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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



-<



.






PAPERS ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION
IN SOUTH AFRICA, 1885-1895.






PAPERS



ON THE



POLITICAL SITUATION



IN



SOUTH AFRICA

1885-1895



BY

CHARLES LEONARD



WITH PAPERS BY
ADVOCATE VESSELS <5r ADVOCATE AURET



LONDON

ARTHUR L. HUMPHREYS, 187 PICCADILLY, W

1903



iff



PRINTED BY STRANGEWAYS AND SONS,
TOWER STREET, CAMBRIDGE CIRCUS, LONDON, W.C-



College

Library

DT



Ljjj
PREFACE.



A FEW words will explain what has led to the publishing
of these pages. The papers which go to make up
this book, written at different times, are just of the class
that disappears entirely unless some care is taken to pre-
serve them. As a proof of this, I may state that I had
looked upon the pamphlet entitled * England in South
Africa ' as quite lost, until I discovered accidentally that a
lady in Scotland, Mrs. Taylor, had preserved a copy, which
she was kind enough to lend me. That pamphlet, written
from the standpoint of the loyal Cape Colonists, is, in my
opinion, worth preserving, as it shows that so far back as
1885, Dutch National aspirations had taken such definite
form as to lead to the formation of an English political
association the Empire League for the maintenance of
the English tie. The other papers, too, will, I venture to
think, be of use to the student of the future. Of my own
work I shall say nothing, except that, being collected, it
may, as the evidence of a witness, possibly be of some use
to the historian who, weighing testimony from all sides,
shall seek to arrive at the truth.

Even the newspaper reports of meetings of the Transvaal
National Union, containing as they do, though in crude



PREFACE.

form, records of the resolutions passed by that body of
Uitlanders and of the speeches of its leaders, must reveal to
future writers much that is important and relevant. The
terms of the great Petition which was signed by 38,500
people and contemptuously disregarded by the Volksraad,
will for ever give the lie to the statement, on the Boer side,
that the Uitlanders formulated their ' demands ' in such
insolent terms as to preclude all possibility of their being
granted. The extracts from the address of the Republican
Chief Justice, the solemn warnings in the paper written by
Mr. J. W. Wessels (now a judge on the Transvaal Bench),
and the able analysis of the Republican Constitution by
Advocate Auret, printed originally as appendices to my
statement for the House of Commons Committee, should
be of great value to students of South African history.

To make these papers accessible, I am causing them to
be reprinted, at my own expense, so that they may be
placed on the shelves of every library in South Africa and
of some libraries in Great Britain.

CHAS. LEONARD.

November ^ 1902.



CONTENTS.

PAGE

ENGLAND IN SOUTH AFRICA, BY CHARLES LEONARD,

ISSUED BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OP THE EMPIRE LEAGUE,

1885 _ - 1

THE MANIFESTO OF 1895 21

THE CASE FOR THE UITLANDERS 39

THE POSITION OF THE UITLANDERS IN THE
TRANSVAAL, WITH HISTORY OP THE FRANCHISE. A
STATEMENT PREPARED FOR THE COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE
OP COMMONS BY MR. CHARLES LEONARD ... ... ... 63

THE NETHERLANDS SOUTH AFRICAN COMPANY'S RAILWAY IN

THE TRANSVAAL 130

DYNAMITE 138

ANNEXURE I. MEMORANDUM re UNDERMINING RIGHTS UNDER

VARIOUS RESERVED PLACES, AS BEWAARPLAATSEN (DE-
POSITING SITES), WATER RIGHTS AND STANDS ... ... 145

ANNEXURE II. TRANSLATION 151

APPENDICES TO THE STATEMENT OF MR. CHARLES

LEONARD :
EXTRACT PROM THE ' STANDARD AND DIGGERS' NEWS,

AUGUST 22ND, 1892 157

EXTRACTS FROM LEADING ARTICLES IN THE 'STANDARD AND

DIGGERS' NEWS' ... ... ... ... ... ... 190

EXTRACT PROM THE 'STANDARD AND DIGGERS' NEWS,'

SEPTEMBER 12iH, 1892 194

REPORT FROM THE ' STANDARD AND DIGGERS' NEWS,' MAY

29TH, 1893 223

REPORT FROM 'STAR,' JOHANNESBURG, JULY 21si, 1894 ... 254



CONTENTS.

PAGE:
APPENDICES TO THE STATEMENT OF MR. CHARLES

LEONARD (continued) :
LEADING ARTICLE IN 'LAND EN VOLK' (A DUTCH NEWSPAPER),

DECEMBER 21sT, 1893 289

OUR CONSTITUTION EXPLAINED BY ADVOCATB AURET ... 293

PETITION TO SIR HENRY LOCH ... ... ... ... 315

ADDRESS GIVEN BY MR. ADVOCATE WESSELS, OP PRETORIA,
BEFORE THE UlTLANDERS' ASSOCIATION, OCTOBER. 13TH,

1894 ... 317

EXTRACT FROM AN ADDRESS GIVEN BY THE CHIEF JUSTICE
OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC AT RUSTENBURG, IN
THE TRANSVAAL, IN OCTOBER, 1894 345

COPY OF THE PETITION FOR THE FRANCHISE WHICH WAS
SIGNED BY 38,500 PEOPLE IN 1895, PRESENTED TO THE
VOLKSRAAD, AND REJECTED ... ... ... ... 353

TRANSLATION OF LEADING ARTICLE FROM 'LAND EN VOLK,'

DECEMBER 5TH, 1895 WOLMARANS' WATCH 355

TRANSVAAL REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE. STATEMENT SHOW-
ING THE REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR

1895 COMPARED WITH THE YEAR 1894 358

MR. LEONARD'S EVIDENCE BEFORE THE SELECT COM-
MITTEE ON BRITISH SOUTH AFRICA, 1897 363

PAPER HANDED IN BY MR. CHARLES LEONARD,

MAY 18TH, 1897 MANIFESTO 421

SELECT COMMITTEE'S REPORT 427



ENGLAND IN SOUTH
AFRICA.

BY

CHARLES LEONARD.



ISSUED BY THE
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE EMPIRE LEAGUE.



PUBLISHED BY

VAN DE SANDT DE VILLIERS & Co.

CAPETOWN.

1885.



ENGLAND IN SOUTH
AFRICA.

\\ 7"E have not prospered in this Colony during the last few
years, and we are not prospering now. Perhaps it is as
well that we should have an opportunity of finding out whether
we are not ourselves to blame for this temporary check in our
prosperity. Out of affliction cometh blessing, and if one result of
the trouble which is upon us now should be that we Cape Colonists
shall cease to call each other hard names, shall understand each
other better, and, ignoring all supposed grounds of disunion, shall
determine to be one people, then indeed will our affliction have
been blessed. Let us look openly and honestly at the conditions
under which we live, and ask ourselves whether there is any sub-
stantial reason why any one section of Colonists should regard
with suspicion any other section ; and, in discussing with each
other, let reason, not passion or sentiment, govern us. So shall
we learn that Heaven has cast us together in this land not to
examine each other's pedigrees, not to discuss whether we are
descended from English, Dutch, French, or German ancestors,
but to live in brotherhood, to learn from one another, and to be
rivals only in promoting the welfare of the country. We say let
us ask ourselves whether there is any reason for us to distrust one
another.

Now, truth requires that it should be said that there has
been a breach formed between the two leading races of South
Africa which did not exist ten years ago, and that certain forces
are at work tending to widen that breach. The Transvaal war
seems to have raised a feeling which did not previously exist (at

3



POLITICAL SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA.

all events as anything worthy of notice) a feeling of antagonism
between English and Dutch. The brave conduct of the Transvaal
burghers not unnaturally awakened a feeling of pride and enthu-
siasm in the breast of persons of the same blood in this Colony ; it
aroused the attention of the world; it stirred in the minds of
Dutchmen, both in Holland and in South Africa, a dream of a
future Dutch Empire which should renew the glories which have
passed away from the Netherlands. But all this enthusiasm has

r v

worked this country incalculable evil, because it has set on foot
intriguing between men in the neighbouring republics and this
Colony. It has given designing men an opportunity of gaining
their own ends by means of class distinctions, and has produced, or
at least nourished the growth of, an association which, though its
ostensible object is to educate the people to appreciate their
political power and privileges, has indirectly had the effect of
widening the breach between Colonists who should live side by
side in mutual respect and friendship, helping, encouraging, and
supporting each other. A house divided against itself cannot
stand. A state torn by internal dissensions cannot prosper.

Things have come to such a pass that a serious question has
arisen as to whether we are loyal to Her Majesty the Queen, and
now it behoves all men who wish to range themselves under the
banner of law, order, and peace, to ask themselves soberly whether
agitation shall not cease. It has been doubted whether we are
loyal. We say emphatically that if the great bulk of the Colonists
were asked whether they wish to live under any other flag than
the British flag they would unhesitatingly say no, and because we
believe this to be the case, we ask them one and all, so to act and
speak now that the few men whose object is to upset the existing
order of things may be assured unmistakably that the people of
this country do not want discord and bloodshed, and will not even
contemplate a condition of things in which every man's hand will
be against his neighbour.

It will be asked by some, Who are these men ? We answer
that they are the men who have systematically set about poisoning
the minds of persons, previously distinguished only for their kiud-

4



ENGLAND IN SOUTH AFRICA.

liness and good -neighbourship, against Englishmen and every-
thing English ; who have week after week in the press held up
Englishmen to scorn and ridicule, applying to them the foulest
epithets, who have composed and published verses the sole object
of which was to make the detested ' rooinek ' stink in the nostrils
of the Dutch-speaking people of this country ; and who lose no
opportunity of misrepresenting the actions of England to men
who have not the means of forming judgments for themselves.
Many people who have not thought clearly what the phrase
means, talk about a 'United South Africa under her own flag,'
and when asked what flag they mean, say, ' Oh, the British flag.'
Their dream is idle, but perhaps honest. The several states in
this country are not now, and may not for a long time be, anxious
to unite, and to talk about forcing a union is the surest way of
producing irritation and distrust instead of confidence between us.
If an Englishmen were to propose such a union under the British
flag, the cry would immediately be raised that an attempt was
being made to deprive the Free State and Transvaal of their inde-
pendence, and a feeling of hostility on the part of those states, as
well as many sympathisers in this Colony, would at once be raised,
which could not but hinder our progress. Do we ever hear of
such a thing from Englishmen? Never. And the conduct of
England in giving the Transvaal back her independence, even
while smarting under disaster, proves most conclusively that she
has no desire to force her flag on an unwilling people.

Now, if we respect the flags which wave over our neighbours,
we expect that the flag which waves over us shall also be respected.
We have indicated that to impose our flag on the neighbouring
republics could only lead to bloodshed, and it must be plain that
to want to hoist another flag over us in this Colony could only end
in the same thing, for we are not going to change the glorious
flag of liberty under which we live for any other in the world.
The men who talk about united South Africa must face bloodshed
in any case, and we all know what bitter feelings are left after
war, especially civil war. It would take generations to live down
the feelings of anger, suspicion, and hatred which would arise, and

5



POLITICAL SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA.

in the meantime we should suffer grievously from the pervading
discord. We ask you, therefore, is such a union possible now ?
and if you are satisfied it is not, then we ask whether any one can
love his country who, knowing what the results must be, yet per-
sists in trying to bring them about. But who are they who talk
about this scheme ? Are they Englishmen ? No. They are men
of other nationalities, many of whom are men who have proposed
to themselves the abolition of the English flag, but who do not see
whither their dream of a ' United South Africa ' would lead them.
There are a few agitators, however, who do foresee the result, but
who, nevertheless, are most zealous in keeping up this aspiration
for a united South Africa under her own flag, and we say delibe-
rately that these men cannot make us believe that they want the
British flag. They talk about forming a 'Nationality' which
shall be ready to hand when the Union comes, and as they point
the finger of scorn at everything English, instead of trying to
unite all classes in the country, it is clear that they do not con-
template that the British flag shall wave over their so-called
Union.

Now, if this kind of agitation is persisted in, it must lead, not
to union, but to civil war and political dissolution, destruction of
property, ruin, and discord, from which it will take generations to-
recover. And we ask our fellow-Colonists to think carefully
whether we are not right. "We do not think that all the objects
of the Afrikander Bond are evil, or that every man who belongs
to it is an opponent of England. On the contrary, we wish it to
be distinctly understood that, in so far as the Bond has awakened
the people of this country to take an active interest in the legiti-
mate concerns of the Colony, it has done good. We condemn it
only for having branches in the neighbouring republics, and in
BO far as it has given utterance to, or fostered, the growth of anti-
English feelings. We condemn Bondsmen also for allowing
themselves to be dictated to by one or two. But we believe that
the great bulk of Bondsmen are not disloyal to the British flag.
We are not all members of the same natural family, though fate
has formed us into one people. English, Dutch, French, and

6



ENGLAND IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Germans, to say nothing of other European nationalities and the
Native races, are highly represented in the population of this
Colony. We are living at peace under the British flag ; free in
every sense of the term.

