espionage, and war by proxy for years prior to the Jameson Raid or Milner’s arrival on the scene. As long as the Transvaal was run by men whose oft-repeated ambition was to build an Afrikaans empire, war would come to South Africa sooner or later. As one contemporary observer stated,

‘Of course the war could have been avoided. Of course, it would have been quite possible [for Britain] to voluntarily retire from the Cape and allow South Africa to become entirely Dutch. In the same way we could give up governing India and hand it over to Russia and confine our expenses and our energies to Great Britain, the water supply, the development of national cookery, and the propagation of cabbages.’[xxx]

One of the inner circle of the Orange Free State leadership wrote a very telling letter on 25 September, betraying fears that the Boers might be denied their war by an eleventh-hour British climb-down:

‘The only thing that we are now afraid of is that Chamberlain, with his admitted fitfulness of temper, will cheat us out of the war, and consequently the opportunity of annexing the Cape Colony and Natal and forming the Republican United States of South Africa.’[xxxi]

Austrian traveller and war correspondent, Count Sternberg, offered his opinion on where the culpability lay in his catchily-titled book, Meine Erlebnisse und Erfahrungen im Boerenkriege:

‘There can be no doubt that England was long-suffering; and that, as far as this war is concerned, she was justified in the eyes of God and man. The Boers base their arguments on the right of the landlord to do what he likes in his own house. The foreigner is a lawless stranger. Their laws are the unalterable precepts of Calvin, founded on the Psalms of Holy Writ, and all other views are heretical.’[xxxii]

Though appealing to those of a rabidly anti-British persuasion, disregarding the Bogus Conspiracy and all of Kruger’s scheming, dreaming and intransigence to absolve his gang of all responsibility is to ignore the simple reality that both sides wanted to dominate southern Africa. While Milner certainly played a significant part in bringing matters to a head, overall policy was made in London, not Cape Town, and Salisbury personally approved every communication before it was sent to Pretoria.[xxxiii] Salisbury and Milner can only really be accused of starting a war in that they refused to bow to Kruger and were unwilling to surrender British power and prestige in southern Africa.

In the cast of culpable characters there were empire-builders, idealists and patriots like Smuts, Reitz, Steyn, Leyds, Jameson, and Rhodes, ambitious born-again Jingoes like Chamberlain, rabble-rousing London newspaper editors, trouble-making Afrikaner Bond members, exasperated Johannesburg uitlanders, meddling emissaries from Germany, Russia and France, ill-educated, uncompromising and extremist backveldt Boers, and anti-Semitic, head-in-the-sand generals like Sir William Butler. But if one was to identify the main culprit, it would undoubtedly be the president of the Transvaal. As Andrew Roberts asserts, ‘the two obstinate bearded old patriarchs, Salisbury and Kruger, both knew that this struggle was actually about ultimate regional paramountcy, about showing who was ‘Boss’ in South Africa’.[xxxiv] From start to finish, Kruger had been resolutely determined that he would become the Boss and that his nation would replace Great Britain as the pre-eminent power in southern Africa.

The Boer War was not Milner’s War—it was Kruger’s War

NOTES:

[i] C.9530, No.53

[ii]Farrelly, p. 222

[iii]Stott, p. 34

[iv]Burleigh, The Natal Campaign, p. 119

[v]Sternberg & Henderson, p. 92

[vi] Cd.43, p. 139

[vii] Cd.43, p. 191

[viii]Farrelly, p. 227

[ix]Sternberg & Henderson, p. 88

[x]Ibid, p. 86

[xi]Ibid, p. 93

[xii]Viljoen, My Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War, p. 273

[xiii]Amery, Vol.3, p. 68

[xiv]Ibid, p. 69

[xv]Farrelly, p. 215

[xvi] Amery, Vol.3, p. 69

[xvii]Scholtz, p. 87

[xviii]Ibid, p. 133

[xix]Ibid, p. 86

[xx]Amery, Vol.3, p. 69

[xxi]Gibson, p. 16

[xxii]Nasson, p. 36

[xxiii] Pakenham, p. 104

[xxiv] Abercrombie, p. 137

[xxv] Commando, p. 15

[xxvi]Stott, p. 32

[xxvii]Porter p. 375

[xxviii] Stephens, p. 264

[xxix]Cook, p. 231

[xxx]Creswicke, Vol.3, p. 15

[xxxi]Amery, Vol.2, p. 380

[xxxii]Sternberg & Henderson, p. 21

[xxxiii] Roberts, p. 732

[xxxiv]Ibid, p. 732

10 Comments

  • Chris Posted November 11, 2018 7:52 am

    Hi Chris ,
    It is always easy to get people to do what they WANT TO
    It is also always easy to slot what YOU want to do into the what THEY want to do
    A cursory look into the government machinery and “economics” of the ZAR and OVS
    Will quickly show that the BOERS were INCAPABALE of running the mines as well as a “modern” industrail economy
    The question to ask then is — WHO would fill the gap ?
    CLEARLY NOT the Boers ! ( or the British )

