Ash is wrong – and to prove it, I’ll lie!

Defenders of Apartheid-era Myths love to tell one another that I am ‘wrong’, though never trouble themselves to explain where, why and how.

One entertaining True Believer was recently called out on his incessant online claims, and asked to provide examples of exactly where, in Kruger, Kommandos & Kak, I am incorrect.

Scraping the very bottom of the barrel, this was what he managed to dream up:

With his little list of grievances (one of which is entirely made up), Mr Pretorius comes across as intellectually incapable of differentiating between things which are ‘wrong’, and things that he doesn’t like to hear.

Believe it or not, Mr Pretorius, there is a difference.

It is telling (and indicative both of the weakness of his case, and his sheer panic at seeing his much-cherished myths dissolving before his eyes) that he fails to provide much in the way of direct quotes and nothing in terms of page numbers.

Even more telling, however, is that he doesn’t feel the need to provide any sort of explanation as to why all the hundreds of references I supply to support my statements are simply ‘wrong’, and nor can he.

For example, let’s take this statement (which upset Mr Pretorius, and therefore – in his mind – must be ‘wrong’):

Much has been made of the rations issued to the residents but contemporary critics acknowledged that the very lowest of the ration scales were better than those that Imperial soldiers enjoyed in peacetime.

This is referenced directly from p.159 of a book called The Brunt of the War and Where it Fell, written by none other than that renowned arch-Jingo, Emily Hobhouse[i] – a lady so revered by the Apartheid-regime that they even named a submarine after her[ii]. So what Mr Pretorius would really need to do is explain to us why Ms Hobhouse is wrong, and he is right.

Worse still is that Mr Pretorius obviously realises his case is so pathetically weak that he felt the need to simply make things up: at no point do I say that ‘as many British soldiers having died of disease as residents in the concentration camps’. Such a claim is a false statement, and I did not make it.

The fact that Mr Pretorius was hopelessly unable to provide a direct quote, or a page number, to support his bizarre accusation was not lost on those with much more knowledge of, and rather more open-minds on, the topic:

Mr Pretorius embarrassed himself over the next few posts, ignoring this simple, straightforward request, and instead frantically trying – and hopelessly failing – to explain why I am ‘wrong’ on the other points that upset him. We shall, however, only concern ourselves with his completely made-up claim for now (which is why I circled the response to it in the post above).

With sheep-like loyalty, and proving (as if there is any doubt) that he is unable to think for himself, Mr Pretorius then offered a statement (again, circled below) made by the High Priest of True Believers in his (ahem) ‘review’ of my book many years ago… though it is unclear why he thinks this supports his made-up claim of my saying ‘as many British soldiers having died of disease as residents in the concentration camps’:

Of course, anyone with half a brain will notice that simply stating these statistics in no way supports the accusation he made. And, yet again, he signally failed to provide the supposedly damning quote, or even a page number.

Why Mr Pretorius elected not to supply these was quickly becoming obvious – perhaps even to his equally fanatical brethren. It’s probably the sort of thing he has spewed out at a hundred braais over the years, but no one in his echo chamber has ever thought to ask him to substantiate it.

He was no longer in his comforting echo chamber, however, and it was quickly pointed out that, not only was Mr Pretorius talking bollocks, but that he had ‘form’ for pulling things out of his arse to suit his preferred fictions:


And then, finally, after much prodding, Mr Pretorius offered a page number – though not the offending ‘quote’, of course:

The first problem for Mr Pretorius (well, aside from the fact that his made-up ‘quote’ doesn’t exist), is that the printed version of Kruger, Kommandos & Kak only goes up to page 527.

Mr Pretorius’ second problem was detailed in this post:

And so, humiliated, exposed as a bare-faced liar, and with his preferred fiction proven to be the National Party propaganda it is, the best a distraught Mr Pretorius could come up with was to scuttle away with his tail between his legs, suddenly pretending that being ‘disrespectful’ bothers him:

Such are the depths that Defenders of the Myth will stoop to in their increasingly frantic efforts to keep their fables alive.

So still we wait for one of them to explain exactly where, why and how I am wrong… preferably including actual quotes and page numbers, and without lying and just making things up.


[i] Emily Hobhouse (1860-1926). An ardent pacifist and anti-war activist made famous by the Boer War, Hobhouse later opposed the Great War

[ii] A French-built, Daphné class submarine, the SAS Emily Hobhouse was commissioned in 1971. She was later renamed the SAS Umkhonto and decommissioned in 2003.

1 Comment

  • Chris Posted October 14, 2022 10:30 am

    “as many British soldiers having died”

    The late Steve Watt – who was the author of – “In Memorium” gave a talk at a conference at Talana Museum in Dundee covering this exact topic. Health and Disease and Deaths in the British Army in South Africa during the ABW.

    Sadly I do not have a copy
    Perhaps Pam McFadden at the Talana Museum does have as she “inherited” most of Steve Watts notes / files / documentation.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *