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A Century of Wrong   By:

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First Page:

A CENTURY OF WRONG

ISSUED BY

F.W. REITZ

State Secretary of the South African Republic

WITH PREFACE BY

W.T. STEAD

"Audi Alteram Partem"

LONDON:

"REVIEW OF REVIEWS" OFFICE, MOWBRAY HOUSE, NORFOLK STREET, W.C.

CONTENTS.

PAGE. PREFACE. By W.T. Stead . vii.

INTRODUCTION 1

THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE 4

THE FOUNDING OF NATAL 13

THE ORANGE FREE STATE 17

THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC 23

THE CONVENTIONS OF 1881 AND 1884 33

CAPITALISTIC JINGOISM FIRST PERIOD 37

CAPITALISTIC JINGOISM SECOND PERIOD 49

CONCLUSION 89

APPENDIX A. Lord Derby's Dispatch on Convention of 1884 101 B. The Annexation of the Diamond Fields 105 C. The Reply to Mr. Chamberlain's Dispatch on Grievances 109 D. The Final Dispatch of Mr. State Secretary Reitz 127 E. The Text of the Conventions, 1852, 1881, and 1884 128

INDEX 149

PREFACE.

"In this awful turning point of the history of South Africa, on the eve of the conflict which threatens to exterminate our people, it behoves us to speak the truth in what may be, perchance, our last message to the world."

Such is the raison d'ĂȘtre of this book. It is issued by State Secretary Reitz as the official exposition of the case of the Boer against the Briton. I regard it as not merely a duty but an honour to be permitted to bring it before the attention of my countrymen.

Rightly or wrongly the British Government has sat in judgment upon the South African Republic, rightly or wrongly it has condemned it to death. And now, before the executioner can carry out the sentence, the accused is entitled to claim the right to speak freely it may be for the last time to say why, in his opinion, the sentence should not be executed. A liberty which the English law accords as an unquestioned right to the foulest murderer cannot be denied to the South African Republic. It is on that ground that I have felt bound to afford the spokesman of our Dutch brethren in South Africa the opportunity of stating their case in his own way in the hearing of the Empire.

Despite the diligently propagated legend of a Reptile press fed by Dr. Leyds for the purpose of perverting public opinion, it is indisputable that so far as this country is concerned Mr. Reitz is quite correct in saying that the case of the Transvaal "has been lost by default before the tribunal of public opinion."

It is idle to point, in reply to this, to the statements that have appeared in the press of the Continent. These pleadings were not addressed to the tribunal that was trying the case. In the British press the case of the Transvaal was never presented by any accredited counsel for the defence. Those of us who have in these late months been compelled by the instinct of justice to protest against the campaign of misrepresentation organised for the purpose of destroying the South African Republic were in many cases so far from authorised exponents of the South African Dutch that some of them among whom I may be reckoned for one were regarded with such suspicion that it was most difficult for us to obtain even the most necessary information from the representatives of the Government at Pretoria. Nor was this suspicion without cause so far at least as I was concerned.

For nearly a quarter of a century it might almost have been contended that I was one of the leading counsel for the prosecution... Continue reading book >>




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