    Perhaps you could write a blog post on the actions / intentions of FOREIGN players in the politics and future plans for the ZAR
    and
    South Africa

    Ask Damian to assist

  • Ron. Posted October 18, 2021 5:08 am

    There are some tragic & damaging misunderstandings contained in this post. First of all the Boers are not Afrikaners as the Afrikaners were & are a political grouping that consists mostly of individuals from the larger Cape Dutch population not the smaller Boer population. The actual Boer people have never wanted an empire & never had one in the past. The dream of an empire in Southern Africa was always that of the Cape Dutch or rather the Afrikaner Bond in particular & of the British administrators. While the author of the Ultimatum might have been Reitz – it is important to remember that he was one of the few Boer officials who was a member of the Afrikaner Bond. Thus Reitz was acting as an agent of the Afrikaners & not of the Boers. The author C H Thomas noted during the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War that it was the Afrikaner Bond that was agitating for war & not the average Boer. Thomas even noted that the Afrikaner Bond was ultimately being controlled by people [ a coterie as he described them ] from Holland therefore one has to look at the fuller picture before obtusely and erroneously assigning blame to a simple & humble people born on the Cape frontier having been menaced by both European & African Colonial Empire alike. Blaming the victims of the war for the war is bad politic. The oppressed Boer people cannot be made scapegoats for the actions of their historical enemies: the Afrikaners & the British as this unjust slander only further adds to the Boers’ defamation / isolation & complication.

    None other than President Steyn of the Orange Free State Republic & General Koos de la Rey were both very opposed to going to war with Britain as they knew it could well spell the end of the independence of the Boer Republics. They both gave impassioned speeches within the Volksraad. In fact Kruger even bent over backwards in his attempts at appeasing the British, but the British kept moving the goal posts & wanting more. The Cape Dutch & the Afrikaner leadership in particular had the most to gain from a war with Britain because if the British could conquer the Boer Republics: it would make it much easier for the Cape Dutch based Afrikaners to assume control over the conquered Boer Republics within a united South Africa. The Afrikaners wanted to assist the British in conquering the Boer Republics so that they could gain control over the vast resources & minerals within the Boer Republics. A lot of Cape Dutch Afrikaners even helped the British to round up Boer civilians into concentration camps during the war. Remember that one of the main goals of the Afrikaner Bond & of the British as well was a United States of Africa. The Boers had no interest in this goal at all. They did not really want to make the Cape “a Boer Republic as well” because of the many Cape Dutch that had no interest in that.

    While it certainly is plausible that the Boers would have liked to annex the northern & eastern areas of the Cape where a large Boer population still lived [ & lives ] thereby extending a Boer Republic I highly doubt that they wanted an “empire” out of it simply because the Boer people are ill-suited to be Emperors as they are a traditionally impoverished / illiterate / rural / rustic / republican people that never had any interest in creating an empire. In fact they have had a history of resisting & escaping empires whether they be Dutch / British or Zulu empires. In fact the Boers already had a sea port when they had the Vryheid Republic that the Zulus of Northern Natal had given them for their assistance in driving the British out of an area of Zululand. The British annexed the Vryheid Republic some time before the second Anglo-Boer War. Kruger jut wanted back what the British had stolen prior. The Boers were even often ill-suited to administrating a minimal government & is why both President T F Burgers & President Paul Kruger imported a number of people from Holland in order to strengthen the independence of the republic against the incursions of the Cape Dutch & the British.

    Kruger did not like having too many Cape Dutch in the ZAR as he felt they were too pro British & influenced by them. Both President Paul Kruger & President Marthinus Steyn of the OVS rejected the Afrikaner Bond & did not subscribe to their empire building goals. The Boers only ever wanted minimalist republics where they could exercise a significant degree of self determination. They had no interest in the goals of the Afrikaners & British who wanted to build a united South Africa. When a united South Africa was later built after the Boer Republics were conquered: the Boers tried to extricate themselves from South Africa & restore their Boer Republics with the Maritz Rebellion of 1914 & later with another campaign during the late 1940s only to be stopped both times by the Afrikaners who were now running the mini Empire they wanted. The Afrikaner / British Empire running South Africa marginalized & co-opted the Boers who were outnumbered by the Cape Dutch & Anglophone population.

    • Bulldog Posted October 18, 2021 7:54 am

      While I appreciate the time you have taken to write such a long-winded response, you really are tying yourself in knots in your desperation to absolve Kruger and his minions of any and all blame for the war that they started. It is nonsensical to claim that Steyn didn’t want a war, that Kruger ‘bent over backwards’ to appease the British, and to deny the well-documented Empire-building ambitions of the Boers.
      You will notice that the article you take exception to was supported by 34 references, whereas your attempt at a rebuttal has… none at all.