Can any one be mad enough to suppose that any attempt to
substitute for the flag under which we live any other flag would

<J v O

not be resisted by the great proportion of us to the bitter death ?
Where, then, would be the union ? We do not think that things
would ever come to such a pass, seeing the loyalty of the great
bulk of the Colonists; but still, some men have spoken of these
things, and is it not our duty, one and all, to say to them : * We
know you and your works ; your tools are discord and ruin, and
your aim is to rise to the top on the waves of dissensions you seek
to raise ? ' Why should we be kept in a state of unrest ? Why
should men's minds be needlessly disturbed by the dreams of a
few agitators? 'A little leaven leaveneth the lump/ and the
views of these sedition-mongers are being spread so artfully that
many men may absorb the poison unconsciously, and become
aware of it only after the taint has entered into their very life-
blood. We ask them, therefore, not to be beguiled by idle talk
or clap-trap appeals to ' nationality ' into risking the solid, sub-
stantial benefits they now enjoy, and into throwing away the
substance for the shadow. These men are always running down
everything British in such sweeping terms that we propose to
examine our social and political systems, to see what evils we have
to complain of, and to ask whether, if such a thing were possible,
we could hope to better ourselves by uniting with the Free State
and Transvaal, pulling down the British flag, and hoisting a
republican flag of their own. Do not start. This is what they
want, and there can be no harm in plainly facing the issue, and
asking ourselves, if only as a problem which will never require
practical solution, whether with such a change as contemplated
we should have any greater liberty than we enjoy now, whether
we should have more freedom in conducting public worship,
whether we should have greater safeguards against arbitrary
imprisonment or invasion of our properties, whether we should

7



POLITICAL SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA.

have more control over taxes and the expenditure of public
money, whether we should be able to express our opinions more
freely either through the press or otherwise, whether our lands
and possessions would be more valuable than they are now,
whether our public credit would be so good as it is ; whether, in
fact, we should be, in any respect, better off than we are now.

We know that there is a large number of Colonists who,
through no fault of their own, but from defective education, and
the peculiar circumstances under which they live, have not
favourable opportunities of forming independent judgments on
matters of this kind, and we propose shortly to examine the
question, if our readers will follow us.

There are two points which we wish to make clear, viz.
(1) That the establishment of the English Government here was
beneficial to all classes ; and (2) that the withdrawal of that
Government would be disastrous to every one having vested
interests in this Colony. It may be thought that it is unnecessary
even to assert the first proposition, and for the great bulk of the
people it is ; but still, there are mischievous agitators who have
persistently endeavoured to instil into the minds of our rural
population the idea that England has exercised a pernicious
influence here, that no good has come to the * ware Afrikaners '
from her presence, and that they would have been a good deal
better off if the English had never set foot in this Colony. And
it may be fairly assumed, from the expressions which frequently
fall from the lips of speakers at public meetings in the country,
that some have absorbed, and still retain, the idea that it would
have been a happy thing for this country if England had not
acquired it.

In order to establish our first proposition, therefore, we pro-
pose to sketch rapidly the condition of the people under the Dutch
Government. It must be understood distinctly that we do not
contend that such misrule as existed at that time could have been
continued to the present day, nor that anything like such misrule
would follow the withdrawal of the English Government. We
simply state facts to show that the English acquisition of this

8



ENGLAND IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Colony was beneficial to all classes. Formerly the Government
of this Colony was in the hands of the Dutch East India Com-
pany, whose sole object was to amass wealth for persons who
lived in Holland ; and the Governors were simply their servants,
or commercial agents with enormous powers, which they were
directed to use to the sole end of enriching their masters speedily.
The Company regarded the Colony as intended for the benefit of
themselves, not of the people here, and instructed their Governor
to rule by the doctrine that 'the Colonies should not be freely
cultivated, or industry be freely exercised therein, lest the
Colonist should become opulent, powerful, and free.' One of
these Governors, Yan der Stell, cherished the maxim ' that a
ruined people is easiest ruled.'

