No getting away from the Myth…

With England soon to face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final, this meme has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp. All very funny and everything, but astonishing to see the way that ‘the Boers’ are equated with ‘South Africa’.

The notion that Kruger’s corrupt, tin-pot, violently racist, anti-Semitic and expansionist republic (which, of course, started the Boer War by invading other parts of modern-day South Africa) is in some way representative of the modern notion of ‘South Africa’ is mind-boggling, and shows a complete and utter lack of understand of the conflict.

Not only were South Africa’s English speaking whites overwhelming on the side of ‘England’ (in reality, the British Empire of course) during the Boer War, but so were the vast majority of the non-white population of South Africa… so I doubt they’d be too impressed to see Kruger’s invaders held up as their supposed heroes.

As I risk being accused of not being able to take a joke, I’ll only offer a couple of quotes on this front:

‘Knowing that a Boer invasion was just days away, the Natal Government ignored an Imperial instruction not to raise additional local units and, on 3 October 1899, gave an order for a corps of Natal Native Scouts to be formed. The officer in charge of recruiting the new unit, Robert Samuelson of the Natal Carbineers, immediately rode out to meet Chief Khumalo, a man of over 100 years old who lived about twenty miles to the north of Ladysmith. The old chief agreed to help, and addressed his tribesmen the following day:

‘My children this is the day of days; an impudent foe, the Boers, are preparing to fight against Her Majesty the Queen, our sovereign and mother, who has for so many years spread her wings over us to protect us, and who is minded to continue spreading her wings like an angel over us till they touch the earth; That Queen requires your services, go and serve her till death.’


…a ‘colour-blind’ franchise operated in the [British-run] Cape whereby any adult male, irrespective of the colour of his skin, was entitled to register as a voter provided he could pass a simple literacy test and either owned property to the value of £75 or possessed an annual income exceeding £50. The franchise was looked upon by members of the black elite as the corner-stone of their liberties and opportunities in Cape society.
– Peter Warwick in Black People and the South African War, 1899–1902


‘In addition to this casual mass-murder, rural non-whites could expect the bittereinders to descend on their settlements and commandeer anything they fancied. Upon being ordered by raiders to pay tribute, one plucky native police constable in Barkly East replied, ‘Kruger is not baas here and I am not going to pay him a penny, he can do what he wish I am a Government man and not yours, and I am under the English Government, not him. I am sick of these Boers with their nuisance towards me.’

And a final word from the Great Sir Winston Churchill himself:

What is the true and original root of Dutch aversion to British rule? It is the abiding fear and hatred of the movement that seeks to place the native on a level with the white man … the K*****r is to be declared the brother of the European, to be constituted his legal equal, to be armed with political rights.
– Winston Churchill, 1900

Anyway, in terms of the rugby, may the better team win!


  • Chris Posted November 11, 2019 10:33 am

    Come on Mr Bulldog you are not known for getting your facts mangled …
    A correction
    Kruger was NOT “anti-semitic” ALL of his monopolistic “tenders” were handed out to Jews !
    They were in fact his greatest asset

    Best re-check and re-read your unerstanding of the economic history of the ZAR.
    Kruger even gave a speech at the opening of the Johannesburg synagogue
    ( Seeing as you frequent the Rand Club Bit of homework for you — see if you can find a copy of the speech that President Kruger gave ! )

    • Bulldog Posted November 11, 2019 1:04 pm

      Some interesting points as always, but I would offer the following:

      Equally astounding was what happened when a deputation of Johannesburg-based Jews headed by a Dr Hertzmet Kruger to plead for educational and religious freedoms. Kruger dismissed them out of hand, informing the delegation that, while the Jews were the descendants of Ishmael, the Boers were the direct descendants of Isaac and it would therefore be against scripture for both ‘tribes’ to live together in harmony


      ‘The Transvaal was in no way a democracy. No Catholic or Jew was allowed to vote or hold office. Every Boer was compelled to own a rifle; no non-Boer was allowed to. Johannesburg, with 50,000 mainly uitlander inhabitants, was not even allowed an unelected municipal council. English was banned in all official proceedings. Judges were appointed by Kruger, who controlled all the Government monopolies from jam to dynamite. By far the largest proportion of the tax burden was carried by the uitlanders, yet no open-air public meetings were permitted. Newspapers could be closed down arbitrarily without any reason given. Above all, full citizenship was almost impossible to gain for non-Boers. Pretoria ran a tight, tough, quasi-police state.’

      • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:06 am

        The old scoundrel played ALL sides
        As the below will show
        People get quite upset when I compare him to Jacob Zuma !
        Thus. Paul Kruger enjoyed a close relationship with Portugal. So close in fact that in 1884, two years before the presumed naming of Johannesburg, he travelled to Lisbon and was invested with the Portuguese Grand Cross of the Order of the Immaculate Conception (the King Johannes Knightly Order of the Immaculate Conception) – a high and rare order indeed. It was first proclaimed a military order in 1818 and was intimately associated with the Johannine kings of Portugal. King João (Johannes) VI actually established the order in gratitude for the monarchy’s return from exile at the beginning of the 19th century.

      • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:07 am

        In 1895 one of Kruger’s stated “fondest wishes” was realised – the creation of the Pretoria-DelagoaBay rail link – a link he himself used to leave the continent for Europe during the Anglo-Boer War to gain support for the beleagured Boers. The Portuguese had again honoured him by naming one of the Pretoria/Delagoa locomotives after him.

      • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:08 am

        The award was ater rescinded by the Portuguese

        For further background see the — PINK Map and the resultant complications

  • Chris Posted November 11, 2019 10:35 am

    On September 19, 1887, the first Rosh Hashanah service was held in the Rand Club, drawing a crowd of 500.

    President Paul Kruger awarded four plots of land on the corner of Joubert and De Villiers Streets for the Johannesburg Hebrew Congregation to build its synagogue. Since the latter was near the original Johannesburg Park Station, this synagogue was known as the Park Station Synagogue or simply the Park Synagogue, and was opened with great pomp and circumstance by the President on September 14, 1892.

  • Chris Posted November 11, 2019 10:36 am

    In early Johannesburg, Jewish religious life was dominated by three congregations, all of whose synagogues were built within the historic Randjeslaagte triangle. The oldest was the President St. Synagogue, founded in 1888; the Park Synagogue adjacent to Park Station, was founded in 1891 and opened by President Kruger in 1892, and the Orthodox Hebrew Congregation in Fox St. was founded in 1892.

  • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:09 am

    As to the Rugby and the ABW

    Stellenbosse taalbeleid: woed die Anglo-Boereoorlog dan nog steeds?

  • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:11 am

    Kruger and the Jews
    The story of the Kruger statue began in 1895 – only a few years before the outbreak of the Anglo Boer War in 1899 – when Jewish businessman Sammy Marks indicated in a letter to Paul Kruger that he had decided to donate £10 000 to Pretoria for erecting a marble statue of the head of state. What was left of the donation should be spent in favour of Pretoria according to Kruger’s wishes. Kruger also had to decide where the statue would be erected.

  • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:11 am

    With the war in full swing and Pretoria eventually being captured by the British, Mark’s hope faded that the statue would ever be erected. Meanwhile, he still paid storage for the statues in the harbour. When Lord Kitchener moved his headquarters to Marks’ farm Swartkoppies during the Battle of Donkerhoek, he requested Marks to donate the four Boer statues to him (Kitchener), and Marks agreed. Marks later admitted to journalist and historian Gustav Preller that his answer was, “Daar lê hulle in Delagoabaai, hulle kos baie geld en bergloon, vat hulle maar weg.” (There they lay in Delagoa Bay, costing a lot of money and storage; take them away.)

  • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:13 am

    Bids opened at just one rand‚ but a Sammy Marks golden tickey has reached R399‚000 — and counting‚ despite never actually being legal tender.
    This rare South African coin is currently on auction on Bidding started on February 6‚ and is set to close on February 26.
    The little coin depicts the portrait of president Paul Kruger on the reverse and a laurel wreath surrounding the number three on the obverse.
    Like all three pence ZAR coins‚ it is nicknamed “tickey” for reasons that remain a mystery‚ according to bidorbuy category manager David Berry
    Never legal tender‚ Sammy Marks golden tickey is regarded as part of the ZAR series because it was struck from official dies.

  • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:14 am

    In 1898‚ he said‚ President Paul Kruger allowed the mining magnate Sammy Marks to use the National Mint for one day as a gesture of appreciation for services to the government.
    Marks had 215 tickeys struck in 22 carat gold that came from his mines.
    He gave the coins as gifts to friends and family.
    Today‚ these rare pieces are worth a fortune‚ said Berry. Only 32 out of the original 215 are known to have been graded.
    The abbreviation “MS” stands for mint state. The seller specifies in the listing that the coin is “full lustre” and “UNC”; in other words‚ that it is uncirculated and has no trace of wear.

  • Chris Posted November 12, 2019 10:17 am

    Could we also say the the old scoundrel was also an Old HUMBUG HYPOCRITE ?
    One wonders at his handling of Catholics / Jews / Uitlanders that were NOT his “Favourites” ?

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