      • Ron. Posted October 22, 2021 6:04 am

        First of all: presuming that your sources actually support your novel interpretation of the events that led up to the second Anglo-Boer War – it does not change the fact that your accusations are wrong. Just using basic logic would deduce that the Boers would not want to go to war against the strongest Empire of the time: the British Empire with its unlimited number of soldiers they could call upon & later indeed did, while the Boers on the other hand had no standing army & relied solely on the Commandos: ie: the unpaid voluntary warriors comprised from the general Boer population.

        President Steyn as well as General Koos de la Rey are well known for their public opposition to going to war as they rightly warned that it could lead to the loss of their republics. I find it supremely ironic that a modern day British Imperialist is protesting the alleged attempted emergence of a supposed “Boer Empire”. This reminds me of the time when notable BBC personality Louis Theroux hypocritically claimed in the hit piece: Boer Separatists that he was not claiming any part of South Africa despite the fact that his British antecedents in fact DID claim half of Africa in the past. Not to mention ALL of South Africa itself. LOL!

        Furthermore: the term Boer Empire is a contradiction of terms as the Boers were / are a simple people of pastoralist origins who had no interest nor ability to construct an “empire”. The notion that the isolated Boer people wanted a war is ridiculous on its face & smacks of slander as it is a transparent attempt at demonizing the Boers in order absolve & distract from the belligerent actions of the British – particularly that of the Jingoistic Cecil Rhodes who was the main instigator of the war. A large Colonial power like that of Britain is in no position to accuse a small downtrodden African people barely organized into a few republics of being intent on “building an empire” as the balance of power will forever be in the favour of Britain & not the Boers or any other small / impoverished & disempowred group. President Paul Kruger summed it up well when he declared to the British: “It is my country that you want”. The British [ along with the Cape Dutch & the Afrikaner Bond in particular ] wanted total control over the territory of Southern Africa – especially over its resource & mineral value & they sure as hell were not going to let the Boers stand in their way. If a foreign power tried to take Britain away from you, I doubt you would just sit idly by & accept it – yet the Boers are lambasted for trying to defend their republics & are accused of being the instigators of the war when the history clearly shows that it was Britain. The war was on the cards as far as the British were concerned & blaming the Boers is nothing but projection.

        Here are some sources for my previous post. On page 44 of The Anglo-Boers Wars by author Michael Barthorp: he specifically mentioned that both President Paul Kruger of the ZAR & President Johannes Henricus Brand [ President before the war ] of the OVS rejected the overtures of the Afrikaner Bond.

        Professor Schutte noted that quote: [ Paul Kruger did not like people from the Cape – he felt they were subjugated by the British, so he encouraged people from the Netherlands to work in the Transvaal as a way to strengthen Boer independence. ]

        Source: http://www.see.org.za/histories_schutte.htm

        President Paul Kruger did finally accept the 5 year franchise in the hopes of averting war.

        Source: https://www.britishempire.me.uk/warin1899.html

        General de la Rey opposition to President Paul Kruger & the drive to war.

        Quote: [ In 1893, he was elected a Member of the Volksraad, where he was a supporter of the progressive faction under General Piet Joubert, who opposed Paul Kruger’s policies. De la Rey consistently advocated accommodation of the Uitlanders, and peace with Britain. During a Volksraad session, President Paul Kruger accused De la Rey of cowardice. De la Rey replied that if the time for war came, he would remain in the field, fighting, long after the president had given up and fled for safety. ]

        Source: http://www.reformationsa.org/index.php/history/336-heroes-of-the-anglo-boer-war-general-de-la-rey-the-lion-of-the-transvaal

        President Steyn opposition to the war.

        Quotes:

        [ President Steyn did attempt to persuade the Transvval government to become more flexible with to accommodate the aspirations of the Uitlanders. [

        [ President Steyn declared that by declaring war, politicians admit that they have failed diplomatically. ]

        [ The other candidate J. G. Fraser opposed close cooperation with the South African Republic (ZAR) of the Transvaal. ]

        Source: https://www.slideshare.net/frontfel/president-martinus-steyn

        Also: You appear to forget that the British were building up their troop presence along the border in order to protect THEIR documented & established Empire. This was the crucial development that led to the Ultimatum in the first place! You cannot get ready to invade someone’s country then turn around & accuse them of doing the VERY thing that you are doing. Once again: this is pure projection.

  • Bulldog Posted October 24, 2021 10:53 am

    Alas, you are wrong on pretty much all points.

    You are welcome to query my references – but do please confirm why you consider them all to be wrong. Simply saying you don’t like them won’t wash, and greatly weakens your position. I note you admit you can only ‘presume’ that the references are valid, thus proving you have not read any of the works in question – which therefore confirms you have not done any sort of meaningful research into the conflict, and explains why your understanding of the war is decidedly flimsy.