From the earliest period the so-called ' free burghers ' were
prohibited from purchasing from and selling to any one but the
Company, which also fixed its own prices for everything bought
or sold. The burghers had to deliver one-tenth of all their
produce absolutely to the Company. They had no voice in the
making of laws, were subject to the arbitrary will of the
Governor, and could be banished from the country, put to death,
or otherwise punished, after a trial in which he was practically
the only judge. There were none of the safeguards for the
liberty of the subject which we hold so dear. Merely to sign a
petition for the redress of a grievance was a crime which was
punished by summary banishment from the country. Men were
not even free to dress themselves or their wives as they liked.
The French refugees and their descendants were not allowed to
conduct public worship in their own language. Judge Water-
meyer, a worthy son of the soil, says of the Colony in its early
days : ' Despotism had taken deep root. The foundations of
tyranny were firm. The term " Colonial Freeman " had lost all
signification of the liberty which Freemen in Europe enjoyed.
The heads of the Government and the original burghers knew
that freedom here was a mockery, that burghership was a state
of subserviency to the Company Dependent on the Govern-
ment, if in all things obedient, they might prosper in their private

9



POLITICAL SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA.

circumstances. But to assert any political right, or to murmur
against any exactions, entailed confiscation of their all, separation
from their families, exile to the Mauritius or some other penal
station.' What a picture of degradation this is! During the
whole of the period of the Dutch rule here the system remained
the same, and the tyranny and exactions of the Government
became so unendurable that numbers of burghers moved away
from the settlements, and, with little save their rifles and their
Bibles, carved out for themselves homes in the wilderness, where
they could laugh at the edicts and proclamations of partially
irresponsible Governors, and the oppression of subordinate tyrants.
And it is to this oppression and want of sympathy between
Governors and Government that is to be attributed the backward-
ness of the Colony in many respects, and the want of culture for
which some are perhaps too ready to despise some of our Colonists
in the remoter parts of the country.

Nor can it be wondered at that the burghers were in a state
of open rebellion against the Dutch Government when the English
came here. Hear again what Judge Watermeyer says of the
Company :'.... Their principles were false, and the seeds of
corruption were early sown on their Colonial administration. For
the last fifty years, at least, of their rule here, there is little to
which the examiner of our records can point with satisfaction.
The effects of this pseudo-colonisation were, that the Dutch, a
commercial nation, destroyed commerce. The most industrious
race of Europe, they repressed industry. One of the freest States
in the world, they encouraged a despotic misrule, in which falsely
called free citizens were enslaved. These men in their turn
became tyrants. Utter anarchy was the result. Some national
feeling may have lingered, but substantially every man in the
country, of every hue, was benefited when the incubus of the
tyranny of the Dutch East India Company was removed.' Our
readers of the present day may open their eyes and say, 'Is it
possible our forefathers were so degraded ? ' We answer that it
is the sad and sober truth, from which we may learn the practical
lesson of contentment with our present political and sober rights ;

10



ENGLAND IN SOUTH AFRICA.

and while thanking the Fates that we did not live a hundred
years ago, reflect before we allow ourselves to be misled into
endangering the privileges we enjoy.

It is clear, therefore, that whatever property was attained by
the Colonists under the Dutch Government was secured in spite,
and not by the aid, of the Government. There were no roads or
bridges, no post-offices, no magistrates in many districts, no
provision for education, and scarcely any ministers of religion.

Before passing from this period, it may be interesting to state
what the population and the wealth of the Colony were at the end
of the last century. According to the opgaaf lists, there were in
the Colony (exclusive of British) :

Christians 21,746

Slaves 26,754

Hottentots 14,447



Grand total ... 61,947

There were 47,436 horses, 251,206 cattle, and 1,448,536 sheep ;.
there were 1832 ' loan ' farms in the Colony, and only 107
* gratuity ' lands. The income of the year 1800 was 73,919.
Things had to be righted and, of course, we have not arrived at
our present position by one stride. There can be no question that
fifty years ago Colonists did not enjoy the same privileges as we
enjoy. There have been many misunderstandings and much
heartburning, though, on the whole, England's policy has been
dictated by a sense of justice, and she has ever been willing to
redress grievances. But we have not space in this paper to trace
the several stages of our growth, and must confine ourselves to a
short review of our condition in 1884, which will enable our
readers to compare things past with things present.

The population of the Colony at the

last census in 1875 was 720,984

Of these there were European or white 236,783

And coloured 484,201



Online LibraryCharles LeonardPapers on the political situation in South Africa, 1885-1895 → online text (page 1 of 40)