    Re. Steyn: it is true that both he and Smuts – perhaps keen to play for time and stick to the plan of waiting until Britain was involved in another war before launching their attack – tried to convince Kruger to adopt a 5 year franchise rule at Bloemfontein, but the old troll wasn’t interested. However, what you don’t seem to realise is that Kruger had been pushing the OFS to join the Transvaal in an offensive alliance against the British since 1887, but the previous leaders of the OFS had rejected this… Steyn, however, signed up to it almost as soon as he became President. If (as you pretend), he was so against the war, why did he sign up to an offensive alliance against the British? More pertinently still, if he didn’t want to go to war, why did he declare war? It was completely and absolutely in his power to keep the OFS out of the war, but he clearly did not want to. He also admitted to Count Sternberg that his objective was to capture the diamond fields at Kimberley.
    So the point remains: if, as you claim, Steyn was so against the war, then why did he join in the attack on the British?

    De la Rey was, of course, completely against Kruger’s insane crusade, and I have never stated otherwise. Botha and Joubert also saw it for the sheer madness that it was.

    You try to say that it defies ‘basic logic’ for the Boers to attack the British, but we should never forget that Kruger was a Bible-thumping idiot, who genuinely believed the Earth was flat, and that the Almighty of the Old Testament would guide his ‘Chosen People’ to victory. It was also illogical for Germany to invade the USSR in 1941, or for the Japanese to attack the USA later that year. It was illogical for Argentina to pick a fight with Britain in 1982… so, let me guess… you deny all those things happened too? If so, we will have to re-write the entire history of the 20th Century. Kruger’s decision to attack the British Empire in October 1899 was every bit as stupid and illogical as those other invasions… and ended just as badly.

    It is totally disingenuous to pretend that Kruger agreed to a genuine five year franchise rule. In reality:

    Kruger suggested a 7 year franchise at Bloemfontein but refused to release the details. Kruger could only have been so reluctant to make the full text of the new law public—and objected to an impartial inquiry into it—because it was a sham. As the details of the new law slowly began to dribble out, it became obvious to all that it was yet another smoke-screen. Far from being a simple seven-year version of Milner’s proposal, according to the leader in The Times, the new law was ‘of such a character as to make the period of qualification utterly unimportant. It might almost as well be 70 years as seven’. It was by no means a general enfranchisement of those uitlanders who had resided in the Transvaal for seven years, but instead applied only to those who had enjoyed ‘the personal acquaintance of the field cornets and landdrosts of the wards and districts in which they lived’.

    Furthermore, these officials were called upon to certify entirely from personal knowledge the domicile, continuous registration, and obedience to the law of the uitlander in question. Another demand made of the prospective voter was the vague and unqualified criteria that insisted he should never have been ‘guilty of any crime against the independence of the country’. An alternative was that the uitlander of seven years’ residence could be recommended for the franchise by two ‘notable’ burghers, officially defined as needing to be ‘more than respectable’ in their ward and who had personally known him for the entirety of his residence.

    The reality—as everyone knew—was that the vast majority of uitlanders were geographically and linguistically separated from the Transvaal burghers. Precious few Johannesburg mine-workers or merchants could possibly meet these demands; however long they had lived in the Transvaal—as well Kruger knew. But this was not all. If any uitlander achieved the impossible and actually managed to meet these criteria, he still had to produce ‘proof of good behaviour such as will satisfy the State Attorney’. In essence, what the proposal did was permit Kruger’s clique to grant the franchise to the small number uitlanders who were known to be hostile to Britain, and effectively deny the rest—the large majority—the franchise for as long as they wanted. It is thus quite obvious why Kruger was so determined that his new law would not be scrutinized by an independent commission.

    Despite this, and despite the false-flag job of the Bogus Conspiracy (do please tell me how that fits into your version of events), and much to the continued chagrin of the uitlanders, the British Government still appeared prepared to accept a genuine seven-year franchise deal. However, they had plenty of reason to doubt the validity of Kruger’s offer, especially when he refused to accept the independent commission. And Kruger still had one more trick up his sleeve: he suddenly suggested that he would agree to a five-year franchise if the British agreed to drop any inquiry into the law. The Cape Times summed this up in quaint terms:

    ‘A countryman who had some claim against a neighbour was once offered a florin for full discharge. He suspected the florin. ‘Let us drop any enquiry into that,’ said the donor, ‘and I will make it half a crown instead.’’

    Pakenham and others try to convince us that the ‘five-year franchise’, was exactly ‘the same franchise … that Milner had demanded at Bloemfontein’. Pakenham must have known that his statement was simply untrue: it was in fact the same mysterious seven-year franchise discussed earlier, with the qualification period dropped to five years; and so complex and convoluted were the other criteria that the qualification term was rendered irrelevant.
    Nevertheless, news of this latest proposal was gratefully received in London, especially because the British Government had begun to realize just how hopelessly unprepared they were for any sort of conflict.

    This latest offer was just yet another delaying tactic from Kruger, and Milner was one of the few to see this. Pakenham presents Milner’s realization of this reality as ‘evidence’ that he had always wanted to start a war, but none of the quotes he trots out actually support this. Instead, what comes across is Milner’s frustration with the Colonial Office’s readiness to accept any old concession from Kruger, rather than being willing to see the crisis through to its end and actually achieve meaningful reform for the uitlanders. Had Milner not shown the resolution and determination not to ‘assume, even to pretend, that we had secured all we wanted’ the crisis might have subsided for a time but the underlying problem would have remained only to bubble up once again, perhaps when British forces were embroiled elsewhere. And the underlying problem—the lack of franchise for the tens of thousands of tax-paying uitlanders—was not Milner’s fault: it was entirely Kruger’s.

    In an attempt to get to the bottom of the new five-year offer, Conyngham Greene, the British agent in Pretoria, held exhaustive meetings with the Kruger cabal, finally emerging with what seemed like a new and more reasonable proposal which he telegrammed to Milner on 15 August. Indeed, so reasonable did he understand the revised proposal to be that Conyngham Greene considered it a bona fide attempt to settle the political rights of the British settlers once and for all:
    ‘…the government of the South African Republic need not fear that we shall in future either wish or have cause to interfere in their internal affairs. I have said, as regards suzerainty, that I feel sure Her Majesty’s government will not and cannot abandon the right which the preamble to the Convention of 1881 gives them, but that they will have no desire to hurt Boer sensibilities by publicly reasserting it, so long as no reason to do so is given to them by the government of the South African Republic.’

    Far from indulging in warmongering, Milner instructed Conyngham Greene:
    ‘If the South African Republic Government should reply to the invitation to a joint inquiry put forward by Her Majesty’s government by formally making the proposals described in your telegram, such a course would not be regarded by Her Majesty’s government as a refusal of their offer, but they would be prepared to consider the reply of the South African Government on its merits.’

    But just as it seemed the Transvaal had finally made a genuine concession to the uitlanders, things began to unravel. Reitz sent a formal proposal through on 19 August, but it was substantially different from what had been agreed upon in the meeting with Conyngham Greene. Reitz had added various conditions and additions, the thrust of which were that Great Britain had to give up any suzerainty over the Transvaal and agree never again to interfere in its internal affairs. Reitz also dropped the clause which agreed ‘as regards language, the new members of the volksraad to use their own’ and, perhaps most importantly of all, he ditched the statement that the enigmatic new franchise law would be ‘simplified immensely’.
    If this was not bad enough, another telegram containing many more demands, and pre-conditions arrived from Reitz only two days after these eleventh-hour changes. It altered the whole tone of the agreement; so much so that an exasperated Conyngham Greene declared his efforts at diplomacy to have been ‘reduced to a regular k****r bargain’.

    Michael Farrelly, who knew the Young Afrikaners ‘methods and slippery tricks’ better than anyone had told the British negotiators that they would be better served to conduct the discussions in writing:
    ‘Sir Conyngham Greene’s diplomatic experience in civilized lands, such as Holland and Greece—and Persia—had misled him as to what he was reasonably justified in expecting. A veneer of European civilization is at times disconcerting.’

    Sure enough, Conyngham Greene quickly spotted numerous discrepancies between what he had agreed to and what appeared on the formal proposal, and pointed these out. Jan Smuts himself replied to tell him there was not ‘the slightest chance of an alteration or amplification of those terms’. It was not only the career diplomat, Conyngham Greene, who greeted all this with disbelief and annoyance. Sir Henry de Villiers, chief justice in the Cape, declared:
    ‘…something happened between the 19th and 21st which led the Transvaal Government to think they had yielded too much. I have heard it said that between these dates a cablegram from Dr Leyds gave hopes of European intervention, and the return of Wolmarans from the Orange Free State gave hopes of assistance from that quarter.’

    William Schreiner, premier of the Cape Colony and by no means a friend of Milner’s, also believed that it was information from Europe that had suddenly convinced the Transvaal to change their proposal and (perhaps dreaming of German Ironclads steaming out into the grey waters of the North Sea, or of countless Russian hordes pouring into India) instead play for time.

    ‘He [Kruger] firmly believed that the unfortunate Republics had been led to suppose that the Great Powers in Europe were about to interfere on their behalf, and they must have been misled by the assumptions and assurances conveyed to them by their emissaries.’

    Indeed, Schreiner considered the Transvaal’s confidence about receiving help from a European Great Power to be ‘the chief influence in causing the war’.
    Interestingly, Pakenham fails to mention any of this in his ‘magisterial’ book on the war. Instead, he states that the dastardly scheming Milner naughtily convinced Chamberlain that the proposal was ‘full of traps and pitfalls’ without seeming to think for a moment that Milner said this (and that Chamberlain agreed) precisely because it was. He thus peddles his inexplicable falsehood that this five-year franchise offer was ‘the same’ as Milner had demanded at Bloemfontein.

    It was becoming clear to even the most sympathetic observer that this diplomatic ping-pong was just a waste of everyone’s time and that Kruger had no intention of ever offering any meaningful concessions. Sir Henry de Villiers, who was no enemy of the Transvaal and was, indeed, disliked by the Jingoes for being overly enamoured of Kruger’s regime, perhaps put it best:

    ‘Throughout the negotiations, they [the Transvaal Government] have always been wriggling to prevent a clear and precise decision,’ and, ‘The very best friends of the Transvaal feel that the Bill providing for the seven years’ franchise is not a fair or workable measure. It is this manoeuvring to escape an unpleasant decision which has more than anything else driven the British Government into its present attitude.’

    That attitude was demonstrated by a speech that Chamberlain gave in Birmingham on 28 August:

    ‘We have been, as you know, for the last three months negotiating with President Kruger. We have made perhaps some progress; but I cannot truly say that the crisis is passed. Mr Kruger procrastinates in his replies. He dribbles out reforms like water from a squeezed sponge, and he either accompanies his offers with conditions which he knows to be impossible, or he refuses to allow us to make a satisfactory investigation of the nature and character of these reforms.’

    The British dispatch sent on the same day summed up the situation and proposed a way forward which involved an inquiry into the new five-year franchise proposal and independent arbitration on the differing interpretations of the suzerainty question. Again, it was hardly a warlike communiqué—especially given the perpetual stream of nonsense coming out of Pretoria.
    The Transvaal’s response was a long-winded message (sent on 2 September) that devoted an entire paragraph to refusing English in the volksraad. It rejected all the British proposals and withdrew the offer of the five-year franchise.

    And do please tell me more about the British troop presences on the borders? This is simply Apartheid-era propaganda. The only regular British troops anywhere near the border of either of the Boer republics were four companies (ie. half a battalion) of the Loyal North Lancs which had been rushed up to Kimberley to defend that town after a Boer invasion became obvious. To pretend that the British were ‘getting ready to invade’ is far-fetched nonsense, and is not supported by any facts.

    The 1903 Royal Commission into the war highlighted this failing as one of its primary findings: quite simply, there was no plan in place to invade the two Boer republics. As The Spectator thundered in August of that year, the report was so damning as to be ‘surely one of the most amazing documents to which a General can ever have had to sign his name. Not only had there been no preparation for the Boer War, but there had been no preparation for any war of any kind whatever. Every arrangement that was made seems to have been made on the supposition that the British nation, even three weeks before the Boer commandos marched into Natal, was about to enjoy the blessings of eternal peace.’

    So, rather than treating us to another long, rambling reply, do please focus on this point for now. Why did you pretend the British were building up troops on the border, and were preparing to invade? Which troops are you referring to, and where is your evidence that an invasion was planned?

  • Ron. Posted November 11, 2021 6:37 am

    What you doing here is basically cherry-picking data & taking statements out of context in order to promote a narrative that deflects from the long standing belligerent & imperial actions of the British. Statements made by individuals have to be weighed against context. Political brinksmanship must be taken into account. Furthermore: you fail to recognize the Jameson Raid of 1895 which was the British initiative aimed at removing the elected ZAR government by force of arms & was itself the forerunner to the second Anglo-Boer War.

    The fact that Cecil Rhodes wanted an unbroken chain of British possessions from Cape Town to Cairo is proof that he wanted a war with the Boer Republics in order to conquer them & complete his plan. Your reliance on information that seeks to shift blame away from the British & onto the Boers is disgraceful & also represents the Deification of a skewed & slanted perspective. President Paul Kruger was not truly intent on starting a war. He was engaged in the old age act of political brinksmanship. It is an age old political negotiating tactic. Its purpose is to bring people to the negotiating table & to leverage opponents within a political framework. Any brinksmanship that President Paul Kruger engaged in is immaterial to the fact that the Boers were at a disadvantage in the power equation as it was the British that held the balance of power.

    The British were the ones with a vast global Empire that held half of Africa & was at the time seeking to advance further & acquire even more of Africa. They also had a vast supply of soldiers that they could call upon from all over the world at any time while the Boers only really just had themselves within a type of voluntary militia. The British alone had the power to determine whether there would be a war or not because no matter how much some Boers might have wanted a war: it could never happen with out the intent & ascent of the British who held the balance of power. Person A could challenge person B all day to a fist fight but if Person B does not want one: it will never happen. The fight must first attain the consent & ascent of Person B in order to legitimately & truly occur. The British gave consent & ascent to a war that did not have to happen at all as they could simply have ignored the Boer Republics’ governments as they had historically done in the past.

    Think of it like this with this analogy: If a ten year old threatens you & challenges you to a fist fight & even punches you by trying to get it started: is it still “his fault” if you disgracefully turn around & clobber him? Claiming that the weaker ten year old is somehow culpable for the beating that the stronger adult dished out to him would never fly in public opinion nor even within a court of law for that matter as the balance of power rests with the adult & not with the child. The notion that the war was the fault of the Boers is tantamount to blaming a rape victim for the actual rape. It is incredibly disgraceful to say the least. The alleged provocative attire of a given rape victim is not sufficient rationalization for the crime of rape. Therefore any alleged provocative rhetoric coming from Kruger is simply not sufficient rational for a brutal war. The British Imperialist notion that it was “the fault of the Boers” for the war is disgraceful because the British could have done the adult & proper thing by walking away knowing that their rights to the gold mines would be secure no matter who ran the Boer Republics region – but they chose to engage in a war with the republics simply in order to fulfill Rhodes twisted maniacal impulse to expand the British Empire from Cape Town to Cairo.

    At least you admit that General Koos de la Rey was opposed to the war.

    • Bulldog Posted November 18, 2021 12:35 pm

      I think you have totally lost grip of reality now, though I do love the way you compare the leaders of the Boer republics to a ten year old child, who simply didn’t know any better. Have you ever heard of the concept of ‘responsibility for your actions’?

      I note you simply dismiss anything and everything that contradicts your preferred myths as being ‘taken out of context’. Which of the many quotes I related was taken out of context, and why? Do please be specific. Perhaps you can explain, for example, how secret talks between the two republics to form an offensive alliance against the British can be taken out of context. What other possible context should they be taken in, one wonders.

      I also note you were so determined to spew forth your Apartheid-regime propaganda that you completely failed to answer my very simple and straightforward questions, so I shall re-state them here:

      Why did you pretend the British were building up troops on the border, and were preparing to invade?
      Which troops are you referring to, and where is your evidence that an invasion was planned?
      Why did you pretend that Kruger offered a genuine 5-year franchise law?

      Why did you ignore also these questions:
      You try to say that it defies ‘basic logic’ for the Boers to attack the British, but we should never forget that Kruger was a Bible-thumping idiot, who genuinely believed the Earth was flat, and that the Almighty of the Old Testament would guide his ‘Chosen People’ to victory. It was also illogical for Germany to invade the USSR in 1941, or for the Japanese to attack the USA later that year. It was illogical for Argentina to pick a fight with Britain in 1982… so, let me guess… you deny all those things happened too? If so, we will have to re-write the entire history of the 20th Century. Kruger’s decision to attack the British Empire in October 1899 was every bit as stupid and illogical as those other invasions… and ended just as badly.

      Why did you ignore my question as to how the Bogus Conspiracy fits into your fevered version of events?

      I am amused by your latest insane claim, ie. that ‘The British alone had the power to determine whether there would be a war or not because no matter how much some Boers might have wanted a war: it could never happen with out the intent & ascent of the British who held the balance of power. Person A could challenge person B all day to a fist fight but if Person B does not want one: it will never happen. The fight must first attain the consent & ascent of Person B in order to legitimately & truly occur. The British gave consent & ascent to a war that did not have to happen at all as they could simply have ignored the Boer Republics’ governments as they had historically done in the past’.

      This is possibly the single most ridiculous thing I have ever heard about the war (and I’ve been told a lot of rubbish from your fellow Defenders of the Myth over the years). Let me guess, do you also think that there could never have been a war between, say, Germany and the USSR unless the Soviets ‘gave consent & ascent (sic) to a war’? Do you blame the Soviet Union for being invaded in 1941, because they didn’t ‘simply ignore the invasion’? Do you excuse Nazi Germany as being a ‘ten year old child’ who the USSR should just have ignored?
      Do you actually understand what an invasion is?
      Do you honestly believe that, when a territory is invaded, it has given ‘consent and ascent(sic)’ for this to occur? (I still laugh when I read this – I assume you’d had a bit to drink when you made this claim)
      Do you realise that ‘ascent’ means: “to climb” / “to rise up”?
      Do you grasp that the Boers declared war upon Great Britain and invaded British territory?
      Do you understand that Kruger had been planning for an attack against Great Britain since at least 1887?

      Rather than humiliating yourself further by continuing to make up increasingly ridiculous excuses to explain away blatant Boer aggression, do please answer these questions, and the other questions I asked in this response, as I should love to hear your replies.

      And of course De la Rey, Botha and Joubert were opposed to Kruger’s farcical ‘Crusade’ – they, unlike yourself, saw it as the utter insanity it was.

  • Ron. Posted November 23, 2021 6:30 am

    I notice that you start your rebuttal with a telling ad hominem attack which weakens your argument & distracts from the facts. The comparison of the military strength of the Boer Republics against military strength of Great Britain, a TRUE empire, is to demonstrate the power disparity between the two. It was of course not meant to insinuate that the Boer Republic leaders were comparable to children. The analogy I invoked [ based on PHYSICAL strength not mental acumen ] was meant to show that Britain was the much stronger military power while the Boers were a much smaller military power. the Boers did not even have a standing army while the British had a vast army that they could call upon from all over the world. The Boers had a voluntary militia from the general local Boer population.

    [ Have you ever heard of the concept of ‘responsibility for your actions’? ]

    Looks like more projection from you as it was the British Empire that was historically antagonizing the region [ and indeed much of Africa ] & refusing to take responsibility for their actions. Has it never occurred to you that Kruger’s bluster / brinksmanship / rhetoric or “aggression” [ as you harshly put it ] might have been a defensive posture against the encroaching power of the British? You are blaming the Boers for a reaction to British activities & intentions in the region.

    [ Perhaps you can explain, for example, how secret talks between the two republics to form an offensive alliance against the British can be taken out of context. What other possible context should they be taken in, one wonders. ]

    I noticed your use of the term “offensive alliance” when the Boers would have seen it as a “defensive alliance”.

    [ also note you were so determined to spew forth your Apartheid-regime propaganda ]

    That slanderous sentence is close to “fighting words”. Apartheid has got nothing to do with the topic at hand. Furthermore: the Apartheid regime were dead set against the Boers & their long running struggle to restore their conquered Boer Republics. The fact that the regime might have deftly appropriated some notable points of Boer history in order to co-opt the Boers & rationalize the Cape Dutch based Afrikaner ascent to power over the BRITISH CREATED MACRO STATE OD SOUTH AFRICA, does not equate as the regime being pro-Boer as they simply did what all no-colinial governments do: attempt to co-opt & appropriate the locals in order to strengthen their rule or administration.

    I should more properly have said “descent into war”, but ascent towards war still means the same thing.

    My point still stands that it takes two to tango.

    The German & Soviet military strength was comparable. Not the British & Boers’ military strength.

    You deny & ignore British aggression.

    Furthermore the historically pro-British Jan Smuts was not a Boer, but rather a Cape Dutch who was part of the Young Afrikaners who was credited by some [ like Professor Carroll Quigley ] as a co-author or even the true author of the Ultimatum that President Paul Kruger issued to the British. Therefore the Afrikaners’ fingerprints are all over the push towards war as they would benefit as much as the British would while the Boers would gain nothing.

    I never denied at all that going to war with Britain was foolish & insane & if I were to have lived during the era: I would certainly have been among those publicly opposed going to war. I never once denied the insanity of wanting to go to war. All I disputed was the one sided assertion that you make blaming it entirely on the Boers while ignoring & neglecting the clear role the British played in the run up to the war. This was Cecil Rhodes’ War much more than it was Paul Kruger’s War. Kruger is just the scapegoat you use to cover up & obfuscate the larger role the British played in leading up to the war.

    • Bulldog Posted November 23, 2021 8:08 am

      If you want to debate with me, then you need to answer the questions I pose, rather than ignoring them, rambling, and just making up rubbish.

      To make it easier for you, I shall restate the questions again, though I have no doubt you’ll frantically avoid answering them once more:

      Why did you pretend the British were building up troops on the border, and were preparing to invade?
      Which troops are you referring to, and where is your evidence that an invasion was planned?
      Why did you pretend that Kruger offered a genuine 5-year franchise law?
      Why did you ignore my question as to how the Bogus Conspiracy fits into your fevered version of events?
      Do you blame the Soviet Union for being invaded in 1941, because they didn’t ‘simply ignore the invasion’? Do you excuse Nazi Germany as being a ‘ten year old child’ who the USSR should just have ignored?
      Do you actually understand what an invasion is?
      Do you honestly believe that, when a territory is invaded, it has given ‘consent and ascent(sic)’ for this to occur?
      Do you realise that ‘ascent’ means: “to climb” / “to rise up”?
      Do you grasp that the Boers declared war upon Great Britain and invaded British territory?
      Do you understand that Kruger had been planning for an attack against Great Britain since at least 1887?

      I note you proved utterly unable to point out which of the many examples / quotes I gave was ‘out of context’. The alliance Kruger tried to push the Orange Free State into signing up for at the Secret Conferences in 1887 was an offensive alliance. Please state your evidence otherwise.

      If you are not going to answer my simple, straightforward questions about the wild, unsubstantiated claims you are making, then this is all rather pointless. There is nothing even remotely ‘slanderous’ about pointing out the reality that you are parroting Apartheid-era propaganda.

    • Bulldog Posted December 9, 2021 9:30 pm

      Well Ron, it seems you have disappeared… anything rather than answer those simple questions… but you might enjoy this blog article:
      http://www.chrisash.co.za/2021/12/09/the-vryheid-republic